Close this search box.

KAIPTC Project on Preventing Violent Extremism in sub-region ends

The Prevention of Violent Extremism, Radicalisation and Small Arms Proliferation in the Sahel and Adjoining Coastal Countries in West Africa Project by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has ended.

The one-year project, in collaboration with the Government of Japan and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), which commenced from March 2023 to March 2024, aimed to address the escalating insecurity in the West African sub-region.

The project sought to improve knowledge and information-sharing among security personnel and civil society actors in preventing and countering terrorism, violent extremism, and small arms proliferation, diversions and trafficking in seven countries in West Africa including Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

It deployed capacity development, training of trainers, and a regional policy and experience-sharing seminar, in a way that also sought to contribute to enhancing the activities of the Accra Initiative.

At the
end of the project, some 92 participants had their capacities enhanced through the project interventions.

At an End-Of-Project Steering Committee meeting to review project activities and reflect on the progress of the intervention, Major General Richard Addo Gyane, the Commandant of KAIPTC said it was through such initiatives that could enhance crisis response activities and build a more resilient and secure future for the region.

He said despite ongoing efforts in the Sahel region, there had been a concerning rise in extremist and militant attacks, particularly targeting civilians and security forces.

Among other interventions, he said the Accra Initiative, launched in 2017 with the aim of addressing the escalating insecurity associated with violent extremism in the region, was critical.

Maj Gen Gyane, therefore, commended the dedication and hard work of all stakeholders involved in the project, from its partners in the government of Japan and the UNDP to the Small Arms Commissions, Civil Society Organis
ations, Counter Terorism Units, and the Accra Initiative.

‘As we look forward to the future, let us remain committed to the cause of peace and security in the Sahel region and beyond. Let us build upon the successes of this project and continue to work together towards a safer and more prosperous West Africa,’ the Commandant expressed optimism.

Mr Hisanobu Mochizuki, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated the importance of the project which had been implemented at a critical time in the Sahel and West African Region.

He said activities of extremist groups had devastated countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger with growing terrorist threats in the Sahel region also further increasing towards coastal counties in Cote D’Ivoire, Benin and Togo.

Those terrorist acts, the Japanese Ambassador said, had escalated due to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the region.

He said with ECOWAS and other regional cooperation frameworks such as the Accra Initiative, Japan was committed to contribut
ing to regional peace as announced during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida.

Amb Mochizuki said the Prime Minister’s announcement to provide 500 million US dollars over the next three years for the Sahel region and neighbouring coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea was proof of Japan’s focus on strengthening the stability of the region.

Mr Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, noted that activities of extremists and terrorists were spreading across the region and undermining human security.

He said the threat to wider security of the sub-region also put the economic, social, political and environmental gains made towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at risk.

‘Looking ahead beyond this successful project, we must continue to advance a proactive and preventive regional response. The causes and effects of terrorism and violent extremism do not respect national borders,’ Mr Khoshmukhamedov said.

Mr John Pokoo, Programmes Head, Conflict Management
Programme, KAIPTC, who reiterated the success of the project by building the capacities of 92 participants, said the eight motorbikes were procured for four out of seven target countries including Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.

Source: Ghana News Agency