The Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed–Muniru has stressed the need for neighbouring countries in West African sub-Region to form a united front to fight against terrorism.
The Regional Minister, who made the call at the fourth tripartite meeting of Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo held in Dapaong in northern Togo, stressed that the recent terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, should alert African countries to envisage potential security threats and neutralize them before they happened.
He said as part of the strategies, the security agencies in neighbouring countries could frequently share intelligence, and entreated African governments to resource their security agencies with the necessary logistics to enable them to pre-empt any eventualities before they occurred.
On culture and sports, Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru stressed the need to promote the study of French and English Languages in neighbouring countries and expressed regret that majority of Ghanaians could not communicate in the French language even though Ghana was surrounded by Francophone countries.
He therefore underscored the need to initiate exchange programmes in the teaching and learning of French and English Languages in schools, suggesting that student teachers in Colleges of Education could do their teaching practice through exchange programmes in neighbouring countries.
Evaluating the Tripartite meetings, the Regional Minister said it was evident that the meetings had promoted and strengthened cordial relations among the countries, hence the need to work hard towards sustaining them.
“We can all attest to the fact that since the initiation of these Tripartite meetings, a number of benefits or achievements such as drastic reduction in land disputes, cattle rustling and armed robbery along our borders, smuggling of goods and human trafficking have been derived”, the Minister remarked.
He pledged the Ghana Government’s continued support for the tripartite meetings, stressing that “our coming together alone is bringing us closer and strengthening our relationship, this is enough to send signals to all criminals to desist from engaging in criminal acts since they know we are together and ready to combat them”.
The tripartite meetings which usually rotate among the three neighbouring countries, seek to address common issues affecting them, including the fight against organized crime and criminal activities across borders, worst forms of child and human trafficking, female genital mutilation, as well as education and health issues.
Various committees are usually formed at the meetings with experts from the three countries brainstorming and proposing solutions through communiqués to tackle the challenges.
Also, issues raised in the communiqués at past meetings are often reviewed to see the impact made and to re-strategize.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru led a 16-member Ghana delegation to attend this year’s tripartite meeting on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama, which was on the theme “Reinforcement of Trans-border Cooperation”.
Among the delegates were the District Chief Executives (DCEs) of Garu-Timpane and Pusiga, Mr Albert Akoka Alalzuga and Mr Alhassan Abugbillah respectively, whose districts share common borders with neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso.