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Japan supports Ghana to fight terrorism

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Japan is collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement a project to fight terrorism in Ghana and her immediate West African neighours.

The project, “Strengthening Response Capacities of State and Civil Society Actors in Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent extremism in coastal states in West Africa” is being implemented by UNDPA and the Kofi International Peacekeeping Training Centre.

Beneficiaries of the project are national and regional security and civil personnel in Ghana, Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

The project aimed to improve peace and security in West Africa, enhance understanding of counter-terrorism and violent extremism strategies and improve the capacity for terrorism and violent extremism prevention and management in the West Africa sub-region.

The project activities include organizing workshops to develop a course to be translated into French, a two-week course on preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism in coastal states in West Africa for 25 participants from 5 countries, among others.

Mr Tsutomu Himeno, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, said Japan supported the project because terrorism and violent extremism continue to gain momentum in Africa particularly in the Sahel region.

He said the indiscriminate attacks from militants and extremists on civilian and military populations were as a concern and that the formation of the group for the Support of Islam and Muslims or Jama’at Nusrat ul-Islam wal-Muslimeen in March 2017, changed the dynamics of violent extremism in the Sahel.

The Ambassador said without peace, development could not take and called on all African leaders to put in place measures to address any form of terrorism and attacks.

Dr Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative, said most of those attacks were as a result of poverty and unemployment and called on authorities to institute measures to address the situation.

She said the UNDP had already engaged Ghana to address the issue, urging the leaders to put in place proactive approach to curb the menace of terrorism in West Africa.

Brigadier General Francis Ofori, the Commandant, KAIPC, said between January 1, to October 16, 2020,570 terrorist incidents leading to 2,201 deaths took place in the region, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

He stated that attacks along the Burkina Faso-Cote d’Ivoire and Benin borders resulted in some casualties in 2020.

Brig. Gen. Ofori pledged the Centre’s commitment to work to implement the project and called on authorities to address issues of illegal unregulated fishing, affecting food security.

Source: GNA

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