EU bolsters Ghana’s terrorism fight with 105 armoured vehicle
The vehicles, which include 13 Land Cruiser pickups, 10 GMC Sierra, Toyota Land Cruisers, Toyota Single Cabins, Chevrolet Silverado and Sierra pickups, form part of a €20 million EU support to Ghana to aid its fight against terrorism.
This is part of a broader €616 million EU package aimed at strengthening defence and security of the four coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea.
Commissioning the vehicles at a ceremony in Accra, on Saturday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the latest attempts by terrorists and extremist groups to expand their scope of influence from the Sahel to coastal West Africa was worrying.
Those actions, the President said, posed a substantial security risk to the people and stability of Ghana.
He added that, recent occurrences of terrorist activities in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin, therefore, underscored the pressing need for Ghana to enhance counterterrorism measures.
The President said, collaborative efforts amongst countries and partners such as the EU, were therefore, crucial in mitigating the terrorist threat within the West African region and ensuring lasting peace.
“It is imperative to understand that no single country can confront the terrorist threat on its own,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
“Within the context of our collective efforts, and the pooling of resources, we appreciate the significance the 105 military vehicles donated by the European Union. These vehicles will play a pivotal role in our efforts to fortify Ghana’s northern frontiers against terrorists,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo also assured the EU of an efficient utilisation of the vehicles.
“Ghana stands ready to continue to collaborate with the European Union to safeguard our mutual security interests, particularly in the West Africa region,” he added.
Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative and Vice President of the EU, said Ghana had a frontline role to play in ensuring regional stability.
He indicated that, the spillover of insecurity from the Sahel to countries in the Gulf of Guinea countries was no more a risk, but a reality which ought to be tackled head-on.
“A reality that our partners cannot and should not face alone,” he said.
Mr Fontelles said the delivery of the vehicles to Ghana confirmed the strengthening of security and defence partnership between the two parties, which added a new dimension to the longstanding partnership between them.
He assured that other military equipment, including equipment for intelligence gathering and surveillance, military engineering, explosive ordnance disposal and electronic warfare systems, would be delivered to Ghana to aid its counter terrorism fight.
“We are confident that this support will benefit not only Ghana, but the entire sub region as well,” he added.
Mr Fontelles also stressed the need for Ghana to improve service provision and job creation, especially for youth and women to help prevent any terrorist act.
“Investments for socio-economic inclusion, in the Northern regions of Ghana in particular, is key,” he said, adding that a large proportion of its current bilateral cooperation – €203 million for 2021-2024 was dedicated to those priorities.
“The EU is also supporting Ghana in the promotion of sustainable growth, digital and green transitions, climate resilience, reinforcement of health and education systems,” he indicated.
Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of National Security, said the donation of the armoured vehicles to Ghana was a “testament to the diligent efforts and unwavering commitment of the government” in strengthening the bounds of cooperation between Ghana and the EU for mutual benefits.
“We believe today’s event also symbolizes the significant step forward in the strengthening of cooperation between Ghana and the European Union.
“Together, we work towards safeguarding our mutual security interests, contributing to peace and stability, not only in Ghana, but across the West African region,” he added.