A report released by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) has said Ghana has managed so far to stay safe from terrorist attacks on home soil, yet Ghana has been so close to terrorism.
Already, the report said, more than 13 Ghanaians are believed to have travelled to fight with terrorist groups since 2015. Up to twenty-three (23), others have been dissuaded from leaving to join extremist groups.
“Ghana’s first recorded case was Nazir Alema Nortey3, a young university graduate, who shockingly left the country in august 2015 to join ISIS before sending a message back to his parents to announce his new found cause.
“He was killed in Syria by April 2016. Professor Kofi Awoonor, a renowned Ghanaian poet and academic, was killed in the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya when Al Shabab fighters besieged the mall in 2013,” the report said.
The threat has been menacingly and quickly spread, occurring through a spillover phenomenon, which has ravaged the Northern borders of not only Burkina Faso but also of Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo recently. With all its direct neighbours under attack, Ghana has descended from the Sahel towards the Coastal States in the last five years.
“Even though the fatality numbers are presently down from the peak of over 7,200 in the region in 2014, the threat has increased in complexity and geographical spread. Today 53% of all ECOWAS now been encircled by the threat. These developments are dangerous for Ghana.
“Ghana’s proximity to these countries (Burkina Faso to the North, Benin and Togo to the East and Ivory Coast to the West) exposes the country to extremist recruitment or attacks or both,” it added.
It further stated that the “unending Bawku chieftaincy conflict, the ethnic tensions in Northern Ghana and the unresolved challenge of Western Togoland separatists in the Eastern border regions amplify the risks.”
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