Non governmental organisations, Conciliation Resource UK and the Collation for development Northern Ghana (Northcode) respectively have launched a locally-led peace initiative in the cross-border regions of Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, and Ghana in the Savannah Region of Ghana with the threat of violent extremism growing.
The forum which took place at the plush Wuripe and sons Royal Lodge in Bole brought together Chiefs, Imams, Pastors, Assembly Members, officials of the Bole District Assembly, the Bole Police commander and Youth from the border communities Mandari and Cahche in Bole District and Kalba and Saaru in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Savannah Region.
Speaking at the forum, the West African Programs Director for Conciliation Resources UK, Madam Janet Adama Mohammed recalled other subsequent meetings with stakeholders in Damongo and Sawla to sensitise them on the initiative.
Madam Janet said that report shows Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger account for three of the 10 countries with the largest increases in terrorism- related deaths.
She also mentioned that the threat of violent extremism is growing and as part of measures to curb the growing danger they launched locally-led peace initiative in the cross-border regions at Chache and Kalba borders in the Savannah region.
The West African Programs Director for Conciliation Resources UK said;
“It is a project that seeks to empower border communitie to stay safe and secure; it is a project that seeks to empower border communities to stay safe and secure”.
Madam Janet added; “We all know that the violent extremists are approaching the coastal countries and we know that Ghana is stable but is is a target and we cannot all sit for Ghana to be invaded before we do something; we cannot sit to see violent extremism happening in Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina- Faso happening so the project seeks to build the capabilities of border communities to ensure that we identitify the right strategies, coping mechanisms, safety mechanisms to ensure that communities stay safe and they also work in collaboration with security forces, local government and traditional leaders to saty safe”.
She said the campaign encourages the public to be vigilant of the activities of suspicious characters and report such activities and characters to the security agencies.
She also said that the project seeks to build the capacities of border communities to identify the right mechanisms to defend Ghana from the violet extremists’ attack. Due to this, the border communities of the Savannah region at Chahe and Kalba have to be empowered to resist easy entry. That committees should be set in the border communities and also engages settlers to champion the campaign “see something, say something”.