Insurgence in Sahel could engulf W/A –Akufo-Addo warns

Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister for National Security

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on his counterparts in the West African Sub-Region to pursue a common agenda to stop the growing terrorism threats.

He made the call yesterday when he hosted a high-level international counter-terrorism conference, which is aimed at “drawing the attention of the international community to the worsening security situation in the Sahel region and threatening to engulf the entire West African region.”

The summit further called on member States of the Accra Initiative to pursue a common preventive approach to rid West Africa of the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

The Accra Initiative is a grouping of seven African coastal and Sahel states affected by insurgency and insecurity within the sub-region.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urged member states to create synergies and bridge the gaps in the regional fight against terrorism and to curb the terror threat expanding beyond the Sahel towards coastal areas.

He acknowledged the need for pragmatic steps, as he remarked that the terrorist groups, emboldened by their success in the regions, are seeking new grounds.

According to President Akufo-Addo the summit was also sought to forge closer collaboration and cooperation between members of the Initiative and members of the international community.

He called on international partners to provide support to the West Africa initiative to fight terrorism but emphasized that regional states must own the initiative.

President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that the Accra conference would sprout the needed conversation and action to curb the menace, which threatens democracy, social cohesion and development.

The European Council President, Charles Michel, noted that the risk of contagion into the coastal states “is not a risk anymore, it’s a reality. We all need to identify the best way to have an impact on the ground.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, said terrorism is expanding its wings from the Sahel to the coastal areas, and thus, urged all bloc members to support the initiative to stem the increasing threat of terrorism in West Africa.

He opined that the scope of the Accra Initiative could be incorporated into the ECOWAS plan of action, noting the need for collaboration to do away of duplication of efforts.


The Accra Initiative was established in September 2017 as a mechanism to enhance intelligence and security cooperation between the Intelligence and Security Agencies of Member States.

It was formed to address the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel region and curb the southward drift of the threat of terrorism to coastal West African States.

The Initiative, since its operationalisation, has achieved various milestones key among which is the successful execution of joint operations along the common borders of Member States leading to the disruption of terrorist cells.

Data from the latest Global Terrorism Index points to the Sahel and West African regions as epicentres of terrorism and violent extremism, with four countries in the region featuring in the top ten countries in the world as the most impacted by terrorism.

The President of Benin, Togo and the Prime Ministers of Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso are participating in the conference.


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