The Bono Regional Peace Council (NPC) has sensitised residents of Sampa, a community along the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region, on emerging issues of terrorism and violent extremism.
The two-day public dialogue and sensitisation workshop, funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), was in-line with a project titled; ‘Peace Building for Peaceful Election in 2020,’ being implemented by the council.
It sought to sensitise border communities on critical emerging issues, including violent extremism and terrorism, to empower the residents to identify and help tackle threats of terrorism in the country.
In a welcoming address, Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, Bono Regional Executive Secretary of the NPC, took the participants through the mandate of the Council, and asked them to join it to preserve the prevailing national peace and social cohesion.
He said though the country had not reported any major terrorist attack, Ghana was not immune from such, saying, “these terrorist attacks are happening around us within the sub-region.”
Alhaji Quandah explained that the workshop was to build the capacity of community leaders and all stakeholders to enable them identify such acts, and report to the appropriate authorities accordingly.
He, therefore, called for a collaborative approach among all stakeholders towards protecting the nation from such.
Mr. Solomon Owusu, Jaman North District Chief Executive, lauded the project, saying, its implementation in the area was of utmost importance, considering the location of Sampa as a border town, which serves as an entry and exit point for all manner of persons.
He said the district and Sampa, the capital, remained peaceful, while admitting that no country or society was immune to acts of terrorism and extremism, hence the need for everybody to remain vigilant.
Mr. Ernest Ansah Lartey, Head, Peace and Security Studies at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and a facilitator, took the participants through the concept of violent extremism and terrorism.
He also highlighted national approaches towards preventing and countering violent extremism, as well as exploring local and community approaches to addressing these issues.