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WACCE trains over 1,800 peace ambassadors against violent extremism in Ghana

BY: Fredrick Daoyenikye

The West Africa Centre for Counter Extremism (WACCE), with support from the United States Embassy, has trained over 1, 800 peace ambassadors in selected areas in the last three years to help prevent violent extremism in Ghana.

The selected areas were considered by WACCE to be areas that were vulnerable to the threats of violent extremism in the country.

The Executive Director of WACCE, Mr Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, briefing the press in Tamale last Thursday, said all border communities in the country were considered prone to violent extremism.

According to the executive director, as the threat of violent extremism descended towards coastal states from the Sahel, Ghana faced potential threats of recruitment and radicalisation as attacks in

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger had increased since 2016,with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 alone.

“Ghana’s strong interaction with and proximity to Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali and Niger – all theatres for terrorist violence, have in the last four years provoked predictions and fears that the country could be among the next new frontier for radicalisation and attacks in West Africa,” he said.

He added that more than 13 Ghanaians were believed to have joined terrorist groups which gave a sign that if swift and adequate measures were not put in place against the threat, attacks were going to become realities in Ghana.

Women’s role Mr Muqthar said WACCE was also organising a two-day capacity building workshops in the regional capitals of the three traditional regions in the northern part of the country to empower 200 individuals to serve as effective actors in preventing violence extremism in the country.

He said women with adequate knowledge and training on the prevention of violent extremism could effect a huge positive change in the lives of vulnerable individuals, especially in the vulnerable areas in Ghana.

“Women play a catalytic role in shaping behavioural patterns and character development of the individual as they spend larger amount of time at home with children and young adults,” he added.

Background

The WACCE is an independent not-for-profit organisation focused on counter-terrorism research in West Africa, as well as a leading organisation focused on preventing violent extremism in Ghana.