Strengthen peace committees to curb activities of extremists - Kwesi Aning

Accra, Jan.26, GNA- Professor Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, Director of Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, says deepening and strengthening of peace committees within communities will help curb activities of extremists in the country.







He said empowering communities that were frontrunners in promoting peace to understand the threat of terrorism would help to provide intelligence for security personnel for quick response.

Prof Aning said this on Tuesday at this year's New Year School and Conference in Accra on the topic: "COVID-19 and Global Peace and Security."

He called on authorities to put in place early warning mechanisms from the local to national levels for stakeholders to be able to identify and respond to issues of extremism in time.

Prof Aning commended the Government for constituting a security taskforce to ensure adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols during the imposition of restrictions of human movement in 2020.

That, he explained had helped in containing the spread of the virus and ensuring peace and order in the country.

He emphasised the need for collaboration to deal with extremism and trans national security issues. 

Security agencies must put out strategies to avert the spread of extremism, which is gaining prominence in the country.

The current focus on counterterrorism, he said, was necessary but agencies still needed to develop new approaches to safeguard the country’s internal peace and stability.

Making reference to increasing extremist attacks in neighbouring countries, Professor Aning said Ghana risked falling prey to similar attacks because the extremists preyed on West African countries because they had them on their radar and called for the strengthening of intelligence gathering systems.

The country had over the years trivialised extremists and done little to ameliorate instances that were likely to instigate attacks, he noted.

The citizenry must, therefore, not relax on the country’s peaceful atmosphere and looked on unconcerned about the violent elements that were gaining grounds in some communities. 

He called for continuous collaboration to reinforce the relationships among member states to learn from best and worse practices and ensure the safety of all in the subregion.

Prof Aning said the coup in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea Bissau should be a wakeup call for African leaders to learn to address the concerns of the masses in time.  

GNA