The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has stressed the need for member states to find ways to collectively fight terrorist attacks in the sub-region.
Speaking at the opening session of the 59th ECOWAS summit in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said the fight against terrorism must be a collective effort, and, as such, it is incumbent on ECOWAS to come together and assist countries, such as Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali, that are at the front line of the battle against terrorism and violent extremism, to win the fight.
“The reports of terrorist attacks in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso are troubling. The terror attack in Burkina Faso which resulted in the death of 132 civilians, including children, on 5th June is the latest outrage. I went to Ouagadougou in the name of the community to commiserate with President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and also offer our condolences, sympathies, and support to the government and people of Burkina Faso in the dark hour.”
“These developments should reinforce our collective commitment to pursue and implement with renewed vigour the decisions taken at our extraordinary summit on terrorism on 14th September 2019. This concerted effort must be a major issue and a priority of objective for the community,” he added.
“This is a matter of dignity and sovereignty which affects all nations in the region. None of our countries is insulated from the threats,” the ECOWAS chair stressed.
The 59th Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra was attended by 15 Heads of State in West Africa, except Mali, which has been suspended from the regional bloc, following the recent political upheavals in the country.
Borders will be secured over potential terrorist attack in Bolga, Tamale – Ambrose Dery
Following the happenings in Burkina Faso, Ghana’s Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, has stated that the government is working on securing the country’s borders over reports of potential terrorist attacks in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, and Tamale in the Northern Region.
Mr. Dery says the borders will remain closed and tightly guarded by the military and police to keep citizens safe.
“We currently have a combined operation of the army, police, and Immigration. We also have the Northern Border Project. We have already closed the borders, but the fact is that most of them are porous, so we are doing a lot to cover all those porous borders. We are not going to open the borders until we are sure it is safe enough to do so.”
Police in the Upper East Region have issued an alert that some suspected bandits from Burkina Faso are planning to attack some parts of the country.
A police wireless message sighted by Citi News warned that the bandits have earmarked Bolgatanga and Tamale as their targets, warning that the attack could take place any time soon.
According to the internal memo, the bandits, who are in possession of military-grade weapons, infiltrated the country “at yet to be identified locations in the Northern Regions and are poised to launch the attack any moment from now.”
All regional commanders have been directed to increase patrols to quell the attacks.
In May 2019, hundreds of victims of terrorist attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso sought refuge in Ghana, according to officials of the Sissala East Municipal Assembly in the Upper West Region.