The Centre, currently operating from the Political Science Department, is also aimed at raising awareness of threats posed by terrorists and other militant groups to the development of the African continent.

Terrorism
Terrorism

The ceremony also saw the swearing in of a 11-member Board of Trustees for the Centre, with Mr Justice Robin Batu, High Court Judge, as Chairman.

Mr Justice Batu in a welcome address, urged governments to share intelligence and assist each other in addressing terrorist problems.

The main target in our quest to educate the public on security and terrorism issues will be the youth, particularly those in educational institutions, adding, recent reports of students from our educational institutions joining a major terrorist organisation should be a wake-up call to us.

Mr Justice Batu said the youth were exposed to all sorts of radical ideas by peers, clerics and on the internet, and our aim was to serve as a platform for the open and frank discussion of such ideas.

He said plans were far advanced to facilitate the training of journalists on how to avoid creating security situations in the course of their work.

He said to counter terrorism or minimize its impact, the populace needed the actual perpetrators of terrorism, saying that acts of terror were not committed by only groups.

The general public need to be educated on how to identify these lone wolves because the world has shrunk so much through technology that neighbours learn from persons in other countries how to make a bomb to create mayhem in your country and so the fight against terrorism should be concerted global effort.

He said in West Africa and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, this threat appears to be very real with several news reports of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya.

Kenya, he said, had been at the receiving end of many terrorist attacks in recent times, citing an example that in September, 2013, Al Shabaab militants attacked the Westgate Mall, claiming about 27 lives including a prominent Ghanaian academic, with several injuries.

Mr Daniel Fennel, Counsellor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy, said the US government was supporting a wide range of programmes and other initiatives to advance the themes of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

He said the US would continue to advance on-going and planned CVE efforts through robust programming and coordinated implementation totaling approximately 188million dollars.

He disclosed that the US government was working on five themes in Africa; improving and sharing analysis of violent extremism, developing skills, expertise and strategies to counter violent extremism, strengthening community-police and community security force relations as ingredients for countering and preventing the spread of violent extremism, building community resilience and radicalization to violent extremism, and elevating the role of religious voices and promoting educational initiatives to build resilience against extremist recruitment.

He said new initiatives in Africa and the Sahel would build capacities among community and government leaders, to counter violent extremism locally, with a variety of tools, including counter-messaging strategies.

USAID’s West Africa Office is working on a regional project, known as the peace and development project, the US Embassy grants mechanism funds CVE efforts at the bilateral levels

Currently ISIL is terrorizing the people of Syria and Iraq, and engaging in unspoken cruelty, threatening religious minorities with genocide, beheading hostages.

There have been attacks in Egypt, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, New York and Copenhagen. We must remain unwavering in our fight against terrorist organizations.

Mr Adeleye Lawal, Deputy Defence Attaché, Nigerian High Commission, said government’s response to the insurgent threat had been mainly through the use of military force to fight insurgency in Northern Nigeria.

He said other initiatives taken to fight terrorism in Nigeria include attempts by the government to dialogue with the group, which had not seen much progress, adding however that it was believed that the attempt of the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who was also taking a step in this direction would ultimately yield success.

Source: GNA/newsghana.com.gh

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