President Akufo-Addo interacting with Nane Maria Annan (right), wife
of the late UN Secretary General at the Kofi Annan Peace and Security
Forum, and Dr. Ibn Chambas (left).
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed worry over the increasing spate of terror attacks and the activities and operations of terrorists, especially in the West African sub-region.
With the sub-region having become a hotbed of terrorist and extremist activities as a result of greater activism of groups operating in the north eastern Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel Region, the President said Ghana cannot be immune from terrorist attack.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum held in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said that endemic poverty and widespread disillusionment amongst the youth in Africa is not only providing fertile breeding grounds for those who want to cross the Sahara desert on foot and the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats in the hope of finding a better future in Europe, but also for a new generation of terrorists and violent extremist.
“This is most worrying because surrogates of Al Qaeda in the Sahel and Boko Haram militants operating around the Lake Chad Basin, the two most active terrorist groups in West Africa, are known to exploit the unacceptable levels of poverty in these areas in the recruitment and indoctrination of the youth,” he said.
The President said the growing number of breakaway terror groups, coupled with the porous nature of African borders, calls for regional and continental approaches to contain the growing threats of the extremists.
He said the government would continue to deepen religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country, which he believes could help prevent some of these attacks.
President Akufo-Addo later broke the ground at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) at Teshie, Accra, for work to commence on the construction of a statue in honour of the memory and heroic achievements of the late former United Nations (UN) Secretary General.
Present at the ceremony were the late Kofi Anna’s wife, Nane Maria Annan, former Presidents John Mahama of Ghana, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Amos Sawyer of Liberia, Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas and a host of top dignitaries.
Kofi Annan was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.
He, together with the UN, were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and was founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organisation founded by Nelson Mandela.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent