Help ECOWAS To Fight Terrorists – Akufo-Addo To US, UK

Source The Ghana Report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on Western powers to support Africa’s fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

According to President Akufo-Addo, despite the considerable economic difficulties confronting ECOWAS member states, they have made it clear their willingness to take the fight to the terrorists if they were sufficiently empowered.

President Akufo-Addo made this known while speaking on the theme “Democracy and Security in West Africa”, at the United States Institute of Peace Programme on Governance and Peace on Thursday, 12th October 2023, in Washington DC, USA.

“Comparisons, they say, are odious, but some cannot be ignored. The Russian war on Ukraine has elicited, according to my information, some US$73.6 billion in American support for Ukraine, US$138.8 billion from the European Union and its institutions, and US$14.5 billion from the United Kingdom”.

“On the other hand, the security assistance from the US, the EU and the UK to ECOWAS have, in total, in the same period, amounted to US$29.6 million,” he lamented.

With the right amount of support to ECOWAS, he was confident that the terrorists “can be chased out of West Africa and the Sahel too. Foreign troops would not have to be involved. West African troops can do the job. The Accra Initiative is a good example of indigenous self-help”.

Explaining the emergence of terrorists in West Africa, President Akufo-Addo noted that “the terrorists, as we all know, were chased out of the Middle East and Afghanistan before taking refuge in Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, from where they fled across the Sahara to find refuge in northern Mali after Gaddafi’s downfall”.

They have, since then, “spread their pernicious influence eastwards and southwards, with the coastal states of West Africa their ultimate destination”.

Referring to the rising displacement of populations in many parts of the Sahel due to the insecurity engendered by the armed groups, President Akufo-Addo said, “Africa has become the centre of attraction for terrorist groups which are multiplying in the region, following defeats suffered in other parts of the world”.

In the face of marked successes chalked, he stated that the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing countries has “left many countries and regional bodies, particularly in the Sahel, in very dire economic situations. This has compounded the challenges we face in the mobilisation of resources to fight terrorists in our backyards”.

“We have, virtually, run out of time to work together in the spirit of multilateralism,” and added that “if we do not renew our commitments to build, keep and consolidate peace and democracy all over the world, we would have to brace ourselves to live in a new and more dangerous world today and in the future”.

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