No country is immune to terrorism – Akufo-Addo
ECOWAS Chairman President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked West African leaders to form a strong alliance to deal with terrorism in the sub-region.
According to him, terrorist attacks across West Africa was a call for collective response.
He said this at the 59th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS in Accra on Saturday, June 19.
From 2020 to date, ECOWAS countries have recorded over 700 attacks and more than 2,000 civilian and military deaths, increasing the number of displaced persons.
These attacks occurred largely in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, spreading to other coastal countries.
Burkina Faso, on June 5, suffered a terrorist attack, which resulted in the death of some 132 civilians, including children.
The Malian military, led by 37-year-old Col Assimi Goïta on August 18, 2020, ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar.
In May this year, Col Goïta, who had already seized power and declared himself interim president, was named the country’s leader by the constitutional court, named him its transitional president.
Nigeria, which has been battling terrorist attacks for some time, also had more than a dozen people, including soldiers and vigilantes, killed in a terror attack in a remote town in northeast Borno State in May this year.
Boko Haram attacked the remote town of Ajiri, 55 kilometres (34 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of northeast Borno State.
In March 2021, heightened insecurity and additional violence in northern Cote d’Ivoire saw two attacks against a military position.
The incidents occurred in Kafolo and Tehini, leaving at least six dead, including three attackers, with five other security personnel injured.
These developments, President Akufo-Addo said, should reinforce the collective commitment of the leaders of ECOWAS to pursue and implement, with renewed vigour, the decisions taken at its Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism two years ago.
“This concerted effort, which must be a major issue and a priority objective for the Community, is the best way for us to address this security challenge.
It is a matter of dignity and sovereignty, which affects all nations in the region. None of our countries is insulated from the threats of terrorism,” the ECOWAS Chair said.
He, however, pledged to use Ghana’s non-permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to ensure that the voice of Africa was heard on the global stage.
The ECOWAS Chair lauded the support of the rest of Africa, which made Ghana get the highest number of votes (185) to win the UN Security Council slot.
“I assure your excellencies that Ghana will make sure that Africa’s voice is heard loud and clear in the deliberations of the Security Council both on matters affecting our region and the continent and on global issues,” Akufo-Addo said.
“We will consult broadly to define Africa’s interests,” he added.