The youth in the Pusiga District of the Upper East Region have been urged to be peace ambassadors to educate community members on the threat of violent extremism in the area.
Mr Seidu Yakubu, Pusiga District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who made the call, urged the youth to be on high alert and report any unusual events in terms of crimes related to violent extremism to the appropriate authorities to act on.
He gave the advice when the Pusiga District Directorate of the NCCE engaged some youth activists amongst other stakeholders of the district on violent extremism and measures to prevent it in the area.
The day’s event, held at Pusiga, formed part of the Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana project funded by the European Union to amongst others counter violent extremism in the country.
The engagement was to enhance participants’ understanding of peacebuilding mechanisms, community-based mechanisms for countering violent extremism, identifying early warning signals, community surveillance and basic community-based strategies for countering arms proliferation.
Mr Yakubu noted that Pusiga was one of the vulnerable districts that shared border with a country that had been under attack from terrorist groups in recent times hence the need for residents to be on high alert.
He revealed that “The NCCE got a confirmation from a family member of their young brother (victim) getting recruited to the terrorist group in Burkina Faso through marriage”.
He told the participants that “These were warning signals for the youth to be mindful of their movement”.
He advised them to join hands with the NCCE to create awareness on the early warning signals such that the vulnerable population would not be lured into such extremists’ groups.
Mr Victor Nuwokpo, Deputy Upper East Regional Director of NCCE, said events happening in neighbouring countries in terms of violent extremism meant that there was need for communities along the border to be conscious of the terror groups to ensure security.
Chief Inspector Annoh, from the Pusiga District Police Command, who took participants through violent extremism, assured that the security agencies were on high alert to counter the activities of extremists’ groups.
He, therefore, appealed to residents to support the Police to deal with criminals in the area.
Mr Akologo Listowell, Chairman of Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Church in the area, took participants through peacebuilding mechanisms, reiterating the need for them to be peace ambassadors of the area to ensure unity and progress.
In a communique after the engagement, participants pledged their commitment to protect and guide their communities against the youth being recruited into extremist groups.
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