12 young Ghanaian men recruited by extremists

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Officers of the counterterrorism force in Burkina Faso | Photo file

It is established that 12 young men from Ghana have been recruited and are involved in violent extremist activities.

These young people were reportedly recruited from northern Ghana and from notable higher education institutions in the country.

The President of the Network on Security and Peace for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO, Ghana), Euphemia Akos Djator, revealed it on GTV Breakfast.

Her mission on the show was to talk about how violent extremism affects women and how women can lead the way in empowering themselves and bringing others into the conversation to remove the threat from society.

Violent extremism simply means “inflicting violence to perpetuate ideologies,” Ms. Djator said. “It could be religious or political ideologies, etc. ‘she explained.

Ms. Djator cited “Boko Haram” (generally translated as “Western education is prohibited”) in Nigeria as an example of an extremist group.

It is known that the Boko Haram insurgency began in July 2009, when the jihadist group Boko Haram launched an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict is unfolding against the backdrop of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria’s Muslim and Christian communities, and the insurgents’ ultimate goal is to establish an Islamic state in the region.

The researchers concluded that women are the lifeblood of any society. Unfortunately, during the activities of violent extremists, these women become vulnerable, as in some cases their spouses are killed, which places an additional burden on them to take full responsibility as a livelihood for their families, in addition to already social and gender roles that they assume.

The Network on Security and Peace for Women in the ECOWAS Region, NOPSWECO, believes that violent extremist activities place increased responsibility on women.

That is why it is necessary to educate and empower young people against violent extremism and to talk about its impact on society.

Madame Djator suggested that women should pay more attention to how their children are socialized and how conflicts between siblings are resolved.

“The way and manner in which families resolve conflicts would give children an indication of how to deal with conflict,” she said.

She called on people to be more vigilant in their communities, in order to identify and suppress extreme terrorist activity.

NOPSWECO, Ghana Board Member Vincent Azumah said he chose to support women to fight violent extremism because “if women are successful men would do better, it is important that every man forward thinking supports what women do, ”he noted.

Mr. Azumah revealed that not only are men involved in violent extremism, so far, women are too.

“A lot of girls would be co-opted into extremist groups, and once they have the ideology, that’s how it starts,” he said.

He also revealed that as many as 363 attacks have reportedly taken place in West Africa, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria, etc. at the end of 2020 only. And from January to June 2021, up to 540 attacks have taken place in the countries indicated so far.

He urged the state to put in place more mechanisms to support early warning within communities.

“There should be more awareness, the porous borders of the country should be checked, tenants should keep an eye on their tenants and their activities, all of which would help reduce violent extremism,” Azumah said.

Now how can a person help detect if someone is involved in extremist activity.

Researchers say these people are usually isolated and withdrawn, some suddenly change their attitude and start engaging in very extremist conversations, usually highly political and ideological in some cases, some people also stay on their computer or handset for countless hours.

Network on security and peace for women in the ECOWAS region, NOPSWECO calls for more support to reduce the activities of violent extremism, especially in West Africa.

NOPSWECO is a network of around 600 people from 15 ECOWAS countries concerned with promoting peace and security, and combating sexual exploitation and abuse against women, among others.


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