The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Savannah Region on 4th of July, 2023 organised an European Union sponsored youth engagement meeting on Preventing and containing violent extremism (PCVE).

In his welcome remarks at the Sawla multi-purpose community center hall, the NCCE Director for the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District Mr Issahaku Losina said the main aim of the engagement is to educate and orientate the Youth on the signs of radicalization and violent extremism in order for all stakeholders especially the Youth to come on board to prevent violent extremism in the various Communities.

He mentioned that the Youth should be courageous enough to form community watchdogs to tighten security loops in the various Communities.

Mr Losina added; “all can be security conscious and also be vigilant to report suspicious characters to the security agencies”

Addressing the participants, the Ghana Immigration Service Commander for the Bole and Sawla Sector, Mr. Appiah Benefo said the government of Ghana, the Immigration Service and other Security agencies are in a mass campaign on how to curb the intrusion of violent extremists in Ghana and that due to how extremists actions are, it’s necessary engaging the Youth and the general public to assist prevent extremists in our communities and at social events.

Mr Benefo said violent extremism includes terrorism, and the Bole and Sawla sector Immigration service is in charge of the border areas especially the main entry and exit points of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire at Chache and Kalba

According to Mr Benefo security is a shared responsibility and these violent extremists are within the people and they can be a brother, sister, Fulani ane so and for that matter all should endeavor to take it as a responsibility not to accommodate or condone any form of violence.

He stated;
“We all know that the violent extremists are approaching the coastal countries and we know that Ghana is stable but it is a target and we cannot all sit for Ghana to be invaded before we do something; we cannot sit to see violent extremism happening in Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina- Faso before we charge up and so the engagement seeks to build the capabilities of border communities to ensure that we identify the right strategies, coping mechanisms, and safety mechanisms to ensure that communities stay safe and they also work in collaboration with security forces, local government, and traditional leaders to stay safe”.

Mr Benefo said that the campaign encourages the public to be vigilant of the activities of suspicious characters and report such activities and characters to security agencies.

He also said that the engagement seeks to build the capacities of border communities to identify the right mechanisms to defend Ghana from violent extremist attacks. Due to this, the border communities of the Savannah region at Chahe and Kalba have been empowered to resist entry.

Speaking at the youth engagement forum, Fr. Martin Kuusangnayiri of the Sawla Catholic Church said that, Peer group influence, poverty, and lack of awareness and education are the major areas that facilitate easy entry of terrorists into a country. That nowadays, many juveniles want to get rich quicker and because of that they engage in all sorts of dubious means of accomplishing their target.

He said that the youth can engage in irrigation farming, rearing animals, and setting up businesses than trying the nefarious means of getting rich through ransackings and killings.

A member of the Sawla District Football Association (DFA), Mr. Alhassan Abdul Rahman who happens to be part of the meeting said that he was very elated about the courage and steps that brought up such a meeting to sensitize and disseminate the measures for preventing and containing violent extremism. That one of the easier ways extremists penetrate communities is by making friends with the ladies and he and several others who are part of the meeting will disseminate and discourage such engagements.