The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called on leaders of the global community to put into full effect the provisions of Chapters Seven and Eight of the UN Charter and provide proportionate support to Africa’s fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
According to President Akufo-Addo, despite the considerable economic difficulties confronting ECOWAS Member States, eleven (11) Member States of the fifteen (15) Member States of ECOWAS have made clear their willingness to fight the terrorists if they were sufficiently empowered.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking on “Democracy and Security in West Africa”, at the United States Institute of Peace’s Program on Governance and Peace on Thursday in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
“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,” he said. The President continued, “On the other hand, the security assistance from the US, the EU and the UK to ECOWAS has, in total, in the same period, amounted to US$29.6 million.” With the right amount of support for ECOWAS, he was certain 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.”
The president used the opportunity to explain the emergence and trajectory of terrorists in West Africa.
“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.”
Citing rising levels of displacement of populations in many parts of the Sahel due to the insecurity engendered by the armed groups, President Akufo-Addo, who has been a 2-term Chairman of ECOWAS, said, “Africa has become the center of attraction for terrorist groups that are multiplying in the region, following defeats suffered in other parts of the world.”
In the face of marked successes chalked, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing countries, has unfortunately, “left many countries and regional bodies, particularly in the Sahel, in very dire economic situations. This has compounded the challenges we face in the mobilization of resources to fight terrorists in our backyards.” The focus on this and the challenge against democracy across the region, the President added, is because “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.”