The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sissala East Municipality, Honorable Karim Nanyua, has urged the residents of the Municipality that there is the need for border communities to collaborate effectively with security agencies and report suspicious activities or persons that have the potential to undermine peace and security.
He also asked for the residents in the border communities to increase their vigilance and deepen collaboration with other stakeholders to identify and respond to early potential threats of violent extremism.
“The threat of violent extremism is real. Therefore, I am pleading with everyone, especially those living in border communities to be extra vigilant and report individuals with suspicious characters to the security agencies. We must learn how to speak about
issues concerning threats when we see them.”
Honorable Nanyua made this appeal at a peace building, early warning and response training engagement with communities and youth groups in the Sissala East District organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Upper West Regional Peace Council.
Be active ambassadors of peace
Also addressing the gathering, Kuoro Kwabalugu Ali, Chief of Kwapun further encouraged young people to be active ambassadors of cohesion, peace and stability in their communities. He advised the youth not to allow themselves to be recruited as agents of violent extremism and terrorism to destabilize their own communities.
Hala-kuoro Hajaratu Limann I, the President of the Upper West Region Queen Mothers Association, also noted that women can also play a part in ensuring peace.
“This engagement has taught me the role women can play in peace building and preventing violent extremism. So, I am going to convene to my colleague queen mothers, and educate them so that we can all help in keeping our communities safe.”
The stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the engagement and pledged their commitment to helping in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism.
The engagement which adopted a ‘Whole of Community Approach’- targeting everyone in the community in building and strengthening resilience against terrorism and violent extremism, brought together about 50 participants.
The participants were from traditional authorities, local government, youth groups, women groups, religious leaders, persons with disabilities, faith-United Nations Development Programme based organizations, security services and civil society organizations within the Sissala East District.
Engagement supported by Swedish gov’t
The engagement, which is supported by the Governments of Sweden and the Netherlands, seeks to equip the stakeholders with the requisite knowledge and skills to identify and analyse early warning signs as well as general early warning information, and report them in real-time for timely response by the appropriate authorities.
The engagement saw stakeholders taken through civic engagement and peace building, gender dimensions to peace building and conflict prevention, and strategies to preventing violent extremists’ activities among others.