President 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 him, despite the considerable economic difficulties confronting ECOWAS Member States, eleven Member States of the fifteen Member States of ECOWAS, the four military-led States having been suspended, have made clear their willingness to take the fight to the terrorists, if they were sufficiently empowered.
“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. On the other hand, the security assistance from the US, the EU and the UK to ECOWAS have, in total, in the same period, amounted to US$29.6 million.”President Akufo-Addo
With the right amount of support to ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that the terrorists “can be chased out of West Africa and the Sahel as well. He noted that foreign troops would not have to be involved in such instance.
“West African troops can do the job. The Accra Initiative is a good example of indigenous self-help.”President Akufo-Addo
Emergence of terrorists in Africa
Speaking on theme: ‘Democracy and Security in West Africa’, at the United States Institute of Peace’s Programme on Governance and Peace, President Akufo-Addo explained that the emergence of terrorists in West Africa, and the terrorists, 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.
He stated that 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 noted that “Africa has become the centre of attraction for terrorist groups which are multiplying in the region, following defeats suffered in other parts of the world”.
In the face of marked successes chalked, the President highlighted that, 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 mobilisation of resources to fight terrorists in our backyards.”President Akufo-Addo
Moreover, President Akufo-Addo expressed that the focus on the challenge against democracy across the region is because African countries have virtually run out of time to work together in the spirit of “multilateralism”.
He noted that if “we do not renew our commitments to build, keep and consolidate peace and democracy all over the world”, African nations would have to brace themselves to live in a new and more dangerous world today and in the future.