Ghana’s defence minister Dominic Nitiwul has said at least 840 terrorist attacks were recorded in the first quarter of this year, resulting in 2,482 casualties.

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS committee of chiefs of defence staff in Accra on Thursday (5 May), Nitiwul said the development is worrying and must be addressed.

“As you are well aware, the activities of violent extremist organisations, terrorist armed groups and transnational organised criminal networks have increased in the sub-region, despite the current national and regional efforts to combat the trend,” Nitiwul said.

“The sub-region is saddled with complex transnational crimes committed both in the physical and cyber domains. Terrorists’ activities have assumed cross border dimensions with far reaching implication’s for civil societies, regional security and global peace and development,” he added.

“Indeed, by the end of the first quarter of this year 2022 lone, 840 attacks have already resulted in 2,482 casualties.”

Purpose of the meeting

The top military brass at the gathering will discuss the implementation of the recommendations of their 41st session held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 17 to 19 November 2021, where the regional security situation arising from terrorist attacks and the increase in illegal acts at sea was top on the agenda.

It should be pointed out that a number of recommendations were made at their last meeting in Abidjan including: (a) the operational reinforcement of the forces of the frontline countries against terrorism through training and the acquisition of specific equipment, (bstrengthening the logistical capacity of the forces of the frontline countries and (c) financial support for the planning and conduct of joint operations along the borders of the frontline countries.. In that regard, the ECOWAS Commission will provide financial support for the organisation of the joint operation by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo.

The meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff will also discuss priorities for operational and logistics support and modalities for allocating capacities to Member States concerned.

It should be recalled that the ECOWAS committee of chiefs of defence staff is an institutional body in charge of conflict prevention and management in the region, bringing together all the chiefs of defence staff of the 15 member states of the bloc.

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