Ghanaian General urges capacity building for women, youth to tackle terrorism

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By Mark Longyen

Maj.-Gen. Richard Gyane, Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana, has called for capacity building for women and youth to build their resilience to tackle terrorism.

Gyane made this known at the opening ceremony of a Mobile Training course on Women, Youth, and Violent Extremism and Terrorism, organised by KAIPTC in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training aims at building the capacities of women and youth in Nigeria to be more resilient against the threat of Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET).

He explained that heavy-handed tactics by security forces have sown distrust among and within local communities in some countries, making women and youth more vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by terrorists.

The commandant said that terrorist groups exploited latent ethnic animosities, mistrust of security forces, and the absence of state presence in certain parts of the littoral countries to enhance their agenda.

He explained that the training developed by KAIPTC for women and youth, which was the sixth edition, would equip the beneficiaries with requisite knowledge skills and resilience against VET.

“As we gather here today, it is clear that VET continues to escalate at an alarming rate in coastal states of West Africa.

“This is terrifying for citizens, especially women, youth, and children, although what we see is just the tip of the iceberg.

“As such, there is a need for partners to remain committed in this fight against VET by building the resilience of their main targets (women, youth, and vulnerable communities), to prevent and counter the recruitment processes of these VET groups.

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“It is obvious that there is a critical need to build the resilience and capacity of women and youth to also support the efforts of security practitioners in achieving this unity of purpose.

“KAIPTC collaborates with its key and strategic partners to organise VET-related courses both at the centre and as Mobile Training Teams (MTTs), because the fight against VET is not only for security practitioners but for all,” he said.

Gyane said that as security responses to the threat of VET ramped up, the ability of governments in the littoral countries to avoid the mistakes of their counterparts in the Sahel (Mali and Burkina Faso) was critical.

He explained that KAIPTC preferred to teach participants through collaborative problem-based learning methodology and based on peer learning.

Gyane urged them to be actively involved in the training and offering informed suggestions to address the VET threat regionally.

Dr Joseph Ochogwu, Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), who declared the training opened, said the institute was glad to identify with KAIPTC, adding that the strategic course was timely.

Ochogwu said that women and youth were the worst hit by the menace of violent extremism and terrorism particularly due to their high level of vulnerability.

“My presence here today to join forces with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and Norwegian Government in the swift conduct of this strategic Course, is a testament of our resolve to achieving a nation and continent devoid of violent extremism and terrorism.

“It is my earnest belief and the belief of the entire team at IPCR that working together, we can create a safer and more secure future for our nation and the entire West African region.

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“I have no doubt in my mind that this five-day event will achieve its overarching goals of equipping the participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to combat Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Nigeria, Sahel Region and Africa as a whole,” the IPCR DG said.

He added that the array of experienced resource persons participating in the course was proof that all stakeholders were determined to stamp out VET for regional stability, integration, sustainable development and global peace.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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