Terrorist groups are recruiting in Ghana - Information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah hints

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah - Wikipedia

Terrorist groups operating in the West African sub-region have managed to recruit some Ghanaians to aid their cause, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.

Religious and political extremists have heightened their activities along the borders of Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in recent times killing scores of civilians.

Speaking in an interview with Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (19 July) Oppong Nkrumah said: “I am sad to say that our security situation in West Africa is getting a bit more precarious and we are having to pay a lot more attention to it than before.

“Terrorism and piracy are some of our biggest security threats today around West Africa. If you look at the numbers and how close, it is getting home…”

He added: “And the fact that now we have reason to believe that some recruitments have gone on here in Ghana, participating in the West Africa terrorism enterprise, there is a lot more that needs to be done.”

Nkrumah assured that the government is beefing up security along the country’s borders to prevent any possible attacks.

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“There is clarity that there is cause for us to worry. Already, the government has done a lot, more troops, more equipment have been moved up North.”

In early May, pirates kidnapped at least five crew members onboard a fishing vessel near Ghana’s harbour city, Tema. 

According to eyewitnesses, the vessel was approached by a skiff with eight persons onboard.

Five of the alleged armed pirates then seized the vessel for close to six hours, disembarking with five crew members including the captain, chief officer, second chief officer, chief engineer and boatswain’s mate.

“They also stole belongings and valuables of the crew,” a security source told Asaase News.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB), in the first six months of 2020 at least 49 crew were kidnapped for ransom in the Gulf of Guinea and held captive on land for up to six weeks.

Thirty-two seafarers were kidnapped between March and June 2020. These attacks are now taking place further out from shore, with about two thirds of the vessels affected being attacked on the High Seas from between 20 to 130 nautical miles off the Gulf of Guinea coastline.

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