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A Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) report on Border Community Monitoring has indicated that the level of security awareness among residents of border communities is largely below average.
“More specifically, the level of security awareness was rated as ‘good or very good’ among 46% of residents of border communities and rated as either ‘very poor’, ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ among the majority (54%) of residents engaged during the community monitoring,” it said in a statement.
Its data also describes the current security situation in the communities monitored as either good, standing at 43%; very good, standing at 14%, or excellent standing at 2%.
One hundred and thirteen communities representing 42% of the communities monitored were, however, rated as ‘very poor’, ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ on this indicator, the report added.
“In about 87% of communities monitored during the reporting period, there were no observed signs of terrorism or violent extremist activities. However, in about 11% of the communities, the volunteers reported either observing or hearing about suspected criminal activities and cases of illegal cross-border activities, including the smuggling of goods.”
The report also noted that in over eight in 10 communities monitored, there were no observed signs of youth radicalization.
However, it noted that some youth were involved in substance abuse.
The communities cited included Leklebi Dafor, Leklebi Agbesia, and Kame in the Volta Region, Ketukalonte and Dakpakodzi located in Oti Region, Baamoah in the Western North Region, Dimali and Nachamba Number Two in the Northern Region.
In many instances, some youth involved in substance abuse were also identified among people who indulge in violent acts, the report added.
For this report, the CDD deployed 85 trained local volunteers to 44 selected border districts across Ghana to, among other things, monitor and report on issues related to border security and facilitate continuous engagements between residents of border communities and the various security agencies present in the area.
The exercise forms part of the Center’s ‘Enhancing Citizen Participation in Border Security Management project, which aims at improving the security awareness of citizens along, and across border communities as a proactive step in contributing to enhancing Ghana’s border security in the face of surging cross border crimes and external security threats in West Africa.