The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) will begin four days of anti-terrorism exercises today.
Codenamed Exercise Eagle Claws 2021, GAF representatives have stated that the exercises are meant to ensure that troops are adequately equipped and operationally prepared to respond to security threats. The exercises will take place in northern Ghana, where the GAF will be joined by security services and intelligence agencies.
Recently, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has highlighted jihadist terrorism as one of the most pressing security challenges for Ghana and the other 14 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Terrorist threats have become an increasing problem for West African countries. In the short-term, terrorist groups may attempt to take advantage of the weakened pandemic-era economic conditions within lower- and middle-income countries in West Africa to gain territory. Yet, this week’s exercises are expected to draw national media attention to terrorism and reinforce the importance of government diligence in safeguarding territory against jihadist groups. The exercise reflects Ghana’s confidence and interest in leading efforts against jihadist terrorism, signaling a desire to strengthen coordination with other members of ECOWAS as well as Accra’s willingness to potentially position itself as a regional anti-terrorism leader.
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