Deaths from terrorist attacks continue to rise despite marginal decline in attacks

Terrorist attacks have in recent times been widespread in the West African region

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Terrorist attacks in the West Africa region seem to be declining marginally. The Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah says the region experienced 17 attacks in June 2022, when it recorded 42 and 47 attacks in May and April respectively.

However, the number of deaths from these attacks continues to rise, despite the marginal decline in the numbers. 574 deaths were recorded in the attack in June, 465 deaths in May, and 315 deaths in April. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the First Senior Level Regional Course for the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) for the West Africa Region, in Accra, Mr. Kan-Dapaah said: “In April, the subregion of West Africa witnessed attacks, incidents, and 315 people died. We felt that was too much, but in May, there were only 42 incidents, five less than in April, but 465 people died. The trend has not changed.”

He noted that the major security threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism were more widespread than previously thought, transcending borders. 

Terrorist attacks have in recent times been widespread in the West African region. Countries like Togo recently joined the ranks of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d'lvoire and Burkina Faso as countries in the region that have experienced terrorism attacks by violent extremists organisations.

As participants are meeting for the four-day course, it is expected that they would use the opportunity to reflect on measures, and strategies deployed so far towards addressing terrorism and violent extremism.

The PVE Senior Level Course is jointly organised by the African Union’s (AU) specialised institution – African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and the Human Security Research Centre (HSRC)-Ghana.