By Ebi Kesiena
An EU fleet of 100 armored vehicles was delivered on Saturday to Ghana as part of increased border security assistance for coastal West African nations affected by conflicts in the Sahel region.
Ghana, along with Gulf of Guinea neighbors Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast, are increasingly at risk from violence in the Sahel especially after coups in Burkina Faso and Niger where the junta has demanded the withdrawal of French troops there.
In Accra, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with President Nana Akufo-Addo and announced 105 armoured vehicles would be delivered to Ghana, along with aerial surveillance equipment and electronic warfare systems.
“The spill over of insecurity from the Sahel to the Gulf of Guinea countries is not a risk anymore. It is sadly a reality. A reality that our partners cannot and should not face alone,” he said.
Borrell said EU investment would also target job creation and services especially in northern Ghana where there are concerns jihadists seek to take advantage of ethnic tensions and economic dissatisfaction to recruit Ghanaian youth.
In a statement, the EU said the Ghana aid was part of a broader 616 million euros package to strengthen defence and security of the four coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea.
While Ghana has not yet reported any jihadist attacks inside its territory, Benin’s military say they have faced around 20 incursions from across the border since 2021. Togo has also suffered attacks on its northern frontier.
Earlier this year, Ghana sent 1,000 more troops and police to the northern area of Bawku to reinforce security after gunmen killed an immigration officer and wounded two others near the border with Burkina Faso.
Gunmen recently killed nine people when they opened fire on a bus in a northern Ghana district close to the border with Burkina Faso and Togo.