General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The Minority in Parliament has called on government to probe a Libyan report that said about 50 to 100 Ghanaian migrants have featured prominently as members of ISIS in Libya.
According to the Minority, they have taken interest in the report because of its ramification to the country’s security and international image.
Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Minority Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs made the call at a press conference organised by the Minority in Parliament.
The Head of Investigations at the Libyan Attorney General’s Office, Al-Seddiq al-Sour at a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on September 28, 2017 made a presentation of a special inquiry ordered by the Attorney General of Libya after the NATO backed liberation of Sirte, the activities of the Islamic State to the international media.
The report shed light on the inner workings of the terrorist organisation in Libya including its “government structure, leadership organisation, funding and membership”.
According to the report, most of the revelations were obtained from confessions of captured ISIS fighters who have been detained by the Libyan Authorities.
The inquiry also indicated that Ghanaian migrants feature prominently as members of the so-called Islamic State in Libya. The group is considered to belong to the second highest category of 50-100.
According to the explanation by the Libyan Attorney General’s Office between 50-100 Ghanaian migrants have been identified as active frontline fighters of ISIS in Libya. Ghana appears in this category with seven other countries namely Senegal, Gambia, Chad, Niger, Eritrea, Mali and Somalia.
Only four other countries Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and host nation Libya who belong to the first category of 100 and over, were found to have more Islamic State fighters than the group Ghana finds itself.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa therefore called on the government to provide the needed assurance to Ghanaians and its international security partners that the matter was receiving very high level attention within Ghana-Libya Counter Terrorism Framework and the global fight against terror.
He urged government to take steps to ascertain to what extent the Ghanaian nationality claims in the report were accurate and that Ghana’s national security apparatus must exchange intelligence with their Libyan counterparts on how these people, if indeed they were Ghanaians were being recruited and radicalised with the view to eliminating all such threats and conduits.
He called on the government to put in place measures to ensure that none of these alleged Ghanaian Islamic State fighters were allowed to return to Ghana without strict clearance and surveillance.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa further urged government to provide detail of all steps it was taking to work with other friendly nations who have provided intelligence support to monitor all terrorist recruitment activities as well as provide public information on how terrorist recruitment was conducted in order that citizens could be aware of how the “signs of radicalisation” in young people could be identified.
He urged the government to engage religious leaders of both Moslem and Christian groups to get them to reach out to their congregations and develop programmes within their organisation to create awareness of attempts to radicalise young people and to prevent them from falling prey to ISIS propaganda.
Meanwhile, the Majority in Parliament in a separate press conference described the Minority’s press conference as mischievous and calculated to create fear and panic in the country.
According to the Majority, the Minority as a responsible opposition should tread with caution on issues bordering on the country’s security and international image.
Mr Frank Annor Dompreh, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs also stated that the impression created by Mr Ablakwa during their press conference that the Committee of Foreign Affairs met to discuss the Libyan Attorney General report was false.
He said it came to him as a surprise since the report was not part of the Committee’s agenda for discussion for the day.
He said report which the Minority had highlighted in their press conference was not new and was already being investigated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Annor Dompreh also stated that the Majority members on the Committee as at now had not seen the Minority’s Libyan report and as such cannot vow for its authenticity.