General News of Monday, 23 September 2013
An international relations analyst, Prof. Keith Bluwey, has told the XYZ Breakfast Show that Ghana, just like Kenya, is at risk of a terrorist attack from fundamentalist Islamic militant group al-Shabab.
“…It can happen here too. They can, by any pretence, decide to ambush and to stage an uprising in Ghana. It can easily happen”, he told Kwame Danso Acheampong on the topsy-turvy holiday edition of the XYZ Breakfast show on Monday September 23, 2013.
Ghana’s literary figure, Professor Kofi Awoonor-Williams, was one of the 68 victims who died in the al-Shabab attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi on Saturday September 21.
At least 175 people, including Prof. Awoonor’s son survived the attack but sustained serious injuries.
The militants are still holed up in the mall with about 10 hostages.
Kenya’s military is attempting to rescue the hostages.
The al-Qaeda-linked group bears Kenya a grudge for helping AU forces in 2011 to push it out of provinces it controlled in southern and central parts of Somalia.
Even though Ghana has no troops in Somalia, Prof. Bluwey, who lecturers at both the University of Ghana, Legon; and the University of Education, Winneba, says “the way things are, it can happen anywhere, including Ghana although we are not known to be in the forefront leadership as either a Christian bloc or in any way opposed to Muslims…but it can happen here”.
He however conceded that: “Although I must say that I’ve not seen any signs of it happening here, but it can happen, so we must all be concerned that the world must take action so that we hear what exactly their grievances are and try to see if we can come to accommodation with them”.
Al-Shabab means The Youth in Arabic. It emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia's now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts in 2006, as it fought Ethiopian forces that had entered Somalia to back the weak interim government.
There are numerous reports of foreign jihadists going to Somalia to help al-Shabab.
It has imposed a strict version of Sharia in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.