British Ministers to discuss new security policy in Ghana following withdrawal from Mali

British troops are expected to arrive in Ghana after their withdrawal from Mali following the involvement of Russian mercenaries in the fight against terrorism in the country and the growing strength of jihadist groups in the area.

In view of this, British ministers are expected to arrive in Ghana to throw their support behind the Accra Initiative and reach a new security agreement which will position Ghana and by extension Burkina Faso as the new frontline against jihadist terrorism.

This was contained in a news article by the Telegraph.

The UK Minister for Armed Forces, James Heappey is expected to arrive in Accra to try and carve out a new security policy to curb the southward trajectory of the jihadists who are currently pillaging and laying siege to entire towns in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire all signed up to the Accra Initiative in 2017. This a coalition which aims at stopping insecurity spilling over their borders from the Sahel.

Background from BBC

Last week, the UK’s Defence Minister James Heappey announced that it was withdrawing troops from Mali earlier than planned due to political instability in the country.

Since 2020, around 300 British soldiers had been in the country as part of a UN mission to protect the local population from Islamist extremism.

Mr Heappey said two coups in Mali in three years had “undermined” efforts.

He also attacked the current Malian government for working with the Russian mercenary group Wagner.

“The Wagner Group is linked to mass human rights abuses and the Malian government’s partnership with the Wagner Group is counterproductive to lasting stability and security in their region,” he told MPs.

The operation in Mali had been described as “the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world” and 288 UN soldiers have lost their lives there since 2013.

While in the region, British troops had conducted long-range reconnaissance patrols against Islamist militant groups in the area such as al-Qaeda and Islamic state.

The UK is the latest country to pull its troops from Mali, with France formally ending its decade-long presence last week.

French troops had been in Mali at the request of the then-government, however, since seizing power in 2020, Mali’s military rulers have fallen out with France and have instead turned to Russia to help in their fight against Islamist insurgents who are wreaking havoc across much of the country.

There are widespread and credible reports that Russia’s Wagner group of mercenaries has been helping Mali, although this has never been officially acknowledged by either Russia or Mali.

However, human rights groups have accused the Russians working with Mali’s army of atrocities, such as the killing of around 300 civilians in April.

Meanwhile, the Islamist insurgency, which was the soldiers’ justification for taking power has only gotten worse.

More than 4,000 people have been killed in the past year and many parts of the country are outside the control of Mali’s military junta.

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