10 June 2019

Ghana: The Need for Vigilance At Ghana's Border Town

THE General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Northern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Francis Ofori has given assurance that security has been beefed up at border towns to protect the country.

Brigadier General Ofori said the National Security has also launched two major projects to ensure that there were no gaps in the nation's security detail and also to sensitise citizens to make them security conscious.

Although he did not give details, there were increased physical presence of security personnel as seen by our reporter who covered the tour of the GOC to some border towns in the Upper West Region (UWR).

Brigadier General Ofori, as part of the tour paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, to discuss security concerns following terror activities in neighbouring Burkina Faso and threats to churches and hospitality entities.

In fact the Ghanaian Times shares in the concerns of the National Security, due to the activities of the armed groups in the Sahel regions.

According to security experts, the suspected terrorist groups have shifted their attention from the Sahel region southwards to the northern part of the West African sub region.

Not only that, they have also shifted from hitting hard targets like the military to soft targets like churches and hotels.

Indeed, the activities of the armed groups had become rampant in neighbouring Burkina Faso and appear to be getting worse.

In April, more than 65 people were killed following attacks by extremists seeking to gain foothold in the Sahel region.

Just last month, four worshippers and a pastor were killed when gunmen targeted a church.

The violence appears to be spreading across that country which had not recorded any terrorism attack just few years ago.

It is, therefore, crucial for Ghana to be constantly alert which makes it heartwarming that the security agencies have heightened their activities around border towns to counter any such attack.

For us, it is important for everyone to get involved in ensuring that the armed groups do not find the country a suitable ground to target and kill innocent people.

We know that, with the threat of terrorism, we are facing an additional challenge.

Although Ghana has not encountered any such armed groups, she has been alleged by suspected criminals in neighbouring countries as transit point for smuggling of illicit arms in West Africa.

This allegation made in a report trending on social media is quite serious and worrying if it is true.

We urge the security agencies to double their efforts in stopping the illicit arm trafficking in the country.

Let's not forget that we cannot divorce arm trafficking from armed groups and terrorists because that is where they get their supplies from. It is therefore, critical that efforts are made to stop the illicit trade immediately.

By all accounts, terrorism and its threats are long term problems that take years to end but we have absolute confidence in the security agencies to be up to the task when they are called upon.

We also urge all Ghanaians to be extra vigilant, especially, in churches, hotels and mosques among others as it appears those are their targets now.

We must lend our collective support to the security agencies to enable them to counter any possible attacks.

Ghana

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