Anxious Ghana needs tougher action on mercenaries

Ghana police

Ghana police

from RUSSEL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – THE proliferation of illegal weapons, increase in unregistered private security companies and a weakened police force are threatening peace and stability in Ghana.

A spread of vigilante groups and armed miners, including foreigners from Asia and Europe embroiled in dangerous confrontations with local communities and law enforcement agents, are exacerbating matters in a country currently rated among the most peaceful in Africa.

According to a United Nations (UN) expert group on mercenaries, an estimated 1,3 million illegal weapons and arms smuggling into Ghana are also worsening security threats.

The experts taking part in an official mission expressed concern at the number of illegal private security firms operating despite laws to regulate them.

Government figures suggest there are some 400 groups employing around 450 000 people, greatly outnumbering the police force which has 33 000 officers.

“The ratio between police and private security personnel, even if the latter are unarmed, is among the most worrying I’ve seen in any country,” lamented delegation member, Patricia Arias.

The UN experts called for strong measures to contain marauding vigilante groups or so-called foot soldiers who affiliated themselves with rival political parties and posed a threat to national security.

These groups were becoming difficult to manage, particularly during election periods, and had sometimes acted in violent mobs, disrupting court cases and freeing defendants.

Arias warned the prevailing situation left Ghana, like some countries with natural resources and porous borders, vulnerable to mercenary-related activities.

“Combating these threats effectively now can prevent potential tensions and conflicts that may open the door to mercenary activities,” she said.

– CAJ News




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Posted by on Dec 22 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Exclusive, Featured, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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