Arms haul: ‘Borders need tightening’
Ghana’s Minister of the Interior has suggested that more borders be opened with neighbouring countries, as a means of curbing arms smuggling through unauthorised entry points.
“We have so many unapproved entry points, we should be seen to be opening more borders and resourcing the people at those borders to be effective,” Mr Mark Woyongo proposed in an interview with Dzifa Bampoe on Joy FM’s News Night Tuesday December 15, 2015.
Mr Woyongo’s proposal comes on the heels of a recent arms haul by the Ashanti regional police command in which a large cache of AK47s, machine guns and M15s were retrieved at a suburb called Alabar. He said “the situation should be worrying to all Ghanaians”.
According to him, “we will make proposals for consideration because all these need funding. We will give it the seriousness it deserves,” he promised.
A 72-year-old Burkinabe named Moro Sata is already in the grips of the police after the Manhyia Divisional Command retrieved 11 AK47 rifles, 10 G3s, an M15, and other light machine guns.
A second suspect, Abdul Kadri Aria, an Ivorian, is believed to be the one who supplied the weapons and ammunition to Moro Sata, for sale.
According to the police, some of the weapons could be mounted on pickup trucks. There were others, the police said, which could be used to shoot down aircraft at close range.
Mr Woyongo revealed that “another reason [for the proliferation of guns] could be because of the situation in certain parts of the continent. Because of the situation in the sub-region…free flow of arms and ammunition, and because of our porous borders, these arms and ammunition find their way into the country”.
Mr Woyongo proposed intensification of surveillance and intelligence at Ghana’s borders, random searches, and occasional use of scanners and provision of incentives to informants, as means of fighting the smuggling and proliferation of weapons in Ghana.
“We appeal to the general public to assist us with information because these people who deal in the guns live with us. We know them and we should be prepared to give them up,” he added.