Regional News of 2014-04-30

WANEP’s report on targeted killings false – Gov’t

Government has downplayed latest report by the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) warning of more possible targeted killings in the country.

WANEP’s report challenged the Police to step up efforts to unravel what they described as contract or targeted killings in the country.

In its first quarter human security early warning report, WANEP highlights the killing of 22 people across the country and warns of more targeted killings. It says the increasing incidents of what appears to be targeted killings have created a sense of insecurity in the country and warns many more will die this year if the police do not act.

But Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga downplayed the report.

He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah that the police have shown enough commitment in arriving at the gruesome murders, citing the killings of Fennec Okyere and the banker on the Spintex road

"As far as he knows the targeted killings are under investigation, Fennec, a banker on the spintex road", James Agalga noted

In the case of Fennec, for instance, the police said they have a lead to apprehend the murderer, he said. On the case of the banker, the self-confessed killer is being prosecuted, he noted.

He also mentioned another case in Tema, in which he said police preliminary findings have established that it was purely an armed robbery case and nothing to do with targeted killing.

According to James Agalga, the crime situation in the country has rather gone down, contrary to the WANEP reports.

“If you take these so-called targeted killings case by case, you will find out that a lot of work has been done and the evidence is to the contrary so far as targeted killing is concerned,” he said.

He said even though government is worried about the killings, it is improper to sound the alarm bell that things are out of hand.

“We sit at the Ministry of Interior we received report on daily basis, and when those reports come and look at them, you will see that in recent time, crime rate has reduced by about 15 percent…because certain measures have been put in place [deal with the menace], we didn’t just churn out statistics out of the blues.

“We have put in place measures which have actually yielded positive results and the outcome is the statistics that we have,” the deputy Interior Minister explained.

He therefore, reiterated the need for citizens to share information with the police so that the police will be successful in dealing ruthlessly with crime.