General News of 2014-08-28

Bawku conflict: Guns for cash not panacea – Aning

The Ghana government is asking the warring factions in Bawku in the Upper East Region to return their guns for cash, but a security analyst, Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, says the amnesty will not resolve the conflict.

The locals in Bawku have a one-month moratorium to return their weapons for cash to end the longstanding clash. The Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo, and the National Security Council Secretariat are to work out modalities for the programme.

After the one-month amnesty period, those who fail to hand over their guns will be sought after, arrested and prosecuted.

Sporadic gun violence has been recorded in Bawku recently claiming three lives with a few others hospitalised.

Dr. Aning, who doubles as the Director at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, insisted that “weapons buyback programmes operationally everywhere have not been successful.”

He said the government must investigate “the multiple reasons why people get guns; we also need to understand the demand and supply part of the guns trade.”

“If people in Bawku feel insecure naturally, the demand for guns will be very high because people feel they would have to protect themselves and those who supply…will make the guns available,” Dr. Aning told Accra-based Joy FM.

He added: “I think probably, some kind of a stakeholder conversation [with the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms leading it] might be quite useful as to what do we do, in ensuring that people actually see it as their own interest, in handing these guns back and reporting those who have those guns."

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