Herdsmen menace: Fact-finding mission a waste of public funds – Kwesi Aning
Security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning, has described as a waste of public funds, a proposal by the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament to embark on a fact-finding mission to three countries in the West African sub-region to learn about the effective ways of dealing with conflicts between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Aning said there are enough documents on how to address the matter, including work done by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center, which is available to the ECOWAS.
“It is a waste of the public purse. At the Kofi Annan Center, we led a sub region-wide study on the farmer-herders across West Africa, it has been presented to the mediation and security committee of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) last year; are they telling me that Ghana’s representatives have not shared the document with them, this is unnecessary and is a waste,” he said. Dr. Aning suggested that, among other options, the Committee can obtain the needed information without leaving the country, suggesting that it conducts the work at the Geography Department at the University of Ghana, Legon.
“If they go to the Geography Department at Legon, they will be able to tell them that, part of the clashes relates to climatic change,” he said.
He noted that the clashes that are happening in some of the West African sub-region are much more dangerous and frightening than what has occurred in Ghana.
He suggested that the country conducts a study into why its previous ways of addressing the long-standing conflict had failed before looking out for how other countries have tried to address it.
The cause of tensions between local farmers and nomadic herdsmen are seen to be essentially the same across the sub-region.
Many lives have been lost, and several persons have been displaced as a result of the long-standing conflict between the two groups.
Over 100 people were recently been displaced in some parts of the Kwahu East District of the Eastern Region, following separate reprisal attacks between herdsmen and some inhabitants of Dwibease and Wheewhee communities.
In Nigeria for instance, casualties are significantly higher, where more than 1, 200 people were killed in 2014 by different groups of Fulani herders, according to the Global Terrorism Index.
A mass burial for over 70 people was held in Nigeria’s central Benue State in January 2018.
Since the New Year, more than 100 deaths have been reported in Benue and Taraba states, according to reports in Nigeria.
Fighting has been particularly heavy in Benue state, where 80 people have been killed and 80,000 displaced.