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General News Tue, 23 Jan 2018

Over 20,000 cattle ‘flushed out’ of Agogo – MCE

The Municipal Chief Executive of Asante Akyem North in the Ashanti Region, Francis Oti Boateng, has said almost half of the over 45,000 cattle that invaded Agogo and its surrounding areas have been taken out of the area.

He attributed the success to the diligence of government’s task-force known as Operation Cowleg.

A combined team of police and military personnel are currently in the Municipality to evict the herdsmen and their cattle.

Speaking to Citi News on the work of the task-force, Francis Oti Boateng said they have recorded some progress in the last few weeks.

“It’s a huge progress that we are making, but until we see no cattle on our land, I cannot say that we’ve won the fight. But I can tell that we estimated over 45,000 cattle on our land, and I can tell that at the moment almost half of them are gone, and we are making a lot of progress at the moment,” the DCE added.

Whiles majority of the cattle were taken out unharmed, there are reports that nearly 2000 of them were killed.

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Background

Following complaints of alleged atrocities being committed by nomadic herdsmen and the destruction of farms in Agogo in the Ashanti Region and parts of the Eastern Region, government re-launched Operation Cow leg which comprised police and military personnel tasked to flush out the herders and their cattle from those areas.

In Agogo, four security personnel including three military officers and a police officer, who had been deployed to the area to evict the herdsmen, were shot and injured by an unknown assailant following the renewed government efforts to address the long-standing conflict.

There were reports of herdsmen fleeing the area amid complaints of the wanton killing of cattle by the task-force.

A cattle owner in Agogo, who spoke to Citi News, said he lost over 70 of his cattle to the task-force, and he had to beg the government to give him more time to move all his livestock from the area.

Recently, 200 additional personnel were deployed to Agogo and Sekyere Afram Plains districts after some military and police officers were shot at Agogo.

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Operation Cow leg can’t solve herdsmen menace

But an International Relations Analyst, Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, has insisted that Operation Cow leg is bound to fail again.

According to him, those are just knee-jerk approaches to the issue which needs a proper solution such as ranching.

“It is one of the kinetic ways of solving a problem using full force. But this is not the first time we have operation cow leg and I believe that is not the way of resolving it. Maybe in the interim, the specific Agogo situation yes, but what about all over Ghana?”

“It’s about time we started ranching system. The breeding of cattle in Ghana must have some modernity to it,” he said.

Source: citifmonline.com
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