U/R region: Soldiers deployed to secure borders, fight terrorism threat
There is a significant deployment of military personnel at Yinaba in the Upper East Region to secure Ghana’s borders and prevent a possible terrorist attack.
President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the increased presence of members of the Ghana Armed Forces in the Region are part of efforts by Government to ensure that “terrorist infiltrators do not come into our country to cause problems for us.
The President told a durbar of Chiefs at Navrongo, in the Upper East Region, on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, that the soldiers “are putting their lives on the line to enable us feel secure and peaceful here”, and as such need the support of the populace in terms of intelligence and information gathering.
President Akufo-Addo recounted the vigilance of Messrs. Gregory Bangbeme and George Bonfodong, members of the Roman Catholic Church in Hamile, in the Upper West Region, who, earlier this year, together with the Church leaders, alerted the Police about the presence in the Church of an armed person, who turned out to be a national of our neighbouring country of Burkina Faso.
“We need all of us to pull together and understand that the very survival of our nation is what is at stake in this effort that the soldiers are doing. They are not doing it for themselves, they are doing it for all of us, and I am appealing to you to stand behind them and give them your maximum support so that they can carry out their duties efficiently and successfully for us,” he said.
Having visited the troops under the Command of Major General Moses Aryee, at Binaba on Tuesday, August 13, the President told the gathering that “they are in very high morale, very good spirits, and they are very committed to the task that has been assigned to them.”
Ghana’s neighbour to the north, Burkina Faso has been a hotbed of extremist activities, prompting security concerns in Ghana.
The security concerns have been precipitated by terror attacks in northern Burkina Faso where extremists have attacked churches.
On May 26 four worshippers were killed in Church. Since April, 18 worshippers and two priests have been killed in four separate attacks in Burkina Faso.
Also, since 2015, nearly 400 people have been killed—according to a tally by the AFP news agency. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks on churches, the finger is being pointed at Sahelian militants aligned to global terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has identified the threat of terrorism as a major challenge facing the country’s borders.
With only 45 border posts controlling a land area of 2,400 kilometres, the service says it is simply impossible to control the movement of people crossing into the country.
Deputy Comptroller-General of the Service, Laud Ofori Afrifa, said there is a high possibility of arms smuggling into the country.