Kofi Amakwa-Manu, Deputy Defence Minister, has revealed that his outfit is conducting some security operations along the borders of the country to deal with issues of terrorist groups.
According to him, it has become necessary following the influx of immigrants into the country. He indicated that these persons are from neighboring countries, and must be properly assessed.
Mr Amakwa-Manu noted that the government has also equally began repatriation of refugees from the country. He explained that because neighboring countries, like Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire are conducting some security operations to deal with the issue of armed groupings, these covert terrorists may have sought refuge in Ghana, on the blindside of officials.
“So, most people are seeking haven in Ghana. So, we have a lot of people coming to Ghana and our intelligence is that some of these terrorist armed groupings have disguised themselves into herdsmen and illegal immigrants, trying to come into our country…”Kofi Amankwa-Manu
Mr Amankwa-Manu stated that the various REGSEC in the country have been tasked to deal with the situation. Also, he revealed that the Ghana Armed Forces is also assisting the various REGSEC along the country’s borders to deal with the situation.
“So, basically, we are acting on intelligence. Obviously, a new intelligence indicate that whether you’re a terrorist or belong to any terrorist grouping, we cannot allow you to be in this country. Basically, we are trying as much as possible to restrict their movement and to make sure that we do proper screening to really know who and who is coming into this country.”Kofi Amankwa-Manu
Ensuring safety of Ghana’s borders
Commenting on the number of immigrants in the country, the defence minister highlighted that due to seeming porous nature of border surveillance, it might be difficult to ascertain. However, he explained that quite a number of refugees have entered the country.
“Under the circumstances, it will be difficult to even tell how many we’re going to have today or tomorrow. Because they are coming in droves. So, it will be difficult to put a figure to how many people are coming in. Some of them look eager and conservative, because we have some not going through proper channels to come to this country. Others are using unapproved route but these are the ones we’ve been able to capture.”Kofi Amankwa-Manu
Despite the inability of government to ascertain the number of refugees in the country, Mr Amankwa-Manu emphasized that a lot more will come. Nonetheless, he expressed the ministry’s commitment to ensuring that it has proper screening and does what is right for the security of Ghanaians.
Beyond the exercise and the ministry repatriating refugees from Paga in the Northern region, Mr Amankwa-Manu underscored some measures government has taken to ensure it curtails the influx of immigrants.
With this, he revealed that government has for some time been keen on issues relating to border control and movement, especially considering the potential risk of terrorist invasion the country stands encountering.
“… We are trying to put out forward operation bases along our northern borders. So, we will have permanent men in there because these are huge barracks. So, when we do that, we are going to work with the police and immigration 24/7 to make sure whoever enters this country, we have an eye on that person.”Kofi Amankwa-Manu