Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, has asked Ghanaian authorities to beef up security at the borders in order to clamp down the smuggling of illicit arms into the country.
He stated that security must be strengthened especially at the northern borders following the activities of extremists and other terrorist groups in the Sahel region ahead of the elections on December 7 this year.
Dr Ibn Chambas was speaking during the launch of the ‘Ballot without Bullet’ initiative by the Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons ahead of the elections.
He said “We need to strengthen security at the borders to ensure that small arms used in conflict are not recycled here during the election period.
He added that there is the need check the smuggling of small arms and light weapons into the country .
“The northern axis is especially very important because of the situation that we find in the Sahel, the threats of violence by the extremist and terrorist groups so particular attention will need to be paid in our northern frontiers.”
For his part, Mr. Jones Borteye Applerh, Executive Secretary of the Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons noted that the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is the leading factor in the smuggling of illicit arms in Ghana.
He said “We need to influence the behavior of the citizens through public sensitization and education on dangers on the abuse of guns before during and after the elections. The porous nature of our borders have been a major source of illicit flows of arms into this country.
“Given this, the ‘Ballot Without Bullet’ project has targeted 10 hot spot constituencies comprising six border constituencies and four non-border constituencies. The border constituencies are Jirapa, Ketu South, Jomoro, Wulensi, Banda, Chiana Paga whiles Awutu Senya East, Offinso Norht, Gomoa West and Upper West Akim are the non-border constituencies.”