Executive Secretary of the Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons Jones Borteye Applerh has noted that the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is the leading factor in the smuggling of illicit arms to Ghana.
He said this while speaking during the launch of the ‘Ballot without Bullet’ initiative by the Commission ahead of the December 7 elections.
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 has been a major source of illicit flows of arms into this country.
“Given this, the ‘Ballot Without Bullet’ project has targeted 10 hotspot 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 North, Gomoa West and Upper West Akim are the non-border constituencies.”
For his part, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, 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.
“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 to 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.”