The numerous unmanned unapproved routes doted along the Ghana – Cote d’Ivoire border pose a serious challenge to security operatives along the Western frontiers.
Similarly, the lack of the necessary logistics for personnel to effectively deal with any security threat that may arise in the discharge of their duties along the corridor is yet another challenge.
These came to light when officials of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms (GNCSA) under took a fact finding mission to the borders in the Western and Brong Ahafo regions.
The fact finding mission was against the back drop of media reports of influx of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons into the country through Cote d’Ivoire.
The team includes officials of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Small Arms Section of the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre.
They visited frontiers at Sampa, Kwameseikrom, Gonokrom, Nkranukwanta and Kodwo Badukrom all in the Brong Ahafo region and Oseikwadwokrom, Dadieso, Elubo and Jewi Wharf in the Western region.
The group held separate discussion with the personnel, some Ivorian authorities and the communities along the borders.
The Chairman of the Commission Lt. Col. Seth Ohene-Asare alarmed at the situation expressed satisfaction at the zeal of the personnel despite their constraints and urged them to collaborate in the discharge of their duties while efforts are made to provide them with the needed equipments.
He said as partners there is the need to collaborate so that collectively they can fight the small arms menance.
The Chairman said the weapons in the wrong hands pose a serious security concern for the country hence the need to flush out people who are in possession of unlicenced arms.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Jones Applerh urged the communities to increase their vigilance so as to report any one with an unlicensed gun to the police.
He said since the communities residing along the frontiers between the two countries and speak the same language there is the need to closely monitor those who visit them in order not to fall foul with the law, adding that “carrying an unlicenced gun is a first degree felony which carries a sentence from seven to 21 years imprisonment.
Some personnel who want to remain anonymous told the Times that unless the country’s boundaries are properly demarcated the problems would still be there.
They cited areas such as Oseikodwokrom, Kodwo Badukrom, Nkrannkwanta, Gonokrom, among others where the Ivorians stay on the left and their Ghanaian counterparts on the right with only electric poles showing the true demarcation.
The Chief of Kodwo Badukrom, Nana Appiah Mintah told the team that they have never encountered any problems with their neighbours since they share the same historical and cultural backgrounds.
He explained that since the crises they have been vigilant not to allow any one with selfish motives to destroy the relationship that existed among them.
Nana Mintah assured that they will do everything possible to arrest anyone who tries to bring any spill over arms into their communities.
The Assemblyman of Nkrankwanta, Yaw Manu who spoke on behalf of the opinion leaders told the team that eventhough the nature of the boarders are frightening they have lived in peace over the years.
He explained that they only congregate during funerals ar both sides and on market days and assured the team of their maximum support to ensure that the fight against illicit arms is won.