WANEP says police must address structural causes of conflict

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a peace building NGO, has called on the Ghana Police Service to devote more time and energy at addressing the structural causes of crime to ensure that the country becomes peaceful through reduction in crime.

It says the current efforts by the Police by way of dawn swoops in an attempt to weed out criminals from their hideouts were though commendable, such swoops were equally security threats having the high potential of resistance since the structural causes of the conflict were not being addressed.

WANEP raised these concerns in its quarterly National Early Warning Alert system signed by Mr. Justin Bayor, National Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday.

It also captured armed robbery, movement of sophisticated arms and agro-pastoralists issues as some cases of threat to the security of the nation.

The NGO said its system recorded 11 incidents of armed robbery between July and September this year, heighten movement of sophisticated weapons and ammunitions and called on the security agencies and the Government to be more alert to forestall future occurrences and possible escalation.

It observed that tensions between agro-pastoralists in areas such as Asante Akim-North and the East and West Gonja still persist and suggested that broad-based stakeholder discussion was needed to adopt strategies to address the situation.

WANEP encouraged the Police to continue with its efforts of implementing the National Community Policing System which it says will help curb highway and community crimes and urged the Police to widely publicize their emergency telephone numbers to make them accessible to people.

WANEP also encouraged the Police to organise more swoops  targeting robbery suspects and also  local manufacturers of arms, illegal arms and ammunitions dealers to prevent arms from being proliferated.

It appealed to the Ghana Immigration Service and Customs Excise Units especially those at the borders to be more vigilant to ward off criminals and reduce the influx of small arms and light weapons into the country.

“WANEP-Ghana also renews its call to Government, International Institutions and civil society groups to help increase the manpower and logistical capacity of the security services to enable them respond to violence nationally”, it added.

The NGO noted that with sponsorship from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Christian Aid, it has hosted the Early Warning Centre which tracks conflict and human security incidents across the country through various structures and tools.

It encouraged the general public to give information on any incidence of armed robbery, drug trafficking and arms movement through the following numbers; 080010029 (toll free with vodafone), hotline 0201131885 and SMS short code 1443.

Source: GNA

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