Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso strategise to fight trans-border crime

A two-day tripartite meeting of security personnel from Burkina Faso, Togo and Ghana has ended in Kombissiri, Burkina Faso, with a call on countries to strengthen closer tides in dealing with trans-border crime.

It was to develop new perspectives and strategies for practical trans-border cooperation in the area of security, free movement of goods and people, child trafficking, drug smuggling and small arms proliferation.

The three regions, Savanna Region of Togo, Central East Region of Burkina Faso and the Upper East Region of Ghana, have since September 2009 been meeting annually to develop new approaches to effectively fight high banditry, trans-border crimes and ultimately promote cohesion and peaceful coexistence between the three countries.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting at the weekend, Burkinabe Minister of Territorial Administration and Security, Dr Jerome Bougma noted that trans-border crimes such as the proliferation of small arms and weapons in the West African sub-region stifled the socio-economic development of countries.

He said engagements like annual tripartite meetings, offered the three regions the opportunity to deliberate on the way forward in dealing with trans-border crimes such as the proliferation of small arms to further promote integration in the West Africa sub-region.

He said the dangers of illicit proliferation of small arms in the West-African sub-region were enormous and appealed to security agencies in the three countries to collaborate effectively in dealing with the menace.

“Most conflicts in West Africa are facilitated by the illegal importation and exportation of these illegal small arms” he added, and urged countries in West Africa to continue with the collaboration to curb the use of arms in society since it was alarming and posed serious threats to the security.

Mrs Lucy Awuni, Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, who led a delegation of security personnel including officials from the Ghana Police Service, Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Ghana Immigration Service and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), expressed optimism that collaboration among the three countries, would be fortified to check trans-boundary crimes and improve trade relations.

She recounted collaboration between security agencies that led to the arrest of criminals seeking refuge in other neighbouring countries, citing the arrest of Kombian, a notorious Ghanaian criminal, in neighbouring Togo.

Mr Allahidi Diallo, Governor of the Central East Region of Burkina Faso and the Governor of the South East Province of Burkina, Madam Tchombiano Maimouna, both expressed gratitude to Ghana and Togo for their concerted efforts and renewed commitment in ensuring that trans-border crimes were reduced to the barest minimum.

The Kassena Nankana Municipal Police Commander, ASP Abdul-Latif Nbonwura in an interview with the GNA said the meeting had enhanced his capacity in the fight against trans-border crimes.

He said the emerging trends of trans-border crimes called for serious attention, adding that the reinforcement of regulations by security agencies from the three countries was the way forward.

He further stated that the movement of livestock, especially cattle had become a threat in recent times, saying “the activities of some Fulani herdsmen pose a serious threat to the security of the country.

“Some of them have fomented trouble in parts of the country with many crop farms devastated by the cattle of these herdsmen”, he stressed.

Such collaboration, he said, would enable security personnel to deal ruthlessly with the complexities of their duties and stem security threats at various borders.

Source: GNA

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