Ghana-Burkina Faso borders open but security tightened

BorderThere is heightened security along Ghana’s common borders with Burkina Faso in the Upper East Region, which were opened on Friday after a three-day closure following a military takeover in that country.

Visits by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to the Paga and Kulungugu border posts to assess the situation indicate that the situation in Burkina Faso had affected the movement of persons, goods and services across the frontier.

The Paga Border Control Officer of the Ghana Immigration Service, Alhaji Issifu Musah,  told the GNA that security had been intensified and that most identified routes between Paga and neighbouring Burkina Faso were being patrolled by a combined  team of the Customs and the Immigration Service personnel.

Meanwhile, a number of military personnel from the Airborne Force led by Lt. Col Joseph Malik had been deployed to assist the border agencies at the various entry points.

The Deputy Commander in charge of the Customs Unit in Paga, Mr Emmanuel Lawson, said despite the initial challenges that emerged due to the closure of the border, there was no cause for alarm but stressed that revenue generation had declined considerably.

A cargo truck driver who plies the Ghana-Burkina-Mali route, Mr Ahmed Mumin, confirmed that the insurgency in neighbouring Burkina Faso had had a negative impact on the transport business as goods that were supposed to be delivered to their business partners in Burkina had been delayed.

He indicated that some Ghanaian traders who conveyed perishable goods to Burkina Faso had been greatly affected as a result of the three-day border closure and had incurred losses.

Business between the two countries had until Friday afternoon come to a halt since the closure of the borders on September 16, following a military coup in the Francophone country.

Trucks loaded with maize, yam, fertilizer and timber boards among other products, had to park at the Kulungugu and Paga border posts.

Ghana shares two common frontiers with her Francophone neighbour in the Upper East Region. One is at the Paga – Po end, while the other is at Kulungugu through Bawku.

Meanwhile, news from the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, has it that the country’s interim President, Mr Michel Kafando has been freed and is in good health, while Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who was also placed in detention last Wednesday, remains under house arrest.

Mr Kafando and Mr Zida were detained during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday by the presidential guard who announced they had taken over the reins of government.

Source: GNA

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