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Upper West RCC and neighbouring francophone regions deepen border cooperation

The Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) together with regions of South West of Burkina Faso and Bounkani of La Cote d’Ivoire have met to discuss ways of deepening relations and fighting cross-border crime.

The meeting broadly centred on collaboration to adopt innovative strategies to combat armed attacks, terrorism, drug and human trafficking as well as dealing with growing cattle theft across the borders.

They agreed to share intelligence and relevant information on notorious criminals who commit crimes and run into hiding in any of the three regions sharing borders.

Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, told representatives of the tripartite meeting that cooperation would deepen the long-standing relationship among the three regions and bolster unity.

The session was a follow-up on resolutions from their last cooperation meeting held in Gaoun in the South West Region of Burkina Faso.

At that meeting, a wide range of issues bordering Health, Agriculture, Environment, Culture and Mining were touched and a communiqué was jointly issued.

“It is important to add that we all would need to work hard to ensure that our security agencies at the borders and along trade routes conduct their activities in a very professional way,” Mr Chinnia said.

The leaders have also committed themselves to come out with a framework for discussion and exchange information on diseases.

The Deputy Minister reported that health facilities in Ghana have been directed to report any health alert swiftly to the neighbouring countries.

Mr Chinnia said myriad of issues surrounding agriculture ranging from export of agro chemicals, quality of exported seeds and effects of ‘trans-human’ were discussed.

He said Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), a nongovernmental organisation based in Upper West has commenced a project to open a ‘trans-human’ corridor from Hamile in the Region to Banda in the Savanna Region.

Mr Chinnia said smuggling of fertilizer from Planting for Food and Jobs into parts of Burkina Faso was a major concern to Ghana and the need for collaborative efforts to fight the menace.

He said the Region made strides in fighting against illegal mining activities, especially along the Black Volta, where Burkinabe and Ghanaians are largely involved.

ACP Peter Ndekugri Anombugri, the Deputy Upper West Regional Police Commander, told the GNA that the meeting would help the security agencies deal decisively with criminals and smugglers along the borders in the sub region.

“Now criminals will not have a field day by robbing and running to hide, as this collaboration has come began, the criminals will have no place to hide, gone are the days you see a suspect just standing beyond the border but your cannot touch him,” he added.

Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yebwah, the Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, described the meeting as a good opportunity to discuss ways of halting cattle theft and smuggling of government subsidized fertilizer.

He said the meeting would help in tracking people who engage in smuggling subsidized fertilizer meant for the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

The three sister regions resolved to sensitize their citizens on the harmful effects of mining on the environment and the need to collaborate more to protect it for future generations.

The Governor of South West Region of Burkina Faso, Colonel Tagseba Nitiema and Kpan Droh Joseph, Governor of Bounkani Region of La Cote Ivoire accompanied their respective delegations for the meeting attended by government and security officials.

The Governor of South West Region was accompanied by a 21-member delegation while that of the Governor of Bounkani Region was accompanied by a 25-member delegation.

Source: GNA

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