General News of Tuesday, 15 December 2015
A security researcher at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, Dr Kwesi Aning, has said he will not rule out political motivation behind the recently discovered cache of guns and ammunition in the Ashanti Region.
Dr Aning, who said that he could not immediately predict where the weapons were going to be used, noted that a careful assessment would reveal a proliferation of weapons in the country anytime the country nears elections.
According to him, the presence of the weapons in the country could be politically motivated.
“If we extract what happens every time, a year or so before elections in Ghana, we see these massive flows of arms and ammunitions all over the country.”
The security analyst wondered why the public is kept in the dark in the aftermath of investigations into such arms hauls.
“We hardly have any clear idea about those arrested and the way they are punished,” he noted.
Dr Aning who spoke with Joy FM’s Joseph Opoku Gakpo explained that the weapons could be used for intimidation and disruption of rallies during electioneering.
He said: “Talensi demonstrated in no uncertain terms that people are willing and prepared to use all possible means to win elections.”
Responding to a question about whether political parties in Ghana could be linked to the recent gun discovery in the Ashanti Region, the security researcher asserted that, “I don’t think any option should be kept out of the loop right now. This is an escalation in the flow of arms into our country and we need to keep investigations open for now”.
Dr Aning is challenging security officials to investigate the matter thoroughly and prosecute anyone, who is connected to the illegal arms.
Meanwhile, Police in the Ashanti Region have mounted a search for another suspect identified as Abdul Kadri in what appears to be the biggest arms haul in Alabar, a community in the regional capital, Kumasi.
A 72-year-old Burkinabe named Moro Sata is already in the grips of the police after the Manhyia Divisional Command retrieved arms including 11 AK47 assault rifles, 10 G3 guns, an M15, and other light machine guns.
According to the police, some of the weapons could be mounted on pickup trucks. There were others, the police said, which could be used to shoot down aircraft at close range.
Class FM’s Ashanti Regional correspondent, Frank Jackson, reported that Abdul Kadri Aria, an Ivorian, is believed to be the one who supplies the weapons and ammunition to Moro Sata for sale.
Ashanti regional commander DCOP Kofi Boakye, at a press conference on Monday, December 14, 2015, indicated that security officials are on high alert, as investigations proceed. He pointed out that the volume of weapons discovered was alarming, as it could “hold an army for at least six hours unless they use RPG or rocket launcher”.
DCOP Kofi Boakye explained that: “This operation started on 30th October where we had an armed robber with some bullets without a gun and we started fishing for where it came from. Per the information, a 72-year-old Burkinabe called Moro Sata was arrested and when his bedroom was searched, these weapons were found.”
“Preliminary investigations indicate that he sells some of the ammo locally and also gives some to people outside. Investigations are continuing and we have arrested armed robbers, who, one time or the other, bought these weapons and ammo from Sata,” he added.
He assured members of the public of their safety and the commitment of the police to pursue all those connected to the weapons.