General News of Monday, 4 September 2017
Four hundred and forty-two ECOWAS?nationals who were arrested for allegedly engaging in illegal mining at Bole in the Northern Region have been deported in the last two years.
Additionally, 24 Togolese who were arrested for the same offence have also been repatriated this year.
Speaking at a conference organised under the feed the future Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) project in Tamale, the Deputy Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Superintendent, Mr William Andoh, said the Togolese were arrested in a joint operation initiated by the GIS and other security agencies at Bole.
He said after investigations, the ECOWAS nationals were arraigned and the court gave an order for their repatriation to their respective countries.
The conference was organised to find a lasting solution to the persistent conflict and violence between crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen and its effects on agricultural development in northern Ghana.
It was attended by traditional authorities, personnel from the security agencies, and heads of Fulani communities in the three regions of the north, farmers and some government officials.
The conference, on the theme: “Towards a new agenda for managing peaceful farmer-pastoralist relations in northern Ghana”, was intended to promote dialogue, reduce conflict and foster peace by integrating Fulani pastoralists into Ghana’s agricultural development.
It was organised by CARE International and its key partners, including the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is implementing the NGGA project, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The NGGA is a five-year project being implemented in 28 districts across the three regions of the north.
Database on Fulanis
Supt. Andoh said the command was seeking permission from the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to revamp the implementation of the Aliens Registration 1974 (L.I. 856) on the registration of Fulani herdsmen to enable the command to develop a database on Fulanis in the region.
He said the exercise would enable the service to obtain data on Fulanis in the region and properly document their details to ensure proper monitoring of their activities to help in easy identification of those who committed crime.
He said when the Fulanis became conscious of the fact that their details had been captured into the government’s records, they would maintain security in their respective areas.
Supt Andoh said the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), chiefs and opinion leaders in the region would be informed about the exercise and their assistance sought in the gathering of information on the Fulanis.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food and Agriculture, Cocoa Affairs, Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei, for his part, said the solution to the menace of Fulani herdsmen was not to flush them out of the country but sensitise them to the need to peacefully co-exist with the local communities.
He said the country needed the Fulani herdsmen to develop the livestock industry and promote agriculture.
A consultant to the NGGA project, Dr Sebastian Soeters, said there was a pressing need to address the issue of farmer-Fulani pastoralist relations in a holistic and integrated manner.
He said deporting Fulani pastoralists was neither an effective nor viable option since their exclusion could have some security implications for the country.
The National Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers, Imam Hanafi Sonde pledged the support of the association to the initiative to find a lasting solution to the persistent conflict and violence between crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the country.