Galamsey: We’ve failed illegal arms fight

General News of Saturday, 29 February 2020



Guns (file photo)

Security expert and lecturer at the Graduate School, University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Yaro Kasambata has said Ghana has failed on security because the number of illegal arms in the country is “very high”.

He said there are many ways and avenues people acquire illegal weapons, a situation he added is the underlining factor for armed robberies, intertribal conflicts and other pockets of conflicts.

The use of illegal arms in galamsey he said could serve as a case study to illustrate that we have lost the fight against illegal arms possession.

He underscored the need for us to take the matter seriously and put in measures to control the importation, local manufacturing of guns, civilian acquisition and a state regulator that will be responsible for the acquisition of arms.

He called for a review and consolidation of laws on guns to limit their use for criminal activities.

Mr. Kasambata was speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.

Operation Vanguard, the joint task force combatting illegal mining activities in parts of the country, has confirmed cases of retrieval of illegal arms from illegal mining sites.

In 2017, the force confirmed the seizure of 30 assault rifles from the miners.

Only two of the rifles retrieved from the illegal miners in the Eastern, Western and the Ashanti Regions were registered.

The weapons include rifles, pump-action guns, strong guns, foreign pistols, hunting rifles, locally manufactured pistols, single-barreled guns, and locally made shotguns.

A statement issued to that effect said: “These guns and rifles were in the hands of people who serve as security to the illegal miners as they continue their illegal act. These weapons which have not been registered will not be traced and monitored if they are used for robberies and other criminal activities. The Joint Taskforce is calling on all citizens of the country to continue to aid Operation Vanguard’s operations to enable more of such unregistered weapons to be retrieved from society.”