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Money Alone Is Not Enough For Retrieval of Arms – Security Expert
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Dr Kwesi Anning
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Research has shown that about 500,000 Ghanaians are having guns in their homes.

Most of the gun owners claim they use it to protect themselves.

Due to the improper usage of firearms in some parts of the country, several measures have been deployed in the past to reduce the number of illicit firearms in the country.

However, most of those measures in a form of incentives did not work as expected because according to investigations, gun users, usually men, do not feel safe without their guns.

Government has recently granted indigenes of Bawku amnesty and the opportunity to give up their arms in exchange for cash after there were pockets of violence in the region.

If after a month this is not done, there will be a massive campaign to purge the system of illegal weapons and those found culpable will be prosecuted.

Speaking to the issue on Peace FM's ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, Security expert and Head of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre, Dr Kwesi Anning stated that until the people are assured of safety and they develop a level of trust for the security agencies in Bawku, they will not give up their guns.

According to him, the first action must be to provide several police stations, increase police personnel as well as soldiers in the region and continuously assure indigenes that they are safe. With that, ‘they will give up their guns willingly’.

He said there is the need to collect those guns at all cost ‘but the method to use is very crucial’

“This issue raises a lot of questions. Why do Ghanaians like guns and do we know the actual magnitude of guns in people’s homes. The laws in the country only look at the usage without the supply side. The demand and supply for guns are great. It is a lifestyle thing”.

Dr Anning explained that government also need to educate and sensitize the people of Bawku.

“Cash alone will not work because the people can take advantage of it. Let’s confront the people of Bawku with the reality of the negative impact of these guns and conflicts. We must let them know the cost of peace. They must know that it is not just about the money; they are contributing to peace in Bawku. We must give them a choice; whether they want peace and development or conflict. They must be sensitized in that direction. This is not a one day wonder. It is a gradual process and it must be done consistently for trust to develop,” he added.
Source: Rebecca Addo Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com

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