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Ghana On High Security Alert   
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Drivers plying the Ghana-Mali route through Burkina Faso now do so in fear of terrorist attacks, two of them having been killed already within Burkinabe territory.

The incident, which occurred in a town between Burkina Faso and Mali last week, claimed the lives of Mouhamed Moumen and Suleiman Gariba.

Reports indicated that the attack took place at a security checkpoint where activities of terrorists are said to be rampant.

Speaking during the commissioning of an ultramodern police station constructed by residents of Tema Community 25 last Thursday, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, urged members of the public to be vigilant.

His advice was informed by the threat posed by terrorists in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Information about the Burkina attack was released by the Chairman of the Joint Association of Port Transport Union in Burkina Faso, Alhaji Shamsu Yaro, who spoke to Citi FM in Accra.

The long-distance drivers were reportedly attacked by the bandits when they stopped at the checkpoint to pay a routine levy at a town called Koury.

Mali and Burkina Faso – both landlocked countries – transit their imports through the Tema and Takoradi Ports using trucks to haul them to Ouagadougou and Bamako; the two countries maintaining liaison offices in Ghana.

The transport companies in both countries have a number of Ghanaian drivers among them even though local Burkinabe and Malian drivers make up the bulk of them.

The two drivers were conveying floor tiles from Takoradi to Bamako for delivery to their consignees when the terrorists killed them.

The long haul journey takes between a week and fortnight, with border formalities and the condition of the trucks determining the length of the trips.

With the introduction of the ECOWAS brown Card, there is free movement of vehicles of member countries.

Last year, a Ghanaian registered MAN Diesel articulated truck was set ablaze by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State of Nigeria.

Heightened terrorist activities in neighbouring Burkina Faso have prompted thoughts about our porous borders.

The French-speaking country shares cultural affinities with Ghana.

There are many descendants of Burkinabe migrants in Ghana, some of the fourth generation.

Some of their ancestors fought in the ranks of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force, especially during Second World War.

The ease with which Burkinabe and Mali nationals are able to enter Ghana, many of them without passports, makes security management of such nationals even more challenging.

During a regional commanders meeting of the Ghana Immigration Service, the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, spoke about a security alert in the country in the light of the terrorist activities in Burkinabe Faso and Mali.

In the former, engagements between local forces and the terrorists have claimed many lives, putting fear into Ghanaian nationals, especially those living along the border.

Observers have called for alertness from not only security agents but also citizens, especially those living along Ghana’s frontiers.

IGP’s Demand

Last month, French marines rescued four foreign nationals from terrorists who were holding them.

Two French soldiers died in the daredevil rescue operation.
Source: Daily Guide

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