WANEP Report Is An "Alarmist Sentiment" - Kobby Acheampong

The Deputy Minister for Interior, Kobby Acheampong has described as alarmist a report by the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP) that there is growing influx of small arms and light weapons into the country from Cote D’Ivoire. According to him, the country has been on high alert since the political crisis broke out in Ivory Coast. “I think that it is an alarmist sentiment being raised. Since the Ivory Coast crisis broke out, government has taken all the necessary steps in terms of putting all the security measures along our boarder on an alert to make sure that none of these combatants slip into our country with weapons. “Gendeur marines who lay down their weapons and came into the country were apprehended and taken back to Cote d’ Ivoire”. The Deputy Minister described the report as vague, without adequate evidence to support its claims. He cautioned against such alarmist reports saying it only creates unnecessary fear and panic. “What I expected them to tell the public was where the intelligence was coming from and what numbers the intelligence had gathered". "To make such a broad statement is too much of an alarmist position. I get daily and monthly reports from our boarders and none of them have disclosed any information of large weapons coming in, as the report wants us to believe” WANEP has cautioned against complacency in policing Ghana’s western border especially, fearing that such continued influx will have implications for Ghana’s security and even the 2012 elections. Security Analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning whilst agreeing that WANEP may not be in a position to monitor just how many small arms are entering the country, warned Government not to also disregard the report. “I think that WANEP is a reputable institution so irrespective of the veracity of the report; it would be useful to engage WANEP and those who wrote the report to give us indications as to where the weapons are entering from". Dr Aning added that it is the responsibility of WANEP to tell us the number of weapons that coming into the country. He noted that it would be a bit far-fetched to link any weapon smuggled into the country to the upcoming 2012 presidential elections. “I think any influx of weapon should be related to the instability currently in Cote d’Ivoire rather than the presidential elections in 2012”