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20.08.2002 General News

We'll Not Put Rawlings Under House Arrest - Govt

We'll Not Put Rawlings Under House Arrest - Govt
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Government says it has not taken any decision to place former President Jerry Rawlings under house arrest. A private newspaper – The National Concord, on Monday reported that the former military leader might be put under house arrest, based on recommendations by security agencies. The report said the security agencies took the decision after concluding that the former President was a security risk. But Information Minister, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey says government has no such plans and has also not decided to resettle Rawlings out of Accra. A senior fellow with the African Security Dialogue and Research, Dr Emmanuel Anning has meanwhile stated that placing former President Rawlings under house arrest will not be a prudent move. He told JOY FM that there is no sufficient evidence to charge Rawlings with treason on his positive defiance call. Dr Anning expressed discomfort about the over concentration of security attention on the former President, saying that there are thousands of people waiting to exploit such situations to express their frustrations. “Rawlings is a high profile international figure and to always put him, so to speak on the security agenda, will always give him high security strength analysis, both in the country and on the international scene. People will begin to ask questions about his strengths, to what extent he is a treat etc and people are beginning to feel sympathetic towards Rawlings”. Dr Anning noted that the convergence of NDC members at the BNI offices last week could have turned into a nasty situation had the people decided to act as such. “People are waiting on fringes to exploit anything that will give them access to people's properties and so we will have to be circumspect when it comes to issues concerning Rawlings”, Dr Anning added. Meanwhile, the Concord newspaper says it still stands by its story on house arrest.

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