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24.08.2004 General News

Mercenary threat is storm in a teacup - ASDR

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Accra, Aug. 24, GNA - The African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR) on Tuesday described a recent story alleging an invasion of Ghana by Liberian mercenaries as "a storm in a teacup".
"The timing of the publication is unfortunate, content is too shallow and lacks in-depth security cohesion and variables for intelligence analysis," Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Anning, Senior Research Fellow of ASDR, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.
Dr Anning said the article that led to these discussions demonstrated a certain weakness in content and contradiction. He said the perspective that some opposition figures of political parties were attempting to recruit mercenaries from other West African countries to destabilise Ghana was unfounded and baseless.
Such "fabrications" should be dismissed, he said, adding that they were propagandist tactics by individuals or group of people wishing to discredit opposition parties with the aim scoring political points in an election year.
"If you look at the history of counter intelligence works, it is always necessary to discredit your opponents in ways that force (them) to divert resources and energies into issues that otherwise may not have been relevant to their agenda.
"Of course in an election year, issues of credibility, resources, energy to go out there to canvas for votes are very crucial and looking at the political history of this country any such allegations even without mentioning names mean that you would be pointing fingers at a particular individual and a particular political party."
Dr Anning stressed that such political manipulation was unfortunate and disturbing, as the recent history of the country contradicted the basis for either an individual or group of persons to destabilise without support of a broad spectrum of the civilian public.
He cited another weakness of the story as focusing on opposition parties, saying: "We seemed to be making the assumption or exhibiting the na=EFve impression that it is only opposition parties who are interested in destabilising the country."
Members of a sitting Government, he said, sometimes also had an interest in destabilising their own Government because they might have been passed over consistently for a top political job.
"They get frustrated or they feel that in the interim their political and economic interest coincides with people of other political groupings.
"It is extremely dangerous and na=EFve to conclude that it is only people of opposition political parties that are interested in destabilising a particular government or state. People within the governing party depending on their current needs could also use reactionary forces."
Dr Anning said the destabilisation angle needed to be analysed over and beyond an individual or one particular political party, to include what set of interest drives a group of political and economic enemies to come together in an attempt to destabilise a particular government. He said by narrowing the angle and focusing on an individual or a particular political party as a threat, those within the governing party would then have diverted attention to have enough room to carry on their diabolic agenda.
He said a security intelligence expert analysis of coups d'etats in the country indicated that there was no single coup d'etat in which political, economic and social organisations had not played key roles.