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18.04.2005 General News

Ghana's Porous Borders - Are We Secure?

By Times

The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has admitted that Ghana's borders have not been as secure as they should be.

"Though we have opened our borders to facilitate a liberalized trade environment, we have not paid much attention to security," he stated. The Vice President said this when he reviewed the graduation parade of the third intake of immigration cadets at the Ghana immigration Service Academy at Assin Foso in the Central Region on Friday.

He said there was the need to maintain security at the borders because "open borders without credible control make possible a whole range of trans-national threats, including terrorism." For instance, he said, "we have witnessed large scale refugee movement in recent years, creating political and economic insecurity for receiving states.'

Vice-President Mahama stated that it was the duty of the Immigration Service to protect Ghanaians "from those who wish to harm us as well as facilitate legitimate travel. "Your border management strategy must, therefore, ensure that these two equally important imperatives are met continuously and simultaneously," he added.

The Vice-President, however, acknowledged the fact that effective security could only be undertaken if the needs of the security personnel were met. "Maintaining effective security is an expensive investment, but it is a necessary investment because without it, criminals will take advantage to exploit and undermine our peace," he said and the government's commitment to improving the working conditions, as well as the conditions of service for the personnel.

"Government is also committed to strengthening your manpower position as well as training opportunities to build the capacity of the service to deal with modern cross-border challenges," he told personnel of the service. He advised personnel of the immigration service to make "intelligent use" of the communities around them in border control activities, saying that "the communities are the eyes and ears of authorities."

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