19.04.2005 General News

Interior Minister visits Aflao border

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Aflao, April 19, GNA - Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, on Tuesday told security personnel to be vigilant and maintain effective border control to contain persons who might want to take undue advantage of the country's stable and peaceful atmosphere for "unsafe practices.''

"Borders define the images of countries and are therefore strategic in determining the integrity of a country," Papa Ankomah said. He was addressing a durbar of security agencies during a tour of the Ghana-Togo border at Aflao, prompted by recent influx of Sudanese refugees into the country and the political situation in Togo.

The minister also interacted with the Togolese border security personnel and urged them to cooperate with their Ghanaian counterparts to keep the frontier of the two countries safe.

The visit also took Papa Owusu Ankomah to Pillar 13, an unapproved crossing point along the Ghana-Togo border, allegedly used by the Sudanese refugees to enter the country.

Papa Ankomah said though the country was not interested in unnecessary policing, "it must be understood that the country is positioned within turbulent states and people from those areas may want to take advantage of the Ghanaian environment.''

He appealed to the security agencies - the Police, Fire Service, Customs Excise and Preventive and Immigration services to cooperate and avoid rivalry.

"Share information and don't delay vital tips-offs which can help the work of other sister agencies," Papa Ankomah said. He said the government appreciated the trying conditions under which the personnel were working and was determined to equip them to raise their morale.

Papa Ankomah called for vigilance among the Ghanaian border security personnel to help protect the safety of neighbouring Togo in the coming presidential elections there. Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Volta Regional Minister, said a peaceful poll in Togo was in the interest of the security of the Volta Region and Ghana as a whole.

Miss Elizabeth Baffoe, Comptroller of Immigration at the Aflao Border called for the supply of patrol vehicles, communication gadgets and other equipment to enhance monitoring in the area. During a courtesy call on Togbe Amenya Fiti V, the Paramount Chief of Aflao, Papa Ankomah said the government considered chiefs as very important in the administration of the country.

Togbe Fiti appealed to ECOWAS, through President John Agyekum Kufuor, to get more involved in the elections in Togo to prevent the tense situation there from deteriorating further.

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