Encroachers on Ghana-Burkina Faso boundary line defy May 5 deadline to relocate

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Individuals who have encroached on the buffer zone and Ghana’s international boundary line at Paga in the Upper East Region have disregarded a May 5 deadline to remove their structures.

During a recent visit facilitated by the Ghana Boundary Commission, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) cited security implications arising from the actions of the residents.

A deliberation between Ghana and Burkina Faso is underway to address the boundary-related issues and resolve the encroachment amicably.

Speaking to JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba, the Paga Sector Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration William Sabi, stated that a humane approach is the best way to address the problem.

He said that in a previous meeting with the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of operations and command posts, the people encroaching on the lands were asked to relocate.

“You know, it is not as simple as that, so they agreed in principle to move. But their issue was where to go now,” Mr. Sabi said.

He emphasised the Commission’s next line of action, noting that the initial deadline for them to move was May 5, which has elapsed.

“I think that’s why they are still deliberating in Bolga, and I’m sure when the communiqué comes out, there’ll be other things that will follow to determine what the two countries do,” he added.

Commenting on the security implications of the encroachments on the buffer zone, Mr Sabi pointed out that if someone commits a crime in Ghana and runs to Burkina Faso to seek refuge, the state cannot pursue them across the border.

He stressed that such acts give room for miscreants to misbehave.

He also mentioned unique situations where a hotel has its reception in Ghana but rooms extending into Burkina Faso.

“There is a guesthouse where part of the building is in Ghana and the other part is in Burkina Faso. I don’t know whether it’s owned by a Ghanaian or a Burkinabe, but that’s a typical example: the reception is in Ghana, and the rooms are in Burkina Faso.”

On his part, the Commissioner General of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Kotia, said that the encroachment is against international law.

He noted that Burkina Faso has the resources to move their border line forward to cover the gap that has been created and Ghana is aiming to do the same.

“There is also the need for us—that is the reason why the Head of Immigration and Head of Customs from Accra are here with the Police and other officials—so that we can brainstorm and see how Ghana can also close up that gap. We do not want to leave space for criminals or any unforeseen circumstances in between that gap,” he said.


Source: graphic.com.gh

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Kennedy Mornah is an Award Winning Ghanaian Journalist with over two decades of experience in the Ghanaian Media landscape spanning the electronic, print and digital media. He is a Media Consultant, a Corporate MC, Radio and TV Host, Founder and Publisher of the Maritime and Transport Digest Newspaper, Businessman, a Go getter and an optimist. He has worked for renowned media organizations including Diamond Fm in Tamale, Luv Fm in Kumasi, Oman Fm in Accra and Starr Fm in Accra In 2017 he received the Reporter of the Year Award at the Ghana Shippers Awards in Accra, Ghana.

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