The Centre for Defence and Security (CDS) has called on government to improve the quality of political direction to the security agencies to stem the tide of kidnappings in Ghana.
The statement, which was signed by Yaro Kasambata, executive director of the centre, said the recent spate of kidnappings points to resilient checks. Listing about five other cases of kidnappings, including the most recent one involving two Canadian exchange students and that involving the Takoradi girls, which has garnered much public attention, the CDS said “this wave of kidnappings, human trafficking, abductions and fluid movement of arms in Ghana, when collectively analysed, are resilient symptoms of terrorism”.
The statement went further to say that, “There is established nexus between terrorism and kidnappings. Ransom payments from kidnappings fund activities of terror groups.”
The statement also pointed to the fact that the sale of abductees into prostitution rings in neighbouring countries is a known source of funding for terrorist activities.
According to the CDS’ statement, the Sahel region has become a fertile ground for prostitution rings who use kidnapped victims in their trade. It said that there are currently 20,000 Nigerian girls engaging in forced prostitution in Mali. Kidnapped girls from other West African countries are trafficked to Nigeria and subsequently sold into prostitution rings in the Sahel region.
The statement also pointed at the modus operandi of groups like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, which use kidnappings, abductions, human trafficking and illegal arms trade as means of financing and sustaining their spread within the sub-region.
The centre surmises that while there have been no lethal terrorist attacks in the country, “this wave of kidnappings could be terrorist attack manifesting as
kidnappings since the elements of brutal force, lethal weapons and ‘instilling fear’ are involved”.
The statement, therefore, urged the national security agencies to have a proper evaluation of these kidnappings and their inter-linkages with terrorism to enable them devise the appropriate strategies to tackle same.
The Centre for Defence and Security also condemned government’s response as being unsatisfactory, therefore emboldening the perpetrators. The statement said, “The police’s handling of the kidnappings have also been poor. The failure of the police to resolve the kidnapping of the three Takoradi girls emboldened the subsequent kidnappings of the Indian national and the Estonian diplomat. The failure of the police to arrest these kidnappers further emboldened the recent kidnapping of the two Canadian nationals.”
The centre called for synergy in the security establishment to bridge intelligence
lapses and duplications that tend to be unproductive. Additionally, they called on the police to step up patrols in the cities and suburbs to boost presence in both overt and covert manner. “We hope the police will rescue the kidnapped Canadians and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“In the same vein, the pending case of the three kidnapped Takoradi girls must also be resolved as soon as possible to restore confidence and cure the feeling of insecurity in the country,” the statement concluded.
Source: The Finder