Ghana cannot disband vigilante groups without the help of UN-MP


The Member of Parliament for Talensi, Mr. Benson Tongo Baba, has supported the call by analysts to have the United Nations and other international bodies, support the disbandment of all political vigilante groups in the country.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Rainbow Radio’s parliamentary correspondent, Afia Kwarteng, the MP said, the cost involved in disbanding these unlawful groups maybe too expensive for Ghana to bear.

The MP stressed on the need for political vigilante groups to be disbanded since it is a threat on Ghana’s democracy.

He said, ‘’the disbandment also has a cost and I don’t the state can absorb all of them,’’ he said.

Mr Tongo Baba recounted how persons who had formed militia groups in the past, were integrated into the various security agencies but was worried the solution applied for the situation in the past, may not fit what are faced with today.

‘’The situation we have toady is partisan. One political party has recruited more than 5,000 persons as members of a vigilante group, and when you disband them, where will there go? That is where the problem is coming from, and such a problem cannot be solved in Ghana. Going forward, they have recruited some of them into the security agencies; that means they have politicise the security agencies and that is dangerous for our democracy.

I am of the view that, we have to invite international bodies to intervene. They should intervene and advice Ghana on how best to resolve the challenge.’’

He made reference to Boko Haram in Nigeria and former militants in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and said, the processes used in addressing these challenges, if workable in Ghana that would be fine.

Security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Anning, the Director of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre has, also espoused the MPs call for the UN to intervene.

Testifying before the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry on Monday, Kwesi Anning said the country must not be shy to request help from organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union to help it deal with political party vigilante groups since the process involves an elaborate strategy for the disaggregation of the groups.

“We should not be shy as a nation to say probably the UN should come and help to play the honest broker, or the African Union because in disaggregating those who are members of these groups, the economic interests, their geographical location, what they used their strengths and equipment for when they are not being used [for vigilante activities], need a trust-building process, [and] that takes quite some time.”

“Let’s begin the process of building trust between and among those who established these groups… How do we negotiate around the difficulties in which we have placed ourselves? Are there national institutions that can play the honest broker, and I think the level of suspicion is so deep,” he said.

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