Govt’s handling of recent kidnappings poor – Group

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A group calling itself the Centre for Defence and Security has criticized the Police Service and government for what it describes as the poor handling of the recent kidnappings in the country.

The group said government’s response to the recent “security breaches” including kidnappings and human trafficking in the country has been unsatisfactory, while the police service’s handling of these cases has been poor.

“Government’s response to these recent security breaches have not been satisfactory. The police handling of the kidnappings have also been poor. The failure of the police to resolve the kidnapping of the three Takoradi girls embolden the subsequent kidnappings of the Indian national and the Estonian Diplomat. The failure of the Police to arrest these kidnappers further embolden the recent kidnapping of the two Canadian nationals.”

The group’s comment follows the recent case of kidnapping involving two Canadian women in the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi.

The group, in a statement said “these recent kidnappings in Ghana can also be a variant manifestation of terrorism” in the country.

“This wave of kidnappings, human trafficking, abductions and fluid movement of arms in Ghana when collectively analyzed are resilient symptoms of terrorism and could be a variant manifestation of terrorism. There is established nexus between terrorism and kidnappings. Ransom payments from kidnappings fund activities of terror groups. Trafficking of abducted females usually between the ages of 16 and 21 are sold into prostitution rings in neighbouring countries is a known source of funding for terrorist groups,” the statement added.

Recent kidnappings

Three girls in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and one in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality in the Western Region are believed to have been kidnapped between August 2018 and January 2019.

Three of the victims were reportedly kidnapped by the main suspect arrested earlier this year, 2019.

The suspect, Samuel Udoetuk Wills, is said to be behind the kidnapping of three girls in the Western Region between August and December 2018.

Samuel Udoetuk Wills is currently in police custody and being tried for breaking jail.

He has failed to provide the location of the kidnapped girls.

The Police are currently under public pressure to find the kidnapped girls.

The top hierarchy of the police has given assurances that they will arrest the suspects.

Below is the statement from the group 

KIDNAPPINGS: A VARIANT MANIFESTATION OF TERRORISM IN GHANA
1. Ghana is experiencing a wave of kidnappings. The recent case was Tuesday June 4, 2019 where two female Canadians aged 19 and 20 were kidnapped in Kumasi and Police has commenced search for their rescue. In April this year, an Indian businessman was also kidnapped in Kumasi and even though he was rescued Police was unable to arrest the kidnappers. In the same April of this year, an Estonian diplomat in Ghana was kidnapped but was later rescued in a Police raid while the kidnappers fled. In August and December 2018, three Ghanaian females between the ages 18 to 21 were kidnapped in Takoradi and have not been found till date;

2. This wave of kidnappings, human trafficking, abductions and fluid movement of arms in Ghana when collectively analyzed are resilient symptoms of terrorism and could be a variant manifestation of terrorism. There is established nexus between terrorism and kidnappings. Ransom payments from kidnappings fund activities of terror groups. Trafficking of abducted females usually between the ages of 16 and 21 are sold into prostitution rings in neighbouring countries is a known source of funding for terrorist groups;

3. Recent report by Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency revealed that most girls kidnapped within the sub-region are sold into prostitution rings in the Sahel. Currently, 20,000 Nigerian girls have been forced into prostitution in Mali. Kidnapped girls from other West African countries are trafficked to Nigeria and subsequently sold into prostitution rings in the Sahel region. Terror groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab with their cellular networks scattered across West Africa use kidnappings, abductions, human trafficking and illegal arms trade as means of financing and sustaining their spread within the sub-region and possibly Ghana;

4. Besides being resilient symptoms of terrorism, these recent kidnappings in Ghana can also be a variant manifestation of terrorism. While Ghana has not experienced lethal terrorist attack, the Centre for Defence & Security theorizes that 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 national security agencies should therefore have a proposer evaluation of these kidnappings and their inter-linkages with terrorism to enable them devise the appropriate strategies to tackle same;

5. Government’s response to these recent security breaches have not been satisfactory. The police handling of the kidnappings have also been poor. The failure of the police to resolve the kidnapping of the three Takoradi girls embolden the subsequent kidnappings of the Indian national and the Estonian Diplomat. The failure of the Police to arrest these kidnappers further embolden the recent kidnapping of the two Canadian nationals;

6. Government must improve the quality of political direction to the security agencies to stem the tide of kidnappings in Ghana. There must be synergy in the security establishment to bridge intelligence lapses and duplications that turn to be unproductive. Additionally, the police must 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.

Thank you.
SIGNED
Yaro Kasambata
Executive Director

Source: citinewsroom.com