Security analyst Dr Kwesi Aning has lashed out at the police commander who has instructed his charges to “shoot and kill” the cattle of recalcitrant Fulani herdsmen who have migrated to the Eastern region.
The Eastern regional Police Commander DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni gave the directive during the launch of ‘Operation Cow Leg’ meant to flush out Fulanis in the region.
“I will not take any casualty on behalf of the security personnel who are going there. If there should be a casualty, it must be them. I don’t want you to come with one of you missing, you are not by this directed to fire indiscriminately but my instruction is that you have every right to defend yourself when you come under attack. And my instruction is that; gun down the cows who will be directed to you,” the commander told his men.
Dr Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre believes the stance of the police is detrimental to the growth of Ghana’s economy since the Fulanis contribute immensely to that sector.
“This directive to shoot to kill a cattle [is worrying]. This is against investment. I will challenge people that were we to do an economic evaluation of the contributions of Fulani herdsmen to the Ghanaian economy I think people will be very surprised,” Dr Aning told Bernard Avle, host of the Ghana Reporter on Viasat 1.
He added: “And for a senior police officer whose mandate under Act 350 of 1970 is to protect lives and property, is instructing his men to shoot to kill a heavy economic investment is quite disturbing and I think it is such statement that is tarnishing the scene of Ghana’s international reputation.”
One hundred and twenty security personnel made up of the military, Police and Immigration were on Monday deployed to some areas of the region believed to be terrorized by the nomads.
The month long operation covers areas such as Fanteakwa, Upper Manya krobo, Kwahu Affram Plains South, Kwahu Affram Plains North, Kwahu East and Dokokrom all in the Eastern region.