The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has advised all travellers and cross border traders to use only approved routes for their own safety and security amidst threats of terrorism.
Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Martin Tioseh Soyeh, the Upper East Regional Public Affairs Officer, GIS, noted that activities of terrorism were heightened and more pronounced in recent times especially along Ghana’s borders, hence the need for self precaution.
He therefore called on travellers and those engaged in cross border trade to be on high alert and take their personal security seriously by using approved routes to ensure protection from security personnel.
DSI Soyeh made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga after the recent attacks in Burkina Faso, close to Ghana’s borders in the Upper East Region.
In recent times, Ghana’s borders at Paga and the Bawku enclave in the Upper East Region had been threatened by terrorists’ activities leading to many residents of Burkina Faso seeking haven in Ghana.
Currently, more than 1,000 Burkina Faso nationals have sought refuge at Sapeliga in the Bawku West District, Bansi in the Binduri District and Djantiga in the Bawku Municipality.
DSI Soyeh explained that the GIS was collaborating with other security agencies such as the military to curb any spill- over, through snap checks and patrols along the borders, however the numerous unapproved routes presented a big challenge to effectively combat crime.
“We want to urge everybody who is travelling to pass through approved routes for their own safety because if you pass through any unapproved route and you are attacked, your fate is in your hands but if you pass through the approved routes where our officers are stationed, they will be able to fight for you,” he advised.
The Public Affairs Officer noted that the Service had strengthened its mandate of profiling travellers and giving them the necessary advice.
He said curbing the activities of terrorists required collective efforts from all stakeholders.
DSI Soyeh noted that there was the need for all officers patrolling the borders to be armed to ensure that they would be well prepared to protect the country’s borders against any external attacks.
“These criminals have people who do surveillance for them and so if we had mounted surveillance cameras set to view far, it will help us,” he said.
He advised residents especially those living along the borders to be vigilant and report suspicious characters to the security agencies for action.