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Neo
31st March 2011, 01:39 PM
Some members of the Ivoirian gendarmerie, a local paramilitary force, have fled to Ghana to escape the ravages of the post-election violence between forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo and the man internationally-recognised as having won last year’s presidential election, Alassane Ouattara.

The about 20 officers escaped to Ghana through the Atuna Border, near Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Brong Ahafo Region, and surrendered themselves to the Ghanaian authorities as they attempted to flee the northern part of their country to the South.

According to the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, ACP Isaac Alex Quainoo, who confirmed the report to DAILY GUIDE, the gendarmes were afraid to travel through La Côte d’Ivoire from the North to the South due to the insecurity in that country.

He said the gendarmes then decided to seek asylum in Ghana so as to get assistance from the Ghanaian authorities in order to get to Abidjan through the Elubo Border.

ACP Quainoo said the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) was informed on Tuesday about the influx of Ivoirian refugees at the Sampa border.

The REGSEC ordered the screening of the refugees to know their true status and to make sure that none of them carried any weapons into Ghana. “We want to make sure that they have not come here to create troubles,” said the police chief.

Daily Guide's investigations established that some pistols and live bullets were retrieved from the gendarmes during the screening. The Deputy Regional Police Commander said the REGSEC secured a bus to transport the gendarmes to the Elubo border en route to Abidjan.

However, at the time of filing this report, the gendarmes were still at the police headquarters because officials had not finalized procedures for their departure. Earlier on Wednesday morning, the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Robert Ayalingo, addressed the gendarmes to be law-abiding while in Ghana. He also asked them to follow the immigration procedures at the Elubo border when finally cleared to leave Ghana.

Meanwhile, members of REGSEC were summoned for an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon to ostensibly discuss the presence of the gendarmes in the region.



Source: Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani/Daily Guide