General News of Monday, 24 September 2012
The Ivorian authorities have decided to open the Ghana-Ivory Coast border, albeit, temporarily to allow only pedestrians to move in and out of that country, Joy News has learnt.
Vehicles have restricted from driving through the border which will be closed at 6pm everyday pending further discussions with the Ghanaian authorities.
The decision was arrived at on Monday after a crunch meeting by the authorities of both countries.
The Ivorian authorities closed the border near Elubo in the Western Region last Friday after attacks on an Ivorian army checkpoint in the border town of Noe left about four people dead.
Earlier, Ivory Coast reopened its air space to Ghana for flight operations between the two countries. Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Air Commdore (Rtd) Kwame Mamphey confirmed to Joy News.
The closure caused a lot of passengers be stranded in the country, especially at the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border at Elubo on Monday morning. A resident at Elubo, Jeffery Aniagyei told Joy News most hotels were fully booked and those who cannot afford were stranded at the border.
Ivoirian authorities closed the border on suspicion that the attacks at Noe were launched by pro-Gbagbo militias exiled in Ghana. But Ghana has denied the allegations made by the Ivoirian Defense Minister and is demanding proof.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Immigration Service has increased border patrols to prevent people from using unauthorized routes. Public Relations Officer of the Service, Francis Palmdeti has told Joy news there is little they can do to help passengers.
In a related development, a security expert thinks the Ivorian authorities misfired in the reason they assigned in closing their border with Ghana.
Executive Director of the West African Network for Peace Building, Emmanuel Bombande told Joy News Ivorian authorities have only been speculating and have so far not even been able to proof that the attackers came from Ghana.
Granted if they were from Ghana, it is subversion, he noted.
“It is in the interest of the security agencies in La Cote d’Ivoire to cooperate and partner with their counterparts across the border in Ghana so that they can deal with these subversion activities that would undermine their internal security.”
He further noted: “But when people like Commander Sampaio give the impression that it is the Ghanaian security that has allowed this to happen, then they are not serving their interest well. Because what they do is that, they put our authorities to be on the defensive and not to cooperate as they should.”