It seems the order by DCOP Awuntubuge Awuni to security officers to shoot down cattle did not go down well with Security Analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning. He has described the directives as ‘disturbing’ as he believes it suggests violence, hence damaging the country’s reputation, and posing a threat to the country’s security.
”I was shocked by this directive to shoot to kill cattle, someone’s economic investment. When we are to do an economic evaluation of the contributions of Fulani herdsmen to the Ghanaian economy, I think people will be very surprised,” he said
Eastern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Awuntubuge Awuni, had instructed security forces to shoot down Fulani cows which might pose a hindrance in carrying out their operations of restoring peace in the areas reported to be troubled by the Fulani herdsmen. He further explained that sometimes the cattle are deliberately directed by the herdsmen to charge at the security officers trying to maintain peace in the area. This according to him, motivated the directives he gave to them.
Nonetheless, Dr. Kwesi Aning, speaking on the Ghana Report programme on Viasat One TV, said the police has the responsibility to save life and properties and not to destroy them.
“For a senior Police officer whose mandate under Act 315 of 1970 is to protect lives and property instructing his men to shoot to kill an economic investment and quite a heavy economic investment, is very disturbing. It is such statement that is tarnishing the shine of Ghana’s international reputation,” he added
DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni had given the directive during the launch of ‘Operation Cow Leg’ meant to flush out Fulanis’ in the areas reported to be disturbed by the Fulani Herdsmen. To buttress his concerns over the safety of the security officers, he directed them to shoot down the Fulani cattle if they are charged by the nomads to cripple their operation or hurt them. He had however, stressed that they should only shoot the cattle when they tend to pose threat, and not when they have done nothing to jeopardize their safety.
Dr. Kwesi Aning is the Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana. His rich experience in security issues are also said to have been occasionally imbibed by a number of organizations including the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS)