A UN group has warned Ghana’s peace and stability is being undermined by mercenaries and private security groups flooding the country.
One expert said the ratio between private firms and the number of police officers was “the most worrying I’ve seen in any country”.
According to government figures, there are about 400 private groups which employ around 450,000 people, but only 33,000 police officers.
Added to this, members of the the UN working group on mercenaries noted an estimated 1.3m illegal weapons have been smuggled into Ghana, as well as the spread of vigilante groups and armed individuals.
Expert Patricia Arias, part of the group which visited Ghana last week, warned it might be a recipe for disaster:
“We have seen many times how countries like Ghana, with rich natural resources and porous borders, can fall prey to mercenarism and mercenary-related activities when the security situation is undermined by violence – often at the hands of armed groups.” she said
The group has called for the government to bring in tough measures against such companies, many of which have not had basic training on issues like human rights.