Ghana, considered a peaceful nation in Africa has been warned of potential threat to its stability due to the activities of vigilante groups and private security firms.
According to a UN group that has studied the security situation in the West African nation there is a high influx of mercenaries and private security groups in Ghana beyond reasonable level.
Experts who are part of this UN group said the ratio between private firms and the number of police officers was “the most worrying I’ve seen in any country”.
Official figures in Ghana show that some 400 private groups in the country employ around 450,000 people whereas the country has a police force of only 33,000 officers.
The the UN working group on mercenaries also said that an estimated 1.3m illegal weapons have been smuggled into Ghana with these weapons in the hands of vigilante groups and armed individuals.
The phenomenon of vigilantism is also surging over the past five years with many of them affiliated to political parties.
One of the UN group officials Patricia Arias, said Ghana’s peace is under threat.
“We have seen many times how countries like Ghana, with rich natural resources and porous borders, can fall prey to mercenaries and mercenary-related activities when the security situation is undermined by violence – often at the hands of armed groups,” Arias added.
Ghana’s government has now been warned to enforce tough measures to deal with the threats of these private security firms and vigilante groups.