Don’t use force against Fulani herdsmen – Dr Aning

Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning.

Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning.

Security expert, Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning has cautioned government against the use of brute force in resolving the farmer-nomadic herdsmen crisis in the country.


Dialogue and a soft approach with the cattle herders may prove a more sustainable solution to the menace, the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)  said in Accra


Speaking at a forum organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in Accra yesterday to assess the first year of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government on issues of security, he said the use of force, dubbed ‘Operation Cow Leg’, was archaic and confrontational.


“The revised strategy to resolve the impasse is not the way to go. Operation Cow Leg driven by the shoot-to-kill strategy is confrontational; it’s dangerous, it’s aggravating the problem. They won’t sit idle to lose their source of livelihood. They will respond in equal measure,” he added.


Dr Aning explained that the current confrontational approach was leading to a narrative of exclusion, victimhood and dispossession which could be a tool  for radicalisation and widespread violence.


He cautioned that the Fulani ethnic group, which constitutes a substantial population within the West Africa sub region, may join in and respond with equal force, thereby escalating the problem.


As a country, he reiterated the need for a dialogue on the economic benefit cattle rearing to the country and use available resources to address the challenges that could arise out of the activity.


In an attempt to find lasting solution to the menace, government has revised its strategy in response to an attack on the members of the taskforce, with a focus on driving out the nomadic cattle herders with intensified force.


Last week, three soldiers sustained gunshot wounds after an attack by the herdsmen at Agogo in the Ashanti Region.


The soldiers and a police officer, all members of Operation Cow Leg, were shot by herdsmen after they had responded to a distress call by a farmer whose crops were being destroyed by cattle belonging to the Fulani.


The unknown assailants laid ambush and shot at the security officers.


The injured security officers are currently receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

By Claude Nyarko Adams


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