REGSEC to flush Fulanis out

The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC), has re-activated ‘Operation Cow Leg’ to flush out alien Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from the Afram Plains.

The reactivation of “Operation Cow Leg” forms part of efforts to bring to an end, the troubles between the herdsmen and the inhabitants of the Plains.

This is in response to a Kumasi High Court order on January 20, 2012 to the REGSEC to remove the herdsmen and their cattle from the plains, when the case was referred to the court.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong, who announced this on Wednesday after he led REGSEC members and a team of journalists to Agogo, following clashes between the indigenous farmers and the herdsmen, said a time table for the evacuation exercise would soon be released.

It was a follow-up to an exercise conducted by the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Kofi Boakye, following alleged reports of atrocities committed by the herdsmen,which were forwarded to the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The REGSEC held separate meetings with the chiefs of the traditional area, the inhabitants, made up of farmers who were victims and some cattle owners, during which the decision for the evacuation was announced.

Alhaji Mohammed Merago, spokesman for the cattle owners, alleged that there had been new faces of herdsmen who had moved in groups with thousands of their cattle to occupy the farmlands especially at Kowereso, Brekete, Aberawampong, Pataban, Oyimso, Munkala, and Nyamebekyere.

He pleaded with the REGSEC to exercise restraint as they were doing everything possible to control and instil discipline among the herdsmen.

But, the Regional Minister after visiting the farms, said all measures would be put in place to move the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from the area.

As part of the preparation towards the evacuation exercise, he donated a 4 x 4 pick -up vehicle to the district assembly with a promise to add another one.

He said that the “Operation Cow Leg” would monitor the fringes of the plains to ensure that no herdsman enters the area with his cattle.

In response to a question on ECOWAS protocol on free movement of people in the West African sub-region, the Regional Minster said the protocol did not talk about destruction of property, but that foreigners should respect the laws of host’s country.

The Regional Minister further called on the police to attach seriousness to all criminal cases, and prosecute offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Agogo

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