Accra, March 6, GNA - Mrs Levinia Addai-Mensah, the Deputy Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), has called for a comprehensive national peace and security strategy for the country.
She said the Government would benefit from such a comprehensive strategy, which would comprise not only individual policies but also integrate major areas in the security sector that would outline national approach to peace and security.
Mrs Addai-Mensah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in reaction to the recent reshuffle in the top hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service, following upsurge in armed robbery attacks in the country.
She said the strategy, would also help us to have a more structured approach and response system, which would define the short term and the long term measures to be taken as a nation to combat crime.
She said owing to the lack of a comprehensive national peace and security strategy at the moment, different ministries, departments and agencies were having their own strategies in dealing with the menace of land guards in the country.
Mrs Addai-Mensah, on behalf WANEP, extended their condolences and sympathies to all who have been affected by the recent robberies.
On the reshuffle, Mrs Addai-Mensah said it was important to recognise the efforts of the Police, even though that would not solve the problem; declaring that "I believe strongly that that will not resolve the problem."
"It is important to recognise it because certainly there is a certain amount of fear and anxiety among citizens and therefore, the stakeholders with the primary responsibilities to assure safety and security is the police, they are the first line respondents and therefore, they must be seen to be also concerned," she added.
"I think that is what the reshuffling stands for. It stands for; we have heard you, we feel your fear and we feel your anxiety."
She noted that the reshuffle in itself was not the solution to the problem.
"Reshuffling people around is just reshuffling persons, it does not tell us much in terms of what institution plans to do, it does not tell us much in terms of how it is going be done," she said.
"So it can give only a certain level of assurance that we are listening to our fears and anxieties. But it doesn't tell us how the problem is going to be resolved and that in itself certainly cannot resolve the problem.
"We need to see broader, more strategic approaches or we need to be informed of the broader and more strategic approaches to dealing with something that has been going on for a very long time and therefore, its solution cannot be with a one time measure."
Mrs Addai-Mensah said: "Reshuffling is important! Of course we do not have the details of the strategies of the police or indeed, other security aspect they may have laid down, this at least has not been communicated to us, and therefore, it may well fall into their broader plans, the point is that reshuffling itself cannot resolve the problem."
On unemployment and armed robbery, she noted that "it is now common knowledge that there is a direct correlation between the rate of unemployment and the rate of crime in every country. I think that has been established for a very long time."
She cautioned that the increasing numbers of unemployed youth in the country was a threat to national security.
"At the end of the day, these are people that are within the system and they need to survive and therefore, if their energies are idle, obviously they would have to be translated into some kind of action," she stated.
"What is easier to translate your action into? Regularise credible legitimate jobs, which are not available by the way or are not enough by the way. Or to find yourself into other areas that may not be legitimate, but overtime because of the rate of impunity have become legitimate."
She called for the creation of jobs to absorb the unemployed youth of the nation; declaring that the devil finds work for the idle hands.