Two Ghanaian Transit Truck Drivers, have been shot and killed at the Malian Border Town of Koury.
The two, believed to be Mouhamed Moumen and Suleiman Gariba, had stopped at a security barrier near the Burkina Faso to Mali Border in the town called Koury to go and settle their usual travel arrangements.
While negotiating the fees to be paid, with the security officials, close to the barrier, armed men described as alleged members of the some Terrorist Group, attacked the drivers as well as the other security officers at the barrier.
Instantly, seven (7) people which comprised two Malian Gendarmerie, Two Malian Duane (Customs), 1 Civilian Assistant to the Malian Duane and the two Ghanaian Truck Drivers, were shot and killed.
The conductors or driver mates upon witnessing the incident bolted and are alive currently recounting the incident.
The remains of the murdered Ghanaian Truck Drivers and the five (5) others have so far been deposited at a Mortuary in Koutiala, a small town, 20km away from the Malian Border Town of Koury.
The trucks were conveying Floor Tiles from the Port of Takoradi in Ghana to be delivered to one importer in the Malian Capital, Bamako.
A homeland security expert and a criminal profiler, Kwame Boakye Danquah, of the Heart One Institute who addressed the issue, said the state security agencies of Ghana should build more capacity as a matter of urgency, making sure Ghana is well equipped to prevent such occurrences from happening in the country.
“You see what is happening in the Transit Countries are cross boarder issue- very sensitive. We cannot say we are going to close our boarder to the people but as autonomous country, we need to sit down and do our homework well and defend this country. Because, the terrorists operating there can cross over here but once we ensure all the boarders are secured and our security apparatus are on top of issues, when we have proactive policing, and the executives do the right thing to equip them to be on top of the game, they will get it right,” he admonished.
He advised state security agencies as well as civilians to prioritize intelligence sharing, in order to forestall any form of acts of terror by organized criminals who could invade our country space.
“We have to train people on how to gather intelligence, everything is about intelligence, you sense something fishy, you have to report it to the police, when you report it, it shouldn’t end there. You should have a local number where any suspicious or nefarious activity can be reported,” he advised.
However, Eye on Port Is reliably informed that the Minister of Security, in Mali, said the military is being deployed to tighten security at the borders, to ensure such events do not happen again.
He said the security blocks along the corridor would be increased in order to avoid criminal groups from laying ambush on truck drivers who use the corridor.
Also, the legal fee of 1000 CFA paid at the Koury borders to the Customs has been halted indefinitely, in order to eliminate the stoppages that have proved to be dangerous.
Consequently, the Joint Association of Port Transport Union (JAPTU) are also appealing that transit trucks be escorted by the police anytime they embark on a transit trip to serve as security.
Esther Gyebi Donkor, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA, assured the transit community especially the truck drivers of the Port Authority’s commitment to liaise with Authorities in the Sahelian countries to put in place measures that would ensure safe passage on the corridors without compromise.
“We send our condolences to them and we want to assure them that the port authority is doing all within its capability to intervene in this matter to restore peace in that area” she assured.
She encouraged the drivers to also take very good care of themselves in their journeys.
“We have been informed by the drivers’ union that they wish that the Malians authority will organise some police escort for them in these few days so that they feel safer. The port authority has discussed with the representative with Mali at the Port and she has asked has to make formal request and that would be passed on to the authorities that would handle this and we hope that once we present the formal request some action will be taken and our drivers will feel safer,” she expressed.