UN’s Ibn Chambas fears civil unrest if political vigilante groups operate

347243094_853373Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr. Ibn Chambas, has asked political parties in the country to urgently stop entertaining vigilante groups.

Dr. Ibn Chambers says the activities of these groups have the potential to plunge the country into civil unrest.

Citing Nigeria’s Boko Haram as an example, he said the insurgent group started as a political vigilante group but later turned around to haunt the people of the West African country.

Dr. Chambas also asked political party leaders to fight against extremism, which he said was high in the West African sub-region.

The UN official was speaking at the launch of a book jointly edited by New Patriotic Party (NPP) vice presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Vice Dean for the Central University College’s Business School.

Dr Chambas also appealed to political parties in the country to work towards peace during next year’s multi-party elections.

“Election year means there will be heightened political tension. But please let us keep all of that safe. The UN will do its best to accompany this process so that we can have credible and peaceful elections,” Dr Chambas said.

Azorka Boys, affiliated to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and NPP’s Invincible Forces and Bolga Bulldogs are among active political vigilante groups in the country.

Last month, violence erupted at the headquarters of the NPP in Accra when Bulldogs and Invincible Forces (touted as the private security force of the opposition party) clashed.

Police has meanwhile begun a clamp down these vigilante groups.

In a strongly-worded statement in July this year following a chaotic Talensi by-election, the police said it was not going to tolerate the activities of these group, describing them as illegal.

The statement signed by the Director-General in charge of the Public Affairs Department of the service, DCOP David Ampah-Bennin, said it is illegal for any group to undertake any activities in the form of a security service without license from the Police Service.

source: myjoyonline.com

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