Security has been increased in Accra Ghana and Lome Togo, following a leaked intelligence report that indicated Islamist militants were likely to launch future attacks in either or both countries.
In Accra, there has been an increased visible police presence in public places such as malls and beaches, while officers in plain clothes are also patrolling.
Upmarket hotels such as the five-star Kempinski Hotel and the neighbouring four star Movenpick Ambassador (both located in the CBD), and the resort style La Palm Royal Beach with its more open beach access, have all introduced enhanced security measures, including thorough searches of vehicles and additional security guards.
In Lome, Togo, guests at popular hotels such as the Sarakawa hotel and the Ibis, both with beach front access, are now also being subjected to enhanced, more thorough, physical checks.
These precautions have been put in place after a leaked report from Ghana’s National Security Council Secretariat which warned of possible attacks similar to those that took place recently in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
That alert said Ghana and Togo may be targeted next and called for greater vigilance at borders and screening for visitors from “high risk” countries (i.e. Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali).
For the attack on the Grand-Bassam resort in the Ivory Coast in March, in which 19 people died, the armed gunmen entered from Mali in a Niger-registered vehicle with their weapons hidden in the petrol tank.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for that attack and also for the attack in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso capital, in January that left 30 dead.
Ghana’s President John Mahama recently said that no country in West Africa is immune from attack.
Ghana Police announced this week that “adequate measures have been put in place to forestall any terrorist attacks or disturbances. All the requisite operational strategies, including intelligence gathering and tactical deployment of personnel have been unfolded to nip any breach of the peace in the bud. In view of this, the police are seeking the co-operation of the general public in the fight against the scourge of terrorism.”
As a consequence, people in both Ghana and Togo are now getting accustomed to more frequent vehicle checks, bag and body searches as well as identity document checks.
OAMME, with its network of military and security services associates throughout Africa, continues to maintain oversight of areas of heightened threat and risk to ensure all clients remain informed, briefed and up to date on the security situation pertaining to their specific areas of operations.