The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, has said security risk remains high in the African Plantation for Sustainable Development (APSD) Ghana Limited and in the Atebubu/Amantin Constituency in general in the Bono East Region; hence, the need to maintain military personnel deployed to the area.
The Defence Minister made the comment in Parliament last Wednesday while answering a question by Mr Sanja Nanja, Member of Parliament (MP) for Atebubu/Amantin.
Mr Nanja wanted to know when the armed military personnel deployed to the APSD Ghana Ltd would be withdrawn since their presence was creating serious tension among the inhabitants in the area.
Security of the state
The Defence Minister said the deployment of the soldiers to the APSD Ghana Ltd was done in the interest of the security of the state.
Mr Nitiwul said the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) deployed troops under the Operation Calm Life to the APSD and the general area within the Atebubu/Amantin Constituency in the interest of national security.
He said the team was, however, withdrawn in April last year after satisfactory operations.
"However, in view of the security risk in the general area, the troops were reinstated in September last year to maintain law and order," he said.
Following the redeployment of the troops in the area, Mr Nitiwul said the Ministry of Defence and that of National Security constantly conducted security risk assessment of the entire area after which a determination was made on the need to retain or withdraw the troops.
The Defence Minister noted that the current reports received from the general area and feedback indicated that security risk within the enclave remained very high and, therefore, the need to maintain and retain the troops in the area to ensure peace and security.
After the minister had given his answer to his question, Mr Nanja said he had nothing to say except to submit a document containing a survey by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Youth Volunteer for Environment that contained the real situation that was prevailing on the plantation.
Mr Nanja stated that the situation there was very volatile more than the way the Defence Minister was presenting it.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, after granting the request by Mr Nanja to submit the document directed that it should be accepted for consideration by the Committee of Defence and Interior of Parliament for study and onward report to the House.
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