Interrogating the Roles of Border Control Agencies in West Africa: An Empirical Insight into Ghana-Togo Border Porosity
Posted: 10 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 10, 2013
Using qualitative data collection and analysis methods, this paper examines the paradoxical roles played by border control agencies on Ghana-Togo border in order to contribute to the theoretical debate on border porosity and security issues in West Africa. To a great extent, the inconsiderate colonial demarcation of borders in West Africa historically accounts for the porous nature, as borderland populations try to challenge the unjust scission of their tribes and ethnic groups. But gradually this initial porosity has been overshadowed by other ahistorical border permeabilities masterminded by new actors including state actors such as border law enforcement agencies. This paper emanating from a research investigating the efficacy of border law enforcement agencies highlights some of their roles which constitute drawbacks to their official mission of ensuring security. Drawing on the Ghana-Togo border example, this paper argues that border control agencies are partly responsible for the current border porosity and attendant security problems in West Africa. This paper therefore proposes that the guarantee of genuine borderland security in West Africa requires a methodological empirical insight into the roles played by these agencies, the support networks through which these roles are channeled and the complexities which influence these actions and networks.
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