Ghana Arrests 3 Men With AK-47 Rifles, ‘Planning Coup’

The men are suspected of plotting to overthrow the government of Alassane Ouattara. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File)

The men are suspected of plotting to overthrow the government of Alassane Ouattara. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File)

AFP – Ghana police have arrested three men in possession of AK-47 rifles on suspicion that they were plotting to overthrow the government in neighbouring Ivory Coast, police said Tuesday.

The Ivorian government of Alassane Ouattara has accused supporters of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo of backing a series of attacks on the army and police with help from exiles in Ghana.

“The indication is that they were going to Ivory Coast to try to overthrow the government, but we don’t know the exact details yet,” said Frank Kwofie, director of operations at the department of criminal investigations in Ghana‘s police.

He said the three were arrested Friday “in possession of AK-47 rifles,” but did not provide further details, including the number of weapons.

A full report from investigators in central Cape Coast where the arrests were made was expected soon, he added.

In a meeting last month, Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama assured Ouattara that he would not let Ivorian exiles plot attacks on their home country from Ghanaian soil.

Thousands of Gbagbo loyalists fled to Ghana after the fall of his regime following the post-election conflict from December 2010 to April 2011, in which some 3,000 people were killed.

Ghanaian police last month arrested Justin Kone Katinan, Gbagbo’s spokesman who is wanted in Ivory Coast for alleged economic crimes as budget minister during the post-election crisis.

Prosecutors in Accra are seeking to extradite Katinan back to Ivory Coast, with the next hearing in the case scheduled for September 25.

Katinan’s lawyers have argued that he cannot be extradited because he has refugee status in Ghana.

The arrests of Katinan and the unidentified gunmen followed a series of attacks on the army and the police near Ivory Coast’s economic capital, Abidjan, and on the Liberian border.

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