Ghana Armed Forces apologises to chiefs and people of Wa over assault by soldiers

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The Ghana Armed Forces has met with traditional leaders and the people of Wa in the Upper West Region and apologised for the manhandling of some residents by its officers on Thursday.

Leading a military delegation, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, said the incident was to be blamed on a“misguided few”.

“On behalf of the Military High Command, please accept our sincere apology, and I want to assure you that from today [Friday], this will not happen again,” Major General Oppong-Peprah said.

He said the incident surprised the Military High Command, but assured that “all those involved in this act will be brought to book.”

“We are going to fish out all those who were involved in this, and give them the maximum punishment according to our code of service discipline… They are subject to the Military code of discipline, and we will apply the appropriate sanctions,” Major General Oppong-Peprah stressed.

The Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament has also been directed to probe the incident after a request by the Minority side in parliament.

The Committee will embark on a fact-finding mission to Wa and report to the House in four weeks.

Speaking in Parliament, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, also attributed the incident to a few bad nuts.

“It is simply not the military culture to move to town and molest people… for that to have happened, I still can’t understand,” Mr. Nitiwul said.

Background

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, a video went viral showing armed soldiers beating some residents of Wa on the street.

Some eyewitnesses who spoke to Citi News said the soldiers claimed they were searching for their stolen mobile phone.

They recounted how the officers, who could not be immediately identified, stopped tricycles and brutalised residents, particularly young men.

The incident added to a tumultuous week for the military after is personnel opened fire on protesters in Ejura on Tuesday and killed two while injuring six others.

A public inquiry has been instituted into the Ejura incident, with a resolution expected by July 10 after a directive by the President.

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