Soldier Ashaiman

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, last year tasked its Defence and Interior Committee to investigate circumstances leading the invasion of Ashaiman, a suburb of Accra, by military personnel. The soldiers’ action was occasioned by the killing of one of their colleagues, Trooper Imoro Sherif, in the town on March 7, 2023.

The attack by the soldiers resulted in the injury and death of some residents. The parliamentary committee submitted its report, cosigned by the Vice Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs Ophelia Mensah Hayford and a Senior Assistant Clerk, Gifty Jiage-Gobah, in November 2023.

3News.com has sighted a copy.

Here are the findings submitted by the Committee:

6.0 FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE

  1. It was established that the military operation that took place at Ashaiman – Tulako and Ashaiman – Taifa on Tuesday, 7 March 2023 was indeed sanctioned by the Military High Command.
  2. The operation was sanctioned based on intelligence gathered by the Military.

III. Some residents of the affected communities were subjected to acts of torture and sustained various degrees of injuries (see Appendix B).

  1. About 247 persons suffered varying degrees of injuries causing them somatic (bodily) pain, and with others traumatised (see Appendix C).
  2. Dr Alhassan offered medical treatment for fifty (50) of the affected victims.
    There were damages to some personal properties of residents during the military operation (see Appendix A).

7.0 OBSERVATIONS

7.1 Institutional Failures of Security Agencies

The Committee observed that there was no collaboration between the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service in the Ashaiman operation. The Committee noted that intelligence-led operations within the country that borders on crime are the preserve of the Ghana Police Service. Therefore, intelligence gathered by the Ghana Armed Forces should have been passed on to the Ghana Police Service for necessary action. The Committee observed that an inter-agency collaboration could have averted the type of brutalities that was witnessed at Ashaiman.

7.2 Deteriorated relationship between the Military and Civilians

The Committee noted that the relationship between the Military and Civilians had deteriorated significantly resulting in constant reports of Civilian-Military clashes. This deteriorating relationship between Citizens and the Military must be addressed as a matter of urgency. A good and effective civil-military relations is a recipe for national peace and security.

7.3 Sensitizing the Populace

The Committee observed that lack of awareness of the benefits of peaceful coexistence is detrimental. Accordingly, the Committee urges State Agencies and key stakeholders to educate and sensitize the Ghanaian populace on the importance of tolerance in promoting peace and social cohesion.

7.4 Timing of the Military Operation Although the Military raid in Ashaiman was based on intelligence as indicated by the Military, the timing of the operation appears to be inappropriate and could be interpreted by the public as an act of revenge for the death of the soldier.

7.5 Excessive Military Force

The Committee also observed with concern, that the Military used excessive force in rounding up suspects leading to innocent civilians being beaten and harassed. In the Committee’s opinion, this is unacceptable and intolerable, as the atrocities unleashed by the military violated the fundamental rights a the affected persons.

By: Eric Mensah-Ayettey

Benjamin Mensah

By Benjamin Mensah

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