The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is entreating government to investigate and sanction soldiers culpable in the ‘swoop’ at Ashaiman, Tuesday, March 7.
The operation followed the killing of a young military officer, Trooper Imoro Sherrif, who was murdered by unknown assailants in the vicinity, on March 4, 2023.
The raid left many unsuspecting civilian residents of Ashaiman with various degrees of injuries, with others confined to their households for hours in fear of falling victim to the violent conduct of the military personnel.
Also, about 184 persons were reportedly arrested during the exercise by the military, with some tortured and others subjected to inhumane treatment.
However, on Tuesday, March 7, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) indicated that the operation was authorised by the Military High Command to find out the perpetrators of the murder, but not for vengeance for their deceased colleague.
Despite the clarification provided by GAF, CDD-Ghana condemned the level of brutality seen in their operation.
They demanded that the government conducts an investigation into the incident, impose sanctions on anyone involved in the swoop at Ashaiman, and ensure that justice was served.
“In the broader spirit of exercising democratic control over the operations and conduct of the armed forces, we respectfully urge Parliament to investigate this incident; cause sanctions to be imposed on all persons implicated in this swoop at Ashaiman and ensure that justice is done,” CDD-Ghana explained in a release on Tuesday, March 14.
“We also urge all persons directly affected by the conduct of the military personnel at Ashaiman to seek redress at the courts,” the organisation stated in the statement.
CDD-Ghana also expressed its disappointment with regards to the revelation that the operation was also approved by a Deputy Defence Minister, Kwaku Amankwa Manu, explaining that as a member of the civilian government, he was expected to “exercise oversight and control over the conduct and operations of the armed forces.”
It was further highlighted in the release that resorting to militarised self-help as meted out by military officers for criminal acts committed against individual military personnel undermined the rule of law and created unrest among civilians.
The Centre also warned that government’s failure to sanction military officers implicated in the occurrence on March 7, will eventually empower other military personnel to take the law into their own hands whenever they see fit.
“The Executive branch must also be advised that failing to condemn and sanction the military officers implicated in this barbaric episode is a slippery slope toward a generalized state of lawlessness and anarchy.
“The government’s tacit endorsement of this incident only goes to embolden military officers to take matters into their own hands whenever they deem it necessary to do so.
“We must remember that under a democratically-elected civilian government, such brutal and unprofessional conduct of soldiers’ characteristic of military regimes in the past, cannot be encouraged and must never be repeated.”