The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, has assured that the soldiers who assaulted some residents of Wa in the Upper West Region on Thursday, July 1, 2021, will be duly punished.
He gave the assurance when he led a delegation to the Upper West Regional capital, Wa on Friday, July 2, 2021.
A video that went viral showed military officers brutalising unarmed civilians, allegedly over a missing mobile phone.
Speaking during a meeting which included the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Chief of Army Staff rendered an apology and stated that they were unaware of the happenings and were shocked when they saw the videos of the assault from social media.
“It took all of us by surprise last night when we saw the video of people in military uniforms on the streets of Wa challenging civilians. And after thorough investigations, we got to know that they were part of soldiers from the very unit that we have set up over here to protect civilians. So, without wasting time at all, the military High Command met, and the decision was taken immediately for me to come here to apologise for what happened, and to tell you that all those involved in this act will be brought to book. They are subject to the Military Code of Discipline, and we will apply the appropriate sanctions. Again, I want to reassure you that we wouldn’t let this single occurrence mar our relationship at all,” Major General Oppong- Peprah said.
He also called for a collaborative effort to help deal with the current security threats in the country.
“The plethora of challenges we are facing now, especially with the threats that are emerging, all that calls for a collaborative effort and community involvement in fighting these threats. We need each other, the civilians need us, and we need them, so it will not mar our relationship. I want to assure you that I will talk to the military personnel here, and in other parts of Ghana and let them understand that the modern approach to security issues is the involvement of all of us and if we do that, success will be guaranteed. It is, therefore, something we will have to teach the military, that we are partners in defeating terrorism and all forms of threats.”
Eyewitnesses recount brutality
Some eyewitnesses in Wa 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 particularly young men.
The Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, was also beaten by the officers.