General Politics

Parliament’s Defence Committee directed to probe military brutality in Wa

The Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament has been directed to probe the brutalities meted out to some residents of Wa in the Upper West Region by the military.

The directive was given by the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, who chaired proceedings on Friday, July 2, 2021, following a request by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.

He asked the committee to report to the House within four weeks.

Before the directive, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul condemned the act by the military and outlined steps to deal with the matter he described as an isolated incident.

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

Whilst noting that the military was instituting its own probe, Mr. Nituwul acknowledged the need for further transparency.

“If we sweep matters under the carpet, it can create a bigger problem for us so Mr Speaker, I don’t have a problem if we decide to do that, but we have already instituted these kinds of measures.”

On the victims of the brutality, Mr. Nitiwul said, “we have identified the people who have been hurt, and we will take care of them as well.”

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, a viral video on social media showed armed military personnel on a rampage and beating up some residents of Wa.

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 Ghana Armed Force (GAF) responded to the incident, saying it has initiated Internal disciplinary measures following the incident.

In addition, the Chief of the Army Staff has promised to punish the officers who assaulted the residents.

The incident added to a tumultuous week for the military after soldiers opened fire on protesters in Ejura on Tuesday.

Two persons died from gunshot wounds and a further four were wounded.

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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