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Military Regimes Are Over, The Military Must Respect The Law

The Ghana Armed Forces sent very disturbing signals that threaten the country’s Rule of Law when it unleashed its men to, in simple and direct language, abuse and brutalize innocent and unarmed civilian residents of Ashaiman a suburb of Accra in the dawn hours of Tuesday.

It was a vicious trial by ordeal incident that continued for several hours even when the media continued to report, to the hearing of authorities, the crazy lawlessness being unleashed by armed military men on innocent and unarmed civilians.

Reports suggest the rampaging men in uniform were agitated over the murder of a soldier in the area over the weekend and therefore jumped into armored vehicles, armed themselves with guns and embarked of a free-for-all assault spree in modern day Ghana.

As condemnable as the murder of a soldier or any human being for that matter may be, the solution is not for armed soldiers to invade a civilian residential community at dawn to beat people up, make fathers roll on the floor and subject innocent Ghanaians to all manner of maltreatments simply because they are residents of a community where a crime had taken place.

There are clearly stated remedies for investigating murder cases in a country that claims to be a democratic one and believes in the Rule of Law. What happened was sheer brutal show of force as though Ghana operates by the jungle rule of survival of the fittest.

The Tuesday morning chaos is not how to sensibly use brains to investigate a murder case, arrest the right culprits and get them to face the full rigors of the law. What happened was simply barbaric and a reckless show of muscles rather than brains.

Under no circumstance should this type of lawlessness be allowed and tolerated in any civilized society. Ghanaians certainly deserve an explanation.

Every Ghanaian living in Ghana deserves to feel secured and protected but not to be bundled up at dawn and beaten up by armed and uniformed soldiers.

Regrettably, the brutal show of force by the rampaging soldiers appeared to have been sanctioned by a higher authority in the military hierarchy considering the armored vehicles, helicopters and armory deployed in the raid.

Considering the volatility of the sub region and the civilian-like nature of terrorist operations, it is the worst time for the security apparatus to attract for itself public disaffection or anger.

What happened does not only create public disaffection for the military but for the Government as well. It creates an avoidable fear and panic.

It raises questions on the safety of Ghanaians. It means if, God forbid, some reckless drunks move from one community to kill a soldier in another community, thousands of innocent persons in the community the murder took place would have to suffer the ordeal of military brutality. How can such logic be justified?

The Armed Forces would require a great deal of public relation to restore its soiled image and public confidence in the institution.

We urge the Ghana Police Service to, as a matter of urgency, speed up investigations to arrest the actual murders of the said soldier and bring them to book.

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