Ashaiman military invasion: Government, military must restore military-civilian relationship— Security analyst

Adib Saani

Mr Adib Saani, a Security Analyst, says the military and the government must work towards restoring good military-civilian relationship at Ashaiman after soldiers stormed the community Tuesday and allegedly molested some people following the alleged murder of a military man there.

He said it was important for the government to diffuse any growing suspicions towards security agencies in the community and restore the broken-down military-civilian relationship caused by the invasion.

“Government by now should have sent a delegation made up of security personnel to reassure residents that they still represent their interest because for now, there is deep suspicion in the area, and they will be hostile to security personnel whether the military or police. We need to give reassurances in that regard.”

Some military officers Tuesday undertook a reconnaissance maneuvering at Ashaiman with ground men, an armoured tank, and two helicopters to arrest persons they claimed were involved in the cold blood murder of a soldier on Sunday, March 05, 2023.

The “search and arrest mission” which started in the early hours of Tuesday, led to the entanglement with a section of the residents at Ashaiman enclave, especially at Newtown, Official Town, Valco Flat, and some parts of the Middle East, all in the Ashaiman Municipality

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, Mr Saani, also the Executive Director, Centre for Human Security and Peace Building, described the Military’s action as “illegal, horrendous, medieval, unacceptable in a democracy like ours”.

He said it was not in the domain of military under any law in the country to go on such a mission without the police, adding that, even if the military was involved in an interior matter, the Police would always have to be the ones taking the lead.

The Security Analyst said Ghana’s military was one of the most respected in the world due to their contributions to several peace keeping missions and that such actions only created suspicions and negated the military’s progress in harnessing its relationship with citizens over the years.

He said the military could not operate without citizens’ support, consent, approval and cooperation, and that a marred relationship would negatively affect the fulfilment of its mandate.

Mr Saani said the invasion could make the military a target to some criminal elements who might want to ride on the back of the tensions in that area and warned that care must be taken to avoid such incidents.

“What it also means is that if someone is identified as a soldier isolated in any part of the Ashaiman area, the person could become a target and that would make things worse,” he said.

He said the soldiers who took part in the invasion should be punished to serve as deterrence.

“Some persons must be made to pay for this act. An apology or statement is not enough. This has to stop! We are a country governed by rules of law and so the laws would have to be applied. Also, for the lynchings to stop, we need to deal with the fundamental issues and not galvanise military hardware and human resources to go and intimidate innocent people,” he added.

Mr Saani said the delays in trial of criminal cases had waned public trust in the justice system for which reason people were going for instant justice.

“…Cases like Major Mahama’s are still in court and have dragged for too long. When it happens this way, it motivates people to take matters into their own hands and develop a mob mentality because they know the court system would not favour them. The issue of criminal investigations and how swiftly they are carried out is also something that must be considered. The approach should be scientific, and intelligence based,” he said.

Source: GNA

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