Minister apprises Parliament on alleged brutality of civilians by military in Garu
Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, the National Security Minister on Monday apprised Parliament on the alleged brutality of civilians by the military in Garu in the Upper East Region.
The Minister said on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the Ministry of National Security deployed a team of five counter terrorism intelligence officers for a critical operation in Garu in the Upper East Region.
He said upon their arrival in Garu, the team was besieged by some irate youth, who were armed with weapons including AK47 riffles among others.
He said despite initial attempts to introduce themselves as National Security personnel, the irate youth proceeded to attack the officers by firing multiple gun shots at a black Toyota land cruiser in which the officers were seated.
“Mr Speaker, following an escalation of the attacks on their vehicles, the officer drove to the Garu Police Station to seek refuge. The irate youth then pursued the officers and circled the Police Station and fired multiple shots at same.”
Mr Kan Dapaah said the timely intervention of the personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces enabled the safe evacuation of the National Security Personnel from the Garu Police Station.
“Indeed, Mr Speaker, the House will agree with me that the attack on the National Security Personnel and also the Garu Police Station was reprehensible and must be condemned in no uncertain terms,” the Minister stated.
“Mr Speaker, in many other jurisdictions, such attacks on security personnel in the course of their legitimate duties would be classified as an attack on the state.”
Adding that subsequent to all these, on Saturday, October 28th, 2023, the Ministry of National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces conducted a joint operation in Garu to cease weapons used by the irate youth group to attack the National Security Personnel.
He said in the aftermath of the joint operation, reports had emerged in respect of some excesses by the personnel who conducted the operations.
He said this aspect of the matter was currently before the court, and that it would therefore, be inappropriate for him to comment on the matter as it would amount to contempt of court.
He therefore, urged Members of the House to please exercise circumspection in discussing the matter for some three reasons.
He also mentioned the security situation they were confronted with within Bawku, as a result of the existing ethnic conflict in that area.
Secondly, he said because of counter terrorism operations going on in the area and thirdly, because of the need not to demotivate and demoralize the nation’s state security personnel.
“Mr Speaker, I want to assure the Honourable House of the continued cooperation and respect for the pieces of advice guidance that we continue to get from Honourable Members.”
It would be recalled that Mr Albert Alazuuga Akuka, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Garu, in his statement on the floor of the House on November 1, appealed to the House for the National Security Minister to be invited to brief the House on the Garu situation, which was granted by the Speaker.
Commenting on the Minister’s statement, Mr Akuka said over 50 persons were hospitalized with one death recorded after the military unleashed attacks on residents of Garu and Tempane.
He said the autopsy report of one individual who had died as a result of the military brutalities indicated that the deceased suffered a broken skull and broken ribs.
Madam Lydia Akanvariba Adakudugu, the NDC MP for Tempane, asked the National Security Minister, the inclusion of Bugure, which was in her Constituency in the operation of the National Security personnel, since it was not in Garu.
She appealed to the Government to consider bearing the medical bills of the victims of the military brutality who were hospitalitized.
Mr Kan Dapaah assured the MPs that their concerns would be taken into consideration by the National Security Ministry.