Ejura upheaval: Maximum application of force worsened the situation – Report

Justice George Kingsley Koomson was the chair of the committee
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The report that was compiled by the three-member committee that was put together by Interior Minster Ambrose Dery to probe the Ejura disturbances, has said the application of maximum force by the security escalated the situation.

The committee said “Our findings show that the death of Mohammed Ibrahim aka ‘Kaaka’ and the mishandling of same, was the trigger point for the riots that followed.

“Meanwhile maximum application of force worsened the situation. We hope that the ongoing investigations of Kaaka would be expedited and the culprits brought to book.”

The committee recommended among other things “training Regional Security Council (REGSEC), Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) and District Security Council (DISEC) officials in the Ashanti Region in conflict and crisis management at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College at least once every year.”

During the hearing, the General Officer Commander of Central Command, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour said that there would have been more casualties in Ejura if the Military had used excessive force.

He told the committee that the military applied minimal force in controlling the crowd.

He said “It was becoming too bad for us to see civilians firing from the crowd. I think the Commander at that stage then had to use minimum force by trying to fire to maim those people who were involved. So you realized that we fired and then we didn’t have instant deaths within the crowd.

“They were evacuated to the hospital and two died. What we did that we strongly believe that there would have been more deaths if we actually wanted to proper force of firing indiscriminately more would have died.

“We tried to maim the people, we sued the minimum force not to create more problems.

“With that minimum force the effect was there, the crowd was dispersed and we were able to control the situation.”

Chair of the Committee, Justice Kingsley Koomson indicated to him that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) should use plastic bullets to use in controlling crowd in Ghana.

He rejected the use of live bullets to disperse crowd since this can be fatal.

“I think the Military will put in application for platcis bullets we are talking at human lives, don’t be applying fir live bullet,” Justice Kingsley Koomson said.

The committee was formed by Interior Minister Ambrose Dery following the gruesome murder of Macho Kakaa in Ejura over the weekend.

There was also a violent clash among the military officers and the youth of the area who were demonstrating in that town on Tuesday, June 29 following the murder.

This led to the death of two persons with four sustaining various degrees of injury.

Brigadier General Josephs Aphour while answering questions posed by members of the Committee said “My Battalion Commander called me the day of the incident that that was happening in Ejura, the indent that we all know.

“Then I had a call from the Chairman of REGSEC that the situation was getting out of control and that there was the need  for us at Operations Calm Lives  to  move inside, if not things will get out of control.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana