The deputy minister of defence Kofi Amankwa-Manu has justified the military brutalities against civilians in Ashaiman, a suburb of Accra on Tuesday.
Military personnel besieged the notorious town Tuesday dawn following the killing of a member of the Ghana Armed Forces Band, Sherif Imoro, 21, a trumpeter who was originally stationed at Sunyani in the Bono Region.
He was in Accra for a military course and in the last three weeks, had been visiting his parents in their home at Ashaiman every Friday, multiple media sources said.
It was during one of his visits that he was reportedly confronted by a gang who killed him.
Speaking on the Big Bulletin on Asaase 99.5 Accra with Beatrice Adu on Tuesday, Amankwa-Manu said the soldiers were in Ashaiman to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.
“Sometimes I wonder if it’s even a crime to wear the uniform,” Amankwa-Manu, who is also the MP for Atwima Kwanwoma said. “This operation is being done in a particular place. The soldiers will not go to Ashaiman and not know what exactly they are looking for.”
“A soldier was killed and we’re looking for those who killed the soldier. I must say that it’s rather unfortunate that in the course of doing this some civilians were manhandled. That I will apologise for but as long as people in there are attacking the military the military will go after them. If we don’t take care a day will come that nobody will be prepared to wear the uniform,” he added.
“The continuous killing of men and women in uniform must stop. We’re looking for those who killed the soldier and the military will stop at nothing until they get those who committed this crime. It’s becoming too many,” Amankwa-Manu responded to a question by the host if the military will officially apologise for the brutalities.
“Ghanaians should remain calm. We have a military that is professional and will not just go out and attack people. It’s an honour to wear the uniform and every soldier will be protected.”
More than 100 individuals, mainly men, have so far been arrested by the military to assist with investigations.