Residents in Wa, the regional capital of the Upper West region, have expressed misgivings about the actions of military officers on Thursday, July 1, 2021, after the soldiers went to town beating and harassing people for unknown reasons.
The group of officers from the 10-Mechanized Battalion in Wa, numbering over 20, were seen in town, Thursday afternoon, brutalizing residents without giving any tenable reason for their actions. The unexplained brutality, alleged to be over a missing phone of a soldier, was meted out on people including motor riders, with some having to run and leave behind their bikes. Some of the motor riders also fell and got injured while their motorbikes got damaged in the process.
Some other persons who were at their shops were punished to kneel in the sun without knowing what crime they committed.
According to a victim, only identified as Baba, who was asked to kneel in the sun, the rampaging soldiers indicated that a resident stole a phone belonging to a colleague military officer, and thus told them to advise the youth in town to stop messing with them (soldiers) or residents will continue to face their wrath in the manner they did.
Some victims, who out of fear, were lying in the gutters still got slaps from the military officers.
The unprofessional actions of the soldiers also caused unbearable traffic as it was a market day with many people coming from surrounding communities to do business. The fear created by the military brutality saw some people closed their shops and went home to avoid being victims. Many were seen running away from the soldiers which also caused some to fall, injuring themselves in the process.
The Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, also suffered the inappropriate actions of the military in the area. He explained to the media that, he had information about the alleged brutality while in office. Not believing it because of recent happenings involving the military and the subsequent outcry by Ghanaians, he decided to go and see for himself only to be beaten by some of the irate soldiers.
Residents are demanding justice for the unprofessional conduct of the military officers, with many describing them as uncouth and lawless. They call on leadership in the region and other stakeholders to expedite investigations into the matter and ensure that officers found culpable are punished.