The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has apologised to journalists and individuals who were caught in the crossfire during its attack on protesters by some La residents in Accra.
The military had beseeched a 200-acre land at Tse Addo to disperse protestors who they say had turned violent.
A group, Coalition of La Associations within the La Traditional Council had stormed the area in contention between Tse Addo and Airport Hills, around the Military Cemetery to register their displeasure over the military’s encroachment.
However, the event took another dimension as the soldiers won’t countenance the behaviour of the demonstrators and applied force to disperse them.
“In order to restrain the demonstrators, a reasonable force had to be applied to remove them. Thus, in the process, some of the demonstrators/persons got injured. It later came to light that some of the injured persons were journalists who were there to cover the event,” the military said.
The military officers were seen dragging protestors on the ground, hitting the head of others and beating fleeing protestors with sticks.
Some journalists were accosted and told to delete their recording of happenings and photos they had captured.
“I only asked them why they were beating someone and they turned their anger on me…they took my phone and told me to delete the videos I had taken as well as any photo of the incident,” a journalist said.
On their part, the GAF said “in order to restrain the demonstrators, reasonable force had to be applied to remove them” as they had trespassed into areas that were dotted with sensitive national security installations.
“Thus, in the process some of the demonstrators/persons got injured. It later came to light that some of the injured persons were journalists who were there to cover the event,” said the Ghana Armed Forces.
But in a press release signed by Director of Public Relations, Col. Aggrey Quashie, GAF unreservedly apologised to journalists and some other civilians who suffered military brutality in the process.
“GAF seizes this opportunity to apologize to the journalists and all innocent persons who might have been affected by the troops’ effort to clear the unruly demonstrators,” GAF said on Thursday.
The statement further indicated that at the “Military High Command has directed that the case be investigated to ensure that such unfortunate incident do not occur in future.”
The communiqué, however, entreated the citizenry to employ appropriate channels in an effort to get their concerns addressed when dealing with the military.
“We once again call on all Ghanaians to follow due process in all their actions with GAF so as to avoid such unfortunate situations.”
Meanwhile, some members of the La Traditional Council, the Trustees of the East Dadekotopon Development Trust, and the Coalition of Associations in La (COLA) have vowed to ensure that the right thing is done as far as the military’s activities on the land is concerned.
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