Three of the soldiers who brutalized some residents of Wa on July 1, 2021, have been demoted.
Eight other soldiers who were identified have been charged, tried, and awarded 30 days each in detention by the disciplinary board of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Giving updates on the issue in Parliament on Thursday, July 8, 2021, the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul said “except the duty officer, all personnel who were on duty on the day of the incident have even been charged, tried and appropriately punished”.
The Staff Sergeant has been reduced to Corporal rank, a Corporal has been reduced to Private rank, and the Sentry on duty who was a Lance Corporal has been reduced to a Private. Mr Nitwul further noted that the duty officer will also face scrutiny.
“The trial of the duty officer, who is a Lieutenant, will, however, commence on or before Wednesday 14th July 2021. All the above trials and punishments are without prejudice to the outcome of the subjects under various forms of investigation,” he said.
Mr Nitiwul added that “the remaining soldiers who were also involved in the incident but not identified as brutalizing officers will all be transferred out of the region immediately.”
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, a video showing armed soldiers beating some residents of Wa on the street went viral. Some eyewitnesses said the soldiers claimed they were searching for their stolen mobile phone. They recounted how the officers, who could not be immediately identified, stopped tricycles and brutalized residents, particularly young men.
A day after the incident, a team from the military, led by the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah, visited the area and offered an apology to the people of Wa.
Aside from the disciplinary action from the military, the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament has also been directed to probe the incident after a request by the Minority side in Parliament. The Committee will embark on a fact-finding mission to Wa and report to the House.