The Members of Parliament from the Upper East Region known as Upper East Caucus in Parliament have slammed the Minister for National Security, Kan Dapaah, for twisting the facts and therefore lied to the House about the military brutality in Garu, and Bugre communities within the Kusage traditional area.
The MPs also blasted the Minister for not admitting the wrongdoings of the military or showing compassion for the victims and instead trying to defend the unjustified attack on the people.
“The minister attempting to rationalize the military action, without even expressing any sympathy in the room is highly unacceptable. We are urging the government and Parliament to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter.”
“Our people feel very disrespected. Their human rights have been abused and we are outraged. We do not think this should happen to us as a people.”
The Caucus spoke to the media on Monday November 13, 2023 after the National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah had presented a statement to Parliament on the incident.
The Minister alleged that the youth of Garu, without provocation attacked the five national security personnel who were on duty in the area, and during a confrontation, their vehicle was shot at.
The Military, he claimed were sent to Garu after the incident to recover weapons which resulted in the unfortunate brutalities.
But the MP for Garu, Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, who addressed members of the Parliamentary Press Corps maintained that the situation cannot be ignored because of the cruelty of the attacks and the seriousness of the injuries.
“In Garu, they broke people’s arms and legs and indeed ‘killed one person’ and then went to Bugri about 50km away and beat up and broke people’s legs and arms.”
“As we speak most of them are still in hospital,” he said.
He questioned the Minister’s claim that the soldiers were sent there to retrieve arms and asked how many weapons they recovered from the operation.
The recent incident of military brutality in Garu has sparked outrage among some Members of Parliament, who are demanding an independent probe into the matter. The National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah, has been accused of failing to provide a satisfactory explanation for the deployment of soldiers to search for weapons in the area.
Kan Dapaah, he said, cannot justify the incident especially because this is not the first time that Ghanaians have witnessed the search for weapons.
“Nobody knows exactly what these people have done and what they have done to people of Bugri and Garu is most unfortunate,” he said.
MP for Tempane, Lydia Lamisi Akanvariba, expressed dissatisfaction with the Minister’s statement and called on the Ministry and the government to compensate the victims, many of whom are still receiving healthcare.
Hon. Cletus Avoka, the MP for Zebilla, also challenged the Minister’s narrative and argued that government officials and stakeholders have variously condemned the attack.
He wondered why the Minister’s narratives were so different and called for further and better information.
He also questioned the Minister’s claim that the case was in court when the Deputy Majority leader last week said that the matter had been concluded with the release of those arrested.
“Is that an admission that the leadership of the majority in Parliament and the executive do not coordinate or share ideas before they come public to deal with matters concerning Parliament or the country,” he quizzed.
He expressed frustration that the Minister did not show remorse or condemn the military for the incident and argued that the Minister had more questions to answer on the matter.
Chairman of the Upper East parliamentary caucus and Ranking Member for Defence and Interior Committee, James Agalga, also expressed disappointment that the Minister would attempt to defend the collective punishment of entire communities for the wrongs of a few, even if some had guns illegally.
He insisted such a situation should not be condoned in a democratic dispensation and demanded a formal investigation into the matter to establish who gave the command to send the military to Garu.
Other MPs Present were Thomas Adda Dalu, MP Chiana/Paga, Benson Tongo Baba, Talensi, Edward Bawa,Bongo and Dr Mark Kurt Nawane, Nabdam.