The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has described allegations of some soldiers killing “innocent Kusasi youth and women in their homes and communities” as “false” and “unfounded”.
“The attention of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has been drawn to allegations by some individuals in Bawku that soldiers deployed on Operation Gongong to restore calm in the area are killing innocent Kusasi youth and women in their homes and communities. They also allege that military personnel have seized Zoogin, a Kusasi community,” a statement signed by Naval Captain Michael Addo Larbie, Director of Public Relations said and described the allegations as “false”.
It said information received from the National Investigations Bureau by the Operation Gongong Team of GAF indicated that passengers on board a yellow KIA Grand Bird Bus with Registration Number AS 3672-21 travelling from Accra to Missiga were attacked by unknown gunmen around Kpawelga on the Bawku Highways.
The statement said some gunmen fired through the tyre and engine compartment of the vehicle.
It said the bus was currently packed at Assylum Down, Bawku Divisional Police Station for investigations.
The statement said one KIA Rhino truck with registration number AS 7093-17 was also hit and that the driver of the truck, Alhassan Abdella, aged 40, from the Gonja tribe, sustained a gunshot wound on the left foot.
“He is currently receiving treatment at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital,” it said.
It said again, on Wednesday February 01, 2023, gunshots were heard around South Natinga in Bawku.
The statement said a Patrol Team rushed to the general area of the shooting where a suspect, Abdul Malik Haruna, aged 35, from the Mamprusi tribe was arrested and had since been handed over to the Bawku Police for further investigation.
It said based on a tip off by the Bawku Police on the hideout of the suspects alleged to be involved in the firing incident at Bawku, troops conducted cordon and search operations together with Bawku Police at Pateleme General Area.
The statement said three suspects, Fatau Alhassan Binda, aged 42, Abubakar Iddrisu, aged 44 and Alhassan Mustapha Binda, aged 33, all from the Dagomba tribe were arrested in a house at Pateleme and handed over to the Bawku Police for further investigations.
It said in a separate incident, sporadic firing was heard around Sabongari General Area and a Patrol Team dispatched to assess the situation spotted unknown armed men at Gozesi-Valley side in Sabongari wearing black T-shirts with Black Hoodies.
The statement said the troops engaged them and “neutralised” six armed men, adding that, during the engagement, some armed men took cover in a mud house within the immediate vicinity to engage the Team.
It said one of the armed men attempted to attack the troops with a cutlass but was disarmed in the process and during the operation, a local woman found with a gunshot injury on her left hand was sent to Bawku Presbyterian Hospital by troops for treatment.
The statement said the “false allegations” had made it necessary for GAF to disclose the outcomes to dispel false information and the wrong notion that a particular group was being targeted by troops in Bawku.
It assured the public of its commitment to protecting the citizenry at all times and solicited the support of all peace loving Ghanaians, especially indigenes of Bawku to facilitate the process of bringing normalcy to the area.
The statement also called on them to aid GAF in de-escalating tension in the interest of the needed peace and security for the socio-economic development of Bawku and the nation as a whole.