The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have denied allegations that its personnel deliberately shot on innocent residents in Bawku, resulting in three deaths.
In a news release dated January 20, the GAF stated that the incident happened during a night foot patrol outside Hasania School in Sabongari.
According to the GAF statement, at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, their officers were fired at by four shooters, provoking a retaliatory response that resulted in the deaths of three attackers. The fourth gunman escaped. The forces found an AK-47 gun and ammo, which are now in the hands of the Bawku Divisional Police.
The GAF underscored heightened tensions in Bawku, citing a violent incident that resulted in four deaths the previous week. They added that the security presence and patrols were increased in response to the rising tensions. On the day of the event, the cops were allegedly ambushed by unknown gunmen, and the police later foiled an attempt to blow up the Bawku Goil filling station.
While expressing sadness for the assailants’ deaths, the GAF stated that the increasing danger profile, as indicated by efforts to explode high explosives, required additional vigilance.
“In as much as GAF regrets the demise of the assailants, the escalating violence in the Bawku general area is unfortunate. The presence and attempt to detonate high explosives such as RPG bombs in the operational environment signposts the changing dynamics of the threat profile,” the statement read.
The GAF warned against direct interaction with the military, emphasizing their commitment to self-defense and resident safety. They advised conflicting groups to avoid bringing the military into direct armed combat and asked the people to support efforts to achieve long-term peace in the region.
The GAF closed by requesting the collaboration of all peace-loving Ghanaians, particularly Bawku people, in order to de-escalate tensions for the sake of general peace, security, and socioeconomic growth in the area and country.