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General News of Wednesday, 30 June 2021


Ejura mayhem was ‘intelligence failure’ – Aning

Professor Kwesi Aning Professor Kwesi Aning

The Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana, Professor Kwesi Aning, has said the recent disturbances in Ejura in the Ashanti Region can be put down to intelligence failure.

On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, two protesters were shot and killed by soldiers after burying their colleague, Ibrahim ‘Kaaka’ Mohammed, a social media activist, who was lynched a day earlier.

Kaaka, who was also a member of the Economic Fighters League, was attacked in the early hours of Saturday, 26 June 2021, which resulted in his unconsciousness and hospitalization.

He died while on admission on Sunday, 28 June 2021.

A spontaneous demonstration erupted after Kaaka’s burial, resulting in a clash between them and a joint police-military team.

The security personnel fired into the crowd killing two demonstrators and injuring four others.

“What has happened in Ejura, basically, is intelligence failure because somebody somewhere ought to have picked the signals when Kaaka was beaten, the nature of the narrative coming from the youth; eventually escalating to threats of taking the law into their own hands, mentioning of specific names who were allegedly involved in the beating,” Prof Aning, who is also the Clinical Professor of Peacekeeping Practice at Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on Class91.3FM’s morning show on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

“So, that first step of intelligence indices were all lost or missed and then, of course, we see the violence resulting from his death and I’m not sure about the quality of the assessment that was then sent to whoever that made the decision to invite the military,” he noted.

In his view, “we need to bring intelligence back at the center of how we do our preventive work.”

According to him, “when there are public demonstrations either with or without official permit – and herein lies the failure of the intelligence assessment once more – when that demonstration begins to get out of hand or even if it doesn’t, it is the police that provides protection for the demonstration and the police is the first responder to the challenge.”

“The assessment by the police – and this is once more a failure from the Ghana Police Service – that they ought to have been able to assess that: ‘Look, the way things are going, maybe in Ejura town, we don’t have enough police officers, so, we need to bring others in to reinforce what we have in terms of tear gas and all sorts of things and extra manpower’.”

“So, bringing in the armed forces, or the military is a very unique thing," Prof Aning noted.

He said: “It’s only when the police has been overwhelmed and lives and property are at stake [and] there’s total mayhem, then the military is brought in."

He added, “the quality and the nature of the military training is that they don’t do conflict resolution. They don’t do mediation. They come in there to face an enemy and the essence is to win that confrontation with that enemy.”

“So, yes, we are all talking about an officer who knelt down and shot. The question is: what was the intelligence assessment upon which the military were invited to come in and what instructions have they been given,” he noted.

Prof Aning, however, pointed out: “This is not to justify their behavior; no.”

He, thus, demanded that there be some inquiry conducted into the assessment that led to the army’s intervention.