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Regional News of Saturday, 25 April 2020


Kassena-Nankana curfew: Soldiers beat ‘watchman’ to pulp for sitting outside

The man was in very bad condition at the time this report was filed The man was in very bad condition at the time this report was filed

Correspondence from Upper East Region

Soldiers from the military detachment that have been deployed to maintain peace and order in Doba and Kandiga, the two feuding communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and West District Assemblies, have reportedly assaulted a 46-year-old watchman who was on duty at the Nayagnia CHPS Compound.

The soldiers are reported to have also assaulted seven other members of the community they spotted outside.

The soldiers, it is gathered, were on patrol duties returning from the inner side of Doba, towards Mirigu when the incident happened.

The watchman, (name withheld) whose condition is the worse among the assaulted, according to sources, was at his duty post around 10pm Friday night when the soldiers pounced on him at the premises of the facility while he sat, and beat him with sticks, without interrogation.

The victim, who can barely speak and walk now, said even though he explained to the uniformed men that he was a security guard at the facility performing his night duties, that did not deter them from meting out the brutality on him.

“I was sitting outside because of the heat as I have always done, when the soldiers arrived with their vehicle and jumped down. They asked me why I was sitting outside and what I was doing outside at that time but before I could open my mouth, they started hitting me with sticks.

I explained to them that I was the watchman for the CHPS compound but they did not mind and kept beating me till I fell on the ground. They did not stop there, they used their legs to kick my ribs and spine. As I sit here, I have pains all over my body and can’t even breath”. The victim narrated in Kasem amidst tears as he queued at the OPD of the War Memorial Hospital to get treatment.

This is the second incident of military brutality in the Kassena-Nankana area within the week. Yesterday, a truck driver was severely assaulted by soldiers for parking his vehicle on the shoulder of the UDS- Navrongo Township road at Navrongo Hill Top.

Not even the plea for forgiveness from the driver and mate touched the hearts of the officers to spare him the inflictions from the canes and wires.

Restriction of movement:

On April 24th, 2020, the Kasena Nankana Municipal and West District Assemblies, on the authority of the Upper East Regional Security Council and in accordance with the Restrictions Act, Act 1020, declared a restriction of movement in the Doba and Kandiga communities from 6:00pm -8:00am.

The curfew was placed as part of measures to return absolute calm to the areas after the two communities fought over a piece of land to site a facility.

The Assemblies also gave other measures including the prohibition to carry arms and other harmful implements in the area.

The soldiers, who are there to enforce the directives, went into the Nayagnia community which borders Doba even though it is not part of the areas under the curfew.

The incident has since left the community terrified. An opinion leader who declined to be identified has called on authorities to probe the incident and give necessary punitive to the officers.

The opinion leader has also asked the Municipal Assembly to properly indicate the boundaries of the communities to the army and police to avert further assaults on innocent civilians.

He allayed fears and encouraged the people of Nayagnia to go about their daily activities without fear.

A complaint has been lodged at the Navrongo Police station and all victims have been issued police medical forms to seek medical care.