Military-Police Rivalry Slurs Ghana’s Image Internationally

A Security Analyst at the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Training Centre, Dr. Kwesi Ennin, says the rivalry between the military and police service has economic

implications on Ghana’s image internationally.

Dr. Kwesi Ennin described as a ‘‘tragedy’’ the rivalry between the two security forces leading to the latest reports of physical assaults on some police officers by military personnel in the Ashanti Region.

Although the two security agencies appear to perform distinct functions, the Security Analyst said there has been a longstanding split tension between them, which he partly blames on the outdated nature of the security legislation governing their operations.

“What we have failed to do is to ensure that a leadership is in place to be able to respond very quickly and swiftly to emerging tensions. What has happened is clearly a reflection of the failure, the training and the internal mechanisms for dealing with tensions and conflicts. It is certainly unacceptable’’ he stated.

Dr. Kwesi Ennin expressed concern about the implications of the incident on Ghana’s image on the international scene. He was dismayed that parliament has not demanded answers from the security quarters over the matter. ‘‘Can you imagine the economic impact of what has happened in Kumasi internationally on peoples’ perceptions as to what this country is about when its two frontline security agencies go about brutalizing each other’? I am hoping that some heads will roll somewhere.’’ He noted.

According to Dr. Ennin, the failure of the leadership in punishing perpetrators of such indiscipline acts, have led to their recurrence.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander DCOP Patrick Timbillah, has asked the Military High Command in the region to call its men to order whilst the two collaborate to investigate the incident. He said the Regional Police Command has resolved to use dialogue to settle their differences with the military in order to maintain a harmonious relationship since the two sometimes worked together.

DCOP Patrick Timbillah made these known at a News Conference on Monday June 7, to address the incident. The soldiers from the fourth garrison in Kumasi were allegedly on rampage brutalizing over a dozen policemen at various duty posts last Friday June 4.

They are also reported to have vandalized property at some police stations causing some policemen to flee their duty post for safety. Although the Military High Command was not present at the news conference, DCOP Timbillah noted that the command had assured him of their commitment to investigate the incident fairly and bring the culprits to book.

In the meantime however, he appealed to the Military High Command to monitor the soldiers to ensure that they do not go astray causing mayhem to police officers and civilians since the reports were becoming incessant.

On the condition of the twelve policemen who suffered from the attacks, DCOP Timbillah noted that eleven of them had been treated and discharged except one who sustained a fractured arm due to the battering he received.

For now it appears that many police officers in the Kumasi Metropolis have lost motivation to work following the threats on their lives. However, the Regional Police Commander said much was being done to urge the men to get back to duty without fear of intimidation once they work within the premise of the law.