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CDS Africa

Administrator . Updated April 19, 2024

The Africa Center for Democracy and Socioeconomic Development, CDS Africa, strongly condemns the conduct of the youth of Tema New Town and the heavy-handed response of the naval personnel, resulting in the tragic deaths of two individuals on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

The incident unfolded on the evening of Friday, April 12, 2024, during a street procession organized by the youth as part of the annual Kplejoo festival.  This act of hooliganism which saw a section of the youth damaging the vehicle of the Eastern Naval Command was uncalled for and could have been handled properly by referring it to the police instead of resorting to violence. To worsen matters, a mob, suspected to be part of the participants in the festivities, later attacked the Tema Naval Base with stones and other implements to release their colleagues further aggravating the situation. This brutality on the part of the youth has the potential to strain relations between them and the military, as well as state security agencies broadly. It also poses a threat to public safety and therefore requires a swift investigation by the police to ensure that perpetrators are punished. CDS Africa therefore supports the call by the Tema Youth Association demanding a national probe into the issue.

On the part of the military, this is not an isolated case as there have been several events in the past, involving the military and some communities, including the killing of two protesters in Ejura in the Ashanti Region of Ghana following clashes between a joint police and military team and a crowd of irate protesters. While these events continue to dint the image of the military, one would have expected that they used a better approach this time around and involved the police earlier instead of firing warning shots to repel the attack which resulted in the death of two civilians.

As an organization committed to advocacy, we call upon all stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, and community leaders, to take decisive action to prevent its recurrence. We encourage the Ghana Armed Forces to provide continuous training and capacity-building programs to military personnel on topics such as conflict resolution, community engagement, and our democratic processes. We also reiterate the call on the Police to conduct thorough and impartial investigations and ensure perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, and appropriate disciplinary measures taken to ensure justice. We advocate for open channels of communication and dialogue between the military and local communities to build trust and understanding.

CDS Africa reaffirms its commitment to working tirelessly to address the root causes of violence and conflict. We believe that only through collective action and solidarity can we create a world where peace and harmony prevail. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

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CDS Africa

We lead research, advocacy and initiatives to advance democracy and policies to bring about socio-economic development.

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