No masked men for elections again – Short Commission report
The Justice Emile Short Commission that probed the violence that characterized the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election has recommended that no hooded or masked men are ever used in any election in Ghana.
“The commission recommends that no masked or hooded men should be used for civilian policing especially electoral policing or the execution of intelligence contingency, or connected with, any ongoing elections in Ghana,” portions of the report said according to Starrfm.com.gh.
It also recommended that the ” SWAT team and Police officers deployed to maintain peace and order on electoral grounds must have rigorous training in crowd control, arrest, perimeter security for both the ongoing electoral exercise and for any aligned security issues that may emerge in the ancillary fashion”.
The confidential report a copy of which the radio station Starrfm says it had obtained is said to have recommended that operatives should be re-assigned to their respective units after disbanding the SWAT team.
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“The Commission recommends that the SWAT team of the National Security Council Secretariat should be disbanded and operatives reassigned as appropriate,” the report recommended.
It added: “The Commission further recommends that support for special operations should be sought from the specialised units of the police directly as and when necessary.”
Also, the Commission recommends “intelligence sharing between relevant agencies where would entail or necessitate inter-agency cooperation” such as by-elections among others.
It further added that the police must be well resourced “so that they can maintain active communication during the entirety of operations. Providing equipment to only the leaders of an operation who cannot be everywhere at once leaves the flank unprotected and this would not inspire confidence in any of them.”
The three-member Commission was tasked to probe the events of the violence which occurred during the Ayawaso-West Wuogon by-election. It started its public hearings at the Christiansborg Castle, Osu, Accra on February 14.