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Tue, 18 Jun 2024 Social News

Military-civilian relations is far from waning – GAF explains

  Tue, 18 Jun 2024
Military-civilian relations is far from waning – GAF explains
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The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), says the military-civilian relationship in Ghana has not declined despite incidents of violence recorded from both sides in the recent past.

In a written interview with the Ghana News Agency, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Marteye on behalf of Brigadier-General Eric Aggrey-Quashie, Director General, Department of Public Relations, GAF, stated that, the incidents were isolated cases which had no bearing on the progress made so far.

“The very recent one which happened in Millennium City, near Kasoa was because of a land dispute and currently being handled by the court and it will not reduce the gains made in military-civilians.”

Military personnel, he explained, just like other human beings, also engaged in social activities hence misunderstandings and disagreements were likely to happen.

However, the Military High Command was always committed to educating uniformed personnel and the public to be circumspect in their dealings with each other to mitigate fall outs.

“GAF constantly advises troops to be guided in their dealings with the civilian public as well as demonstrating commitment to maintaining law and order in our communities and urges members of the public to seek peaceful and lawful means to resolve land disputes and to refrain from engaging in acts of violence to prevent unfortunate situations,” he said.

In response to the question, if the cordial civil-military relationship is being taken advantage of or abused by some civilians, GAF said it sought to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the public, therefore, did not think that the two parties would take advantage of such.

The Military acknowledged that some would think the relationship was being abused but, it was important to note that, the successes of military-civilian programmes outdid the excesses, however, there was still more room for improvement.

On the issue of what the military could do to salvage the situation of the shaky civil-military relationship, it said more efforts had been put in to reach out to the public through the mass media.

GAF stated that, it engaged the media and public through its Media/Press soirees and West African Soldiers' Social Activities (WASSA), among others to interact with the civilian population.

GAF said it had, on several occasions, offered clarifications on issues raised by the media, however, they agreed that more needed to be done in this regard.

“We acknowledge that more needs to be done to educate and sensitise the public to reduce tension between the military and civilian population. Intensifying our activities and ensuring rigorous public engagement will consolidate gains made so far,” the Military stated.

On the progress made so far as far as military-civilian relations was concerned, he said the Military had embarked on some activities geared towards the building of a strong relationship with civilians.

This included route marches with sister security services such as the Police to assure the public of its commitment to security and development and as a show of force; through GAF Open Day to allow the public access to military installations to view its weaponries, maneuvers and simulations.

The above was aimed at helping civilians understand military life thus giving a boost to military – civilian relations in the country.

The GAF explained how it helped civilians on several occasions by joining the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and Ghana National Fire Service to respond to national emergency situations such as floods and fire outbreaks.

“This is done by the deployment of the Engineer Unit of GAF to help search and rescue operations to evacuate people. The contributions of GAF during such situations go a long way to save life, property and reduce the burden on NADMO and Fire Service”, they explained.

Hitherto anti-criminal operations such as “Operation Calm Life” by the Ghana Police Service was supported GAF which helped reduced the menace.

The GAF said it had also helped to improve the health and wellbeing of civilians through its numerous medical outreach programmes for communities with limited or no access to healthcare services.

Additionally, the contribution of Military Hospitals to the provision of general health care of the Ghanaian civilian populace cannot be underestimated especially during strikes by medical practitioners.

“Military Hospitals continue to treat the increasing number of patients who throng to our facilities during industrial actions. 37 Military Hospital continues to record an increasing number of civilian patients due to the belief that the facility provides faster and more efficient health care service,” he explained.

Moreover, the military said its schools were open to the public without discrimination to contribute to knowledge and skills acquisition for national development and in the process, strengthen bonds with the populace.

Other interventions such as donations to educational institutions and health facilities, constitute humanitarian assistance given to civilian institutions which offers opportunities to embark on sensitisation activities.

The GAF, realizing the importance and power of social media, has taken advantage of it to disseminate information to the public. This medium, it said, had afforded an avenue for them to engage the public and receive feedback.

“The number of people who have patronized our social media pages show public interest in official military information thereby improving in our relationship with the public”, it said.

The Military reiterated its unrelenting efforts to deepen civilian-military relationship, calling on the populace to do same, shunning all tendencies to mar it.

GNA

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