Ghana’s military Thursday denied allegations of killing at least 10 civilians during deployment on an anti-terrorism operation in the town of Bawku, Upper East Region. The accusations came after a number of civilians were killed during the military’s presence in the town. Locals recalled seeing military personnel shooting and arresting various people.Previous extremist activity around Bawku prompted a swift response from the Ghana Armed Forces. Bawku, which borders Burkina Faso, has seen significant ethnic tensions and violence. Ten months of retaliatory conflict has segregated Bawku ethnically and displaced the majority of the population.Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister and Chairman of the Security Council, outlined that neighbouring jihadists are of great concern. Ghana has been recently increasing their military presence in Bawku to “protect and ensure peace”.These killings led Central Bawku’s MP Mahama Ayariga to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate and compensate the victims’ families. The petition highlighted that the military “disregarded the constitutional rights” of the citizens and hints at a “potential coverup” by the military.Articles 216-230 of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution allow CHRAJ to investigate potential violations of citizens’ rights and freedoms by public officials.Tensions are still present in Bawku. However, the 10 military suspects were arrested and held for further questioning. The town is now under a curfew.

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