The Ghana Armed Forces, last week, foiled an attempt by a dissident group to render the country ungovernable. The leader of the dissidents, Colonel Guy Rambo, and some of his lieutenants, as a result, received the capital punishment when they suffered death by firing squad.
The mock executions took place at the shooting range of the Jungle Warfare School, Achiase, in the Birim South District of the Eastern Region, on the orders of TIGER ONE, Lt-Colonel Charles Ayiku, Commanding Officer of the school.
So fierce was the engagement between the loyal forces and the dissident group that the vulnerable in society, women, children and the elderly, wanted a place to seek refuge, but to no avail.
The vulnerable's first obstacle was language barrier, for they cannot speak the French, and as such, resorted to cursing those who brought the untold hardship to bear on hitherto peaceful Ghana.
It took the Special Forces Task Force of the Ghana Armed Forces four days to dislodge the insurgents, whose ultimate aim was to cede the oil and diamond regions, and finally declare a Republic. The action of the Task Force, made up of five platoons drawn from the Northern and Southern Commands of the Ghana Army, Support Services Brigade also of the Ghana Army, Navy and the Air Force, was in response to directives from the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School (MATS), Rear Admiral Emmanuel Akoto Bonsu.
As this reporter tiptoed behind a group of panic-stricken women and children, who in their conversation were blaming the so-called warlord who ignited the insurgency, he gathered that the state of Ghana, after opting for multiparty democracy in 1992, held successful general elections in that year, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Two political parties, GDPP and PPCP, dominated, even though the country is practicing multiparty democracy.
However, the 2012 general elections was disputed by one of the parties, and instead of going about it in a very democratic way, the disagreeing political party took up arms and went underground to make the country ungovernable for the other political party, which was declared winner of the elections.
Under the leadership of Colonel Rambo, the armed group first stormed the oil region of the country, where they started their activities, and soon advanced into the Birim South District and announced its presence by blowing a number of 33KV sub stations belonging to the power company, set ablaze local markets, and took hostage of school children in the only boarding school in the district.
Colonel Rambo and his group ambushed two bullion vans belonging to the mother bank, hijacked a number of vehicles, and crowned their nefarious activities by gang-raping.
Information of these got to National Security, which demanded action from the Chief of Defence Staff.
The Armed Forces boss, in turn, tasked the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School to constitute a Special Forces Task Force to search, locate, and destroy Colonel Guy Rambo and his group of insurgents, who had adopted the five forest reserves in the Birim South District and Municipality as their harbour grounds.
On day one, Tuesday 30th July, 2013, the task force assembled at the Akim Oda Sports Stadium under the leadership of Lt-Col. Charles Ayiku, Commanding Officer, Jungle Warfare School, Achiase, and was addressed by the Commandant, MATS, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Akoto Bonsu.
The Northern Command suffered an ambush as it tried to penetrate enemy territory, but tactically re-organised, flushed out the dissidents, and cleared the way for other platoons to move into action.
On Wednesday, the presence of the rebel group was reported across the Birim River, so the task force, led by the navy, crossed the swift currents-driven river at Akim Wenchi.
Incidentally, the spiritual power of the rebel group was invoked, leading to the seizure of an M16 rifle, as the force was crossing at 50-metres wide and a depth of 15 feet.
Every effort by the task force to retrieve the weapon failed, until the traditionalists with customary responsibility for the Birim river, appeased her (River Goddess) by pouring libation, and when that was done, the M16, which disappeared earlier, was found trapped in the roots of a tree.
As the firing power of the force increased, the dissident leader, Colonel Rambo, who was momentarily disorganized, chose to ignore war conventions and fired on civilian targets such as the chapels and mission hospital where people were seeking refuge.
Information of his frustration got to the task force, and realising that it would be dangerous to let him on the loose, decided to finish he and his group, and so in response, on Thursday, at about 1100 hours, the loyal forces launched an offensive attack on known bases of the enemy force at Akim Asanteman.
The dissidents suffered heavy casualties, compelling their leader and a pocket of his elite group to flee to an unknown destination, while a Ghana Air Force helicopter was called upon to undertake the evacuation of casualties.
The Deputy Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School, Brig-General Charles Ritchter Addo, briefing journalists, said what took place was an elite training programme on the Ghana Armed Forces calendar known as EXERCISE TIGER'S PATH.
The Deputy Commandant stated that the 2013 edition was aimed at testing a cross-section of the Ghana Armed Forces in jungle operations, Internal Security/Counter Insurgency at the sub-unit level.
The exercise, he said, was also designed to enable the various formations practice the administration and logistic requirements of units in the field.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Mawuli Biekro, addressing the troops during the closing ceremony, appealed to the public to assist the security agencies by way of information on nation wreckers.
According to him, the Armed Forces and the police were ever ready to bring any threat to the security of the state to order, but would need the support of the citizenry.