A number of operations are being started, according to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), to stop the unlicensed usage and sale of uniforms and accessories with military-style patterns.
The ongoing usage of the uniforms and accessories by individuals and entities that are not authorized to do so, have made these measures, which will reinforce the existing methods, to become necessary, according to GAF.
Most significantly, it was said, these actions were directed against miscreants and impersonators who went to great lengths to get these uniforms with the express intent of engaging in fraud and other illegal activity.
GAF is extremely concerned about the tendency of unauthorized usage of military uniforms, which seems to be increasing despite ongoing public education efforts and warnings to the general public.
The current situation directly violates the still in effect National Liberation Council Decree (NLCD)177 from 1967.
According to a statement from the GAF, this Decree states in part that “no person shall wear or use any military uniforms, equipment, or accoutrements, or other material, unless he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of Ghana.”
“It is based on this that personnel of the 4 Infantry Battalion in Kumasi recently rounded up some persons wearing different shades of military camouflage uniforms, captured in a viral video manhandling some civilians in the Kwabre South District. It later came to light that these persons were members of the District Assembly Taskforce who were carrying out duties for the District Assembly.
“Considering that they were dressed in military pattern camouflage uniforms, they were wrongly perceived to be GAF personnel thereby drawing GAF into disrepute. Aside the above, GAF has also picked up several impersonators in recent times and handed them over to the Police for prosecution.
“GAF has also noticed with dismay, the increased use of military uniforms by some private security personnel, musicians and other entertainers and consequently efforts are underway to halt the practice.
“It must be noted that besides the illegality of the use of the uniforms, accoutrement and equipment by these unauthorised persons or group of persons, others with criminal motives use them to impersonate and outwit unsuspecting members of public in order to perpetuate crime.
“Noting that these acts creates a sense of insecurity in the country and tarnishes the image of the military, GAF would not allow this situation to persist and will henceforth step up the arrests of these persons and deal with them drastically but in accordance to the due process of the law,” it stressed.
Upon appropriate verification and identification of the soldiers, the issue and sale of military uniforms and accoutrements to personnel have been simplified and are being managed by Units and the Service Headquarters through Service and Post Exchange Shops.
As a result, military members who enable friends and family to use their uniforms and accessories or dispose of them illegally would face the same punishment under GAF regulations and national legislation.