More lives allegedly lost in renewed Chieftaincy clash in Bawku

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Bawku Conflict
Bawku Conflict

There has been a renewed Chieftaincy clash at Bawku in the Upper East Region, despite the imposition of curfew and other security measures.

Although the Police and the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) are yet to come out with the number of fatalities in the clash, the Ghana News Agency (GNA)sources revealed that a few persons lost their lives, while others were injured.

Heavy gunshots were fired within the Bawku Township, compelling the REGSEC to enforce the security situation in the area with additional security measures, including enhanced restrictions.

A statement signed on behalf of Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister and Chairman of the REGSEC, by Inusah Abubakari Alhaji, the Regional Chief Director and copied to GNA, noted that the measures were taken after emergency meeting held on Monday.

“The Police, Ghana Immigration Service and the Military are allowed to use official motorbikes between 0600 hours to 1800 hours”, it stated.

A temporal ban had also been placed on the use of tricycles (yellow yellow), until further notice and curfew hours extended to cover Nayoka, Kpalgu and Manga communities.
Apart from the curfew imposed on the Bawku Township and its environs from 2000 hours to 0500 hours, a ban had earlier been placed on the wearing of smock and riding of motorbikes.

The Regional Minister told GNA in an interview that the review of the security measures in the area was to strengthen surveillance and enable the security agencies to effectively deal with current trends of causing crime and igniting the conflict.

He said the REGSEC had gathered intelligence that some people involved in the conflict used the tricycles to commit crime and urged the residents to report any suspicious characters to the security agencies for rapid action.

“With the information that is only privy to REGSEC and based on what we have achieved and what we have not achieved, we think that what we are doing is the best option because we know what is happening in Bawku.

“Yesterday for instance, there were heavy gunshots in Bawku and people are using the tricycles to commit these crimes,” he said.
Mr Yakubu said although the decision taken had consequences on the movement of people and economic activities, it was necessary to restore peace in the area and called for support from the public especially residents of Bawku.

“These are things that we do with a heavy heart, but we have really measured in whatever action that we take but what we are praying for is peace to return to Bawku.”

The protracted conflict is partly due to a disagreement over the performance of the funeral of a Chief who died more than 42 years ago, to pave way for the enskinment of another Chief.

Meanwhile, the government, through the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, noted that the Chieftaincy disagreement was settled by the Supreme Court in 2003 and urged all parties to respect the ruling.

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