Ghana: Let the Guns Fall Silent in Bawku!

The Upper East Regional Peace Council has expressed concerns about the recurrence of the conflict in Bawku.

These concerns are well placed because like any other conflict, the Bawku dispute has been claiming lives, destroying property and undermining peace and tranquility in the area, and for that matter the country.

The lack of peace and tranquillity makes residents and others travelling there for one reason or another to fear for their lives, preventing everyone from going about their socio-economic activities smoothly.

Is it not sad to hear, for example, the Ghana National Association of Teachers in May this year saying 100 of its members had been given the green light to flee the area due to the conflict there and that others would follow suit?

What about the restrictions like curfews and ban on the use of motorcycles after 6 p.m., not forgetting the amounts the government spend in maintaining security?

Such happenings do not help conflict areas to develop for the benefits of the people, particularly the innocent ones who gain nothing from it.

If media reports making the rounds are anything to go by, then we can say that ninepersons have been killed in renewed clashes which took place on Sunday and Monday.

Besides, gunshots damaged a transformer belonging to NEDCo, a power provider, which the company has so far repaired to restore power to the affected communities.

These killings come to add to the numbers already recorded for only this

year as much as four deaths in January, one in March, five in May, one in

June,and five in August.

It is a well-known fact that the Bawku conflict involves the Kusasis and Mamprusis in the traditional area concerning which of them have claim to the Bawku chieftaincy.

As it is not uncommon with such conflicts, it is clear

that the parties involved in the Bawku one have taken entrenched positions, which makes it difficult to resolve it.

But why not?

As it is the case in this country, control over chieftaincy comes with benefits such as having ownership over some land and getting access to the movers and shakers of the traditional area and the country at large.

Currently, what is most worrying is that any unimaginable thing can trigger a recurrence and at any time.

For instance, it is said that the recent tensions can be traced to December 27, last year, when gunshots raged in parts of Bawku after attempts to perform the final funeral rites of a chief who died about 41 years ago.

The most important thing is that the Bawku conflict must end and it can end through peaceful resolution, not shootings that claim lives, the destruction of property and all the threats that make life unbearable in the area.

Let the guns fall silent in Bawku for progress to take its proper place among the people and the entire area.

We appeal to the parties in the conflict that has raged since colonial times to consider the interests of other people and help resolve it.

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