27 September 2010

Ghana: Bawku Children Call for Ceasefire

Though Bawku has enjoyed relative peace over the past five months, children in the area, on September 21, 2010, joined their parents in the global commemoration of the International Day of Peace, with a call for a ceasefire in the protracted chieftaincy conflict that has left dozens dead, and properties destroyed.

A representative of the defenseless children and a student of the Daduri Catholic Junior High School, Master Robert Mbilla, in a statement, called on the tribes in the area, and other identifiable stakeholders, to help the peace dialogue going on.

The teenager lamented that since the escalation of the conflict in December 2007, it had been very difficult for most pupils/students in the area to carry on with their academic activities, because, these activities had been interrupted by the frequent resurgence of the conflict.

Master Mbilla also observed that it was not easy for them to learn in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, even when the teachers agree to risk their lives to come to school to teach.

The United Nations set aside the International World Peace Day, with its first holiday marked in 1981.

Since then, the day has been commemorated annually on September 21 by all member states of the United Nations. It is also observed by many political and military groups across the globe.

At the inauguration of the World Peace Day by the United Nations (UN), a Peace Bell made from coins donated by children from all UN-member states, was rung at the United Nations Headquarters to symbolise the call for a ceasefire, and the restoration of peace in every member state.

In Ghana, however, the day, coincidently, fell in line with the maiden celebration of the Founder’s Day this year, thereby over shadowing the World Peace Day celebrations.

The deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs. Lucy Awuni, praised the Bawku Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee, and the two sides of the conflict – Kusasi and Mamprusi – for the relative peace, and reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring lasting peace in the area.

The Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Musah Abdulai, regretted that the assembly had spent a huge chunk of its revenue and resources on the conflict, and therefore, appealed to Bawku residents to let the peace being enjoyed, be an everlasting one.

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