5 June 2012

Ghana: Four Dead, Villages Demolished in Fresh Bout of Northern Conflict

Tamale — THE CHIEF of Nankpanduri, Naaba David Kansuk, has confirmed to The Chronicle that several hundreds of women and children have fled the Kpanyili community, a suburb of Nakpanduri, and taken refuge on top of hills in the nearby bushes, as a result of a raging conflict between the Kokombas and Bimobas.

According to the Chief, some women, children, and even some of the youth, were very apprehensive and had decided to take cover in the bushes, since their safety could not be guaranteed by the security personnel deplored to the area.

At the time of filing this story, reports indicated that about 169 houses and farmlands had been burnt down, and four casualties recorded, as a result of exchanges of gunfire.

The Chief said there was so much tension in the area, and that the aggressors were using sophisticated weapons and had overwhelmed the security personnel. Naaba Kansuk revealed that the incident was a result of an "unwarranted attempt" by the Kokombas to own a piece of land earmarked for a school project in Timali for farming purposes.

He told The Chronicle that the Nayili, Overlord of the Mamprusi Traditional Area, had already barred the community from encroaching on that land, but his orders had been met with disregard by the Kokombas.

Whilst the fighting was getting intense in Nankpanduri, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Paul Tawiah Quaye, was in Tamale holding meetings with his police officers.

He did not, however, disclose whether or not he would visit the place before leaving for Accra. The Northern Regional Police Commander, ACP George Tuffuor, would not speak on the issue when contacted by The Chronicle, because he was hosting his boss (the IGP).

Meanwhile, information picked up by The Chronicle indicates that the village of Awuratu in the Nkwanta North District of the Volta Region was thrown into complete pandemonium when Konkombas allegedly attacked the Nawuri inhabitants on June 1, this year.

Speaking to The Chronicle, Nana Ayeng Kwaku, a Nawuri and the Regent of Awuratu, said the belligerent Konkombas attacked the village around 6:00 p.m., chased out the Nawuris, destroyed their homes, and looted a considerable number of their properties, including livestock.

However, with the help of canoeists, most of the Nawuris of the beleaguered village managed to ferry across the tributary of the Oti River to Kpandai and its surrounding villages in the Northern Region, while others traumatically wandered through the bushes to Nkwanta.

The attack was sparked off by the Konkomba preventing the Nawuris from performing the funeral rituals of Nana Kusuokon Banfiane, the late Odikro of Awuratu.

However, this paper has learnt that the attack was motivated by a Konkomba claim of ownership of the village.

The paper has also learnt that tension began to mount when the funeral arrangements of the late Odikro were announced.

Soon after, rumours became rife that the Konkombas would attack the Nawuris, if they went ahead to perform the funeral rites of the late Odikro in Awuratu, which were scheduled for June 1-3, 2012.

This created a volatile situation in the district, forcing the District Chief Executive, Paul Jato, to make contingency arrangements with the Krachi South District for police reinforcement, as well as the deployment of military personnel to Kpassa.

Immediately, police and military personnel were deployed to Kpassa to help maintain law and order. While the improvement of the security in the district was somewhat commendable and relieving, the method adopted to maintain law and order in Awuratu, in particular, appeared ill-strategised.

This reporter gathered that instead of deploring the security personnel to Awuratu, they were rather stationed in Kpassa, with the expectation that their presence would pre-empt the Konkombas or any groups of people from carrying out dastardly acts in any part of the district.

Copyright © 2012 Ghanaian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.