AUTHORITIES IN neighbouring Burkina Faso and their Ghanaian counterparts on Sunday began the evacuation of Fulani and Busanga refugees who fled into Sapeliga in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region barely a week ago, following a conflict that ensued between the two ethnic groups in Burkina Faso.
Information from Burkinbe authorities indicated that on December 31, 2012, a misunderstanding ensued between some Busangas and Fulanis in the Barigunse community, and later spread over to Yorikor and Zaabire communities, all in the Central East Province of that country.
Following that, a Fulani man (who was later killed) was driving through the Barigunse Community and came across some children playing on the road, on which he was driving, and in his quest to drive them off the road, got out of his car, moved towards the children and allegedly slapped them.
His alleged action sparked off some underlying tension that had existed between Busangas and Fulanis in the Barigunse Community for years, resulting in a violent conflict which claimed nine lives between December 31, 2012, and January 1, 2013.
In order to seek refuge, most Fulanis in the affected communities and some Busanga women fled into Sapeliga with the cattle. Their initial number was reported as 600 but more later joined raising number to about 700.
On Sunday, the Governor of the Central East Province of Burkina Faso, Alhaji Allahidi
Adiallo arrived in Sapeliga with buses and started the evacuation of the refugees. His mission was welcomed and assisted by the Bawku West District Assembly, the host of the refugees.
The refugees are expected to be camped at the Ayuuga Camp in the Central East Province of Burkina-Faso, 5 Kilometers away from the Sapeliga Community.
At about 4:00PM Sunday, 311 of the refugees had been evacuated. The District Chief Executive for Bawku West, Alhaji Anaba Adam Moro told this paper some of the refugees expressed mistrust in the authorities on the level of security and declined to returned but they were assured that the situation had been brought under control.