The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, has said that the government intends to conclusively deal with the never-ending conflict in the Bawku municipality.
He said the government is working together with all the security agencies to bring finality to the tensions in the area.
Dery also acknowledged the important role the Peace Council and other civil society organisations including the Peace Centre in Damango would have to play to restore harmony in Bawku.
“Since we cannot tell when the events (shootings) take place, who exactly is doing it, is it a product of the ethnic conflict around chieftaincy? Is it criminal activities? Is it an extremist that has come in? We intend to deal with it decisively.
“…There’s a collaborative effort among all the security agencies; the armed forces, police, immigration, and all other security agencies. And there’s the Northern Security Border Project that is meant to fortify our security at those borders,” Dery said on Asaase Radio’s The Big Bulletin programme.
“We are not at our wits’ end. We’ve got adequately firm control; security-wise. But there is an element that we need to work on; which has to do with how do we calm the situation after we are in control to promote regular normal relationships. That brings in other agencies and the Peace Council is one of those and I also have to acknowledge that there are civil society organisations like the Peace Centre in Damango that we can use,” Dery told Beatrice Adu on Wednesday (17 March).
One dead, 18 arrested in fresh Bawku gun attack
The police have confirmed the killing of an 81-year-old man in a fresh gunfight in troubled Bawku in the Upper East Region.
The Bawku municipal police commander, Superintendent Simon Akabati said: “At the moment 18 people have been arrested and they will be put before court tomorrow [Tuesday]. We have beefed up security and we have increased patrols in the township”.
“The curfew is in full force and it is from 8 pm to 5 am… Once you are caught breaching the laws the security will take you on. We will be doing our job as professionals without fear or favour,” he added.
A long-standing tribal conflict in Bawku has been fueling violence in the area.
No group has claimed responsibility for this latest incident but sources familiar with the development indicate that there is a heavy security presence in the troubled town which shares a border with neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Some residents who were caught up in the crossfire said the latest violence erupted around midday and ended around 3:00 pm after which it erupted again.
“The deceased is a horse trader and was on his way to provide water to his horse when he was shot dead. In February, a similar incident occurred and another man was killed near a security zone. It appears the security deployment is not doing enough”, a resident told reporters.
“So around 1, soldiers were in town shooting again. Let me say for the people, they are used to it. Today is a market day so everybody has gone back home,” an eyewitness said. “Now we are all indoors. There are fears this could escalate in the night”.