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Bawku conflict: four associations appeal to Asantehene Committee to expedite action for peace

Four associations from the Upper East Region have appealed to the Asantehene Committee to expedite action to complete the resolution of the conflict in Bawku for sustainable peace. The associations are BONABOTO (The Association of the Citizens of Bolgatanga, Nangode, Bongo, Tongo) and their environs, Bissa Development Association, United Kassena-Nankana East Association, and Buluk Bisa Club. They appealed in a joint statement read by Professor Samuel A. Atintono, BONABOTO National President flanked by Alhaji Shaibu Musah, Bissa Development Association President, Lawyer Seth Alafa, Buluk Bisa Club President, and some elders from the region at a news conference on Friday in Accra. They said they have a lot of confidence in the leadership of the revered King to carry out the complex task to a successful conclusion, adding ‘He has done it before and has the wisdom and capacity to resolve the issue and unite our brothers in Bawku.’ The statement urged the conflicting parties to cooperate fully with the Asantehene Committee to find a lasting solution to the problem. They also appealed to the Nayiri, the Overlord of Mamprugu, and the youth from the area to cease actions that had the potential to escalate the conflict, stating that; ‘The role of Nayiri in restoring peace in Bawku cannot be underestimated.’ The statement also appealed to the Nayiri to make whatever concessions were necessary to end the conflict for the sake of the youth, the vulnerable, women and children who are being slaughtered in Bawku on a daily basis. They pleaded with the Bawku Naba, Abugrago Azoka II, and the Kusasi youth to avoid any action that would escalate the situation and that granting concessions to secure peace is a sign of maturity and not a weakness. The statement called on both the Kusasi and Mamprusi youths to lay down their arms and strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down by the security agencies to ensure peace in Bawku. ‘The youth of both sides, Kusasis and Mamprusis should embrace peace and smoke the peace pipe as brothers. We need to build Bawku together and not to destroy it,’ it stated. They called on them to be circumspect in their reportage to avoid fanning the conflict, saying; ‘The National Media Commission should sanction culprits, and this must be done without any fear or favour as to who owns these media houses.’ The statement called on the national security apparatus and agents to monitor the social media platforms of both parties and to fish and pick out individuals who incite conflict on these platforms. ‘Government should deal decisively with troublemakers, arrest, transport them to other regions, prosecute and imprison all those who foment trouble concerning the conflict. The Police and Military should work together to make it happen,’ it stated, adding; ‘We believe when troublemakers from both sides are arrested and dealt with the impunity will stop.’ They said it had been common knowledge that the Bawku area was now home to a lot of sophisticated weapons and implored the security agencies to carry out swoops and unexpected searches to uncover such weapons and to punish their owners appropriately to deter others. ‘Bawku must have the most needed peace for business and economic activities to bounce back. Bawku is the business hub of the Upper East Region! The youth must silence the guns!!! And the earlier we get together to silence these guns, the better it will be for us all. ‘Let us stop killing our future presidents, teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, among others and secure a peaceful environment for the development of Bawku,’ the statement said. It stated: ‘We the members of the associations of BONABOTO, the Bissa Development Association, Buluk Bisa Club, and United Kasena-Nankana East in the Upper East Region have resolved to be part of the solution to the Bawku conflict, and we look forward to meeting both the Kusasis and Mamprusis youth to chart the path for peace together.’

Source: Ghana News Agency