… As herdsmen begin to leave V.R

ADWOA NTOSO V.R MINISTER (3)SOME Fulani nomads have started leaving the Volta Region, since the joint police-military special exercise, code-named ‘Operation Cow Leg,’ began less than a week ago to flush them out of the region.

As at yesterday, at least 50 Fulanis from seven communities in the Akatsi North District, have departed with their cattle, leaving the empty kraals behind.

The DCE, Mr James Gunu, who disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times yesterday, said the Fulanis left with at least 500 animals from their kraals at Dzalele, Atanve, Korve, Avevi, Avevoe, Matsrikasa and Ave-Seva.

He said 56 kraals were now empty in the district.

“For now, we do not know exactly where they have left for, but we are still on the alert to ensure that they do not return to the district”, Mr Gunu said.

He said the District Security Council (DISEC), had also set up a hotline with the various communities to relay information on the return of any Fulani nomad to district.

The DCE explained that ‘Operation Cow Leg’ was not a xenophobic attack on foreigners, but rather to restore sanity in communities invaded recently by the herdsmen.

“We know some Fulanis settled here long before independence and are Ghanaians, and we are not targeting those law abiding ones”, he added.

He said the invasion of the area in recent times by the nomads and their cattle, had seriously affected crop yields and rendered local farmers poorer than before.

For instance, he said with the cattle taking over farmlands, farmers in the district last year harvested only 600 tonnes of maize as against more than 1,500 in the previous years.

As a result of the falling crop yields, farmers have also lost interest in farm-based festivals such as Agbeliza,Ebliza and Agbleza.

He warned the townsmen not to attack or harass the departing nomads, saying that there were enough men engaged in the ‘Operation Cow Leg, “which we hope will also restore the confidence of our farmers”.

Mr Gunu said the exercise was largely making gains, and that it would be sustained until the nomads left the district.

The exercise, which took off last Saturday, is expected to last for a fortnight.

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Ave-Dakpa

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