The chiefs and people of Nkonya and Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, have been encouraged to build on the gains made in the recent peace deals, to avoid a return to their age-long conflict.
To achieve that, they have been urged to remain committed to requirements of their recent peace deal, and engage each other for effective co-existence.
A peace advocate, Robert Danso Mensah, former Minister Counsellor at the Ghana High Commission in the UK, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, asked the leaders and people of the two communities to consider their last peace deal signed in December, as their last chance for lasting peace.
“Everybody is fed up with the conflict between the two areas, and 93 years of land litigation and conflicts is too wasteful,” he lamented.
Historically, he explained “the conflict between Nkonya and Alavanyo is one of the oldest in Africa, and that the record should be enough to make the people of the area sad”.
The retired diplomat, who is a citizen of Nkonya, believes it was time the two sides needed to compromise and unite for development.
On December 20, 2015, the chiefs from the two sides signed a new peace accord, after several ones signed earlier had failed leading to the land conflict raging for decades.
The latest attempt, which was under the auspices of the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council, resulted in the two traditional areas signing flags of peace as part of activities marking the World Peace Day.
Prior to that, the Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur had indicated government’s intention to compulsorily take over the disputed land and offer it to the military and the police for the building of training facilities, in a bid to find a solution to the conflict.
Mr. Mensah believed it was time to fight the factors of poverty and under-development in the area, and not one another.
Although the devastating effect of the conflict remained regrettable, he said there was hope for Nkonya and Alavanyo to rise together adding that “let us open up our communities now and stop fighting one another.”
He was optimistic that once they show evidence of their commitment to peace and development, organisations would consider directing their investments to the area, while the government would not have difficulty in providing more social amenities for the area.
In addition, Mr. Mensah advised the citizens to channel their investments used to produce arms, into productive ventures, and also advised outsiders who continue to fuel the conflict for their selfish interest, to desist from the practice.
He, however, noted that because the achievement of peace was a collective responsibility, there was the need for all stakeholders, to continually preach peace.
By Edmund Mingle