1 shot dead… amidst REGSEC meeting with Bawku feuding factions

One person has been gunned down by unknown assail­ants, in Bawku, Upper East, Monday evening.

The deceased, identified as Osman Awudu, 45, was shot in the head and arms multiple times, leading to his death.

A police source that confirmed the death of Awudu to the Ghanaian Times, said the shooting could be linked to the lingering chieftaincy conflict in the area, but was uncertain when investigations would be conducted to effect arrest, and make perpetrators face the law.

The shooting occurred some hours after the Upper East Re­gional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, led members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to meet opinion leaders of factions of the conflict, to find ways of handling the situation, in Bawku.

The visit was occasioned by the death of nine residents, who were allegedly killed by military personnel in the area, on January 6 and February 1, this year.

At the palace of the Paramount Chief of Bawku, Zug-Ran Naba Asigri Abugrago Azorka II, Mr Yakubu, lamented that the conflict was affecting Bawku, touted as the most economically vibrant town in the region some time past.

He said that “Bawku borders two neighbouring countries, Burkina Faso and Togo, and that has opened opportunities to the town, and no other town in Upper East could match the growth and prosperity of Bawku. But now, the conflict has been detrimental to the development of the place”.

Mr Yakubu noted that children and women bore the brunt of the conflict, and appealed to Bawku Naba, elders and other opinion leaders, to support the security to ensure the restoration of peace.

According to him, some banks and other financial institutions had left the area, and commercial activities had come to a standstill as a result of the conflict.

An opinion leader, represent­ing the Kusasis, Simon Aruk Azimbe, expressed worry that the REGSEC did not condemn the military for allegedly killing civilians, who were on their farms in Bawku.

He appealed to REGSEC and government to enforce the 2003

Supreme Court ruling on the Bawku chieftaincy issue, to end the conflict.

The leader of the Mampru­sis, Adam Azangbeo, pledged to support REGSEC maintain peace in the area.

At Natinga, an opinion leader, Abubakar Iddrisu, asked the Ku­sasi group to return to the Bawku Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee, to help find a lasting solution to the age-old conflict.

“We believe in due process, and we have been channeling our grievances to the appropriate quar­ters. We expect our counterparts to do same. They have to come back to the committee so we chart the peace path”, he pleaded.

Mr Iddrisu called on govern­ment to handle the Bawku conflict with the seriousness that it de­served, and REGSEC to identify people behind the conflict for economic gains.

He accused “conflict entrepre­neurs of continuously employing the services of some desperadoes to engage in road blockage, and mounting illegal barriers to pre­vent traders and business persons from accessing the central business town of Bawku.”

The meeting was disrupted with heavy gunshots from parts of Bawku and it took the security sev­eral minutes to calm the situation, before it was resumed.


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