Schools in Bawku closed down: …following renewed chieftaincy clashes

Schools in the Bawku Municipality of the Upper East Region have been closed down following renewed shooting and reprisal attacks that resulted in the killing of five and injuring several others, in the area.

The Bawku Municipal Director of Education, MrAzeriyaAyeriga, said schools within the township had been tentatively closed in the wake of conflict “because the pupils and teachers fear their lives are at risk.”

“Schools have just reopened Tuesday for the second term, but classes have been halted because the issue there is hot,” he indicated, explaining schools operating in the town would have to remain closed as some residents had been attacked in the ensuing melee.

The Municipal Education Director, added that the swelling up of the impasse had had a steep toll on education in the municipality within the past month, saying close to 200 teachers had been besieging his office for transfers but he had granted 100 of them so far.

In a related development, the Board Chairman for the Presbyterian Nursing Training College (NTC) in Bawku, Reverend James Awuni, said the conflict had continually disrupted the academic calendar of the school.

The issue, he said, had necessitated the evacuation of more than 200 students to the Upper East Regional capital Bolgatanga by management.

Meanwhile, three civilians in Bawku are battling for their lives at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital aftersuffering gunshot wounds during a shootout with a military patrol team on Tuesday.

The incident happened at Zongo, a Muslim-dominated community in Bawku, an eyewitness disclosed to the Ghanaian Times.

Five residents-comprising four males and a female have lost their lives as a result of the renewed shooting and reprisal attacks.

The Bawku District Police Commander, Superintendent Simon Akabati, said the lingering conflict in the area was beyond the age-old chieftaincy dispute.

He called on stakeholders in the municipality to co-operate with the security agencies to deal with the situation as a criminal matter.

Supt. Akabati said he had observed some bandits capitalised on the impasse to steal, rob and killpeople.

He disclosed that, at least, five suspects have been arrested in connection with the alleged killings of five people in Bawkuon Monday.

Supt Akabatisaidthe police were determined to ensure ‘ceasefire mission’ despite the frustration.

A joint security force, he noted, would intensifying patrols to mitigate the bloodshed, adding, halting the conflict in Bawku was a top priority of the police.

The bodies of some three residents murdered in Bawku have been taken to the mortuary of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital for autopsy and preservation, whilst two were buried in accordance with Islamic tradition immediately doctors conducted autopsy on them.

Calm has since been restored as heavy military patrol team has taken over the town as of the time of filing this report.

FROM FRANCIS DABRE DABANG, BAWKU

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