The Northern Regional Security Council, (REGSEC), led by the Regional Minister, Salifu Sae-ed has visited some communities that were burnt down in the recent ethnic clashes between the Konkombas and the Chokosis at Chereponi in the Northern region.
The visit was to afford the team, the opportunity to assess and have first-hand information the devastation caused by the ethnic conflicts as well as meet with the chiefs and people of the two raging ethnic groups to chart a path towards resolving the current impasse.
The visit was facilitated at the behest of the office of the President.
The Regional Security Council, REGSEC, team comprised Former Northern Regional Minister and Ambassador to Angola, Moses Mabengba, Deputy Regional Minister, Solomon Boar, General Officer Commanding Northern Command, Brigadier General Francis Ofori, Regional Police Commander, DCOP Timothy Boga.
Also accompanying the team were Regional Immigration Officer, MP for Chereponi, Samuel Jabanyite , leaderships of konkombas and Chokosis and some former MPs and DCEs.
The team visited Tampong and Kunajikum where about ninety percent of households and settlements had been touched. Drinking spots, grinding mills, tricycles and other personal properties were all not spared.
The communities looked deserted as residents had fled to neighbouring Togo and other towns to seek shelter.
However, information reaching GBC24 indicated that some residents have started returning from their hideouts to the communities.
Radio Ghana spotted some group of women carrying their belongings returning to the community. Pirimba Yajint is a resident.
The team expressed shock at the extent of damage caused by the conflict.
At a durbar of chiefs and people of Chereponi, the Regent of the traditional area, Jaminja Ndakan, expressed worry over the recent clashes because for many years, the two groups have lived happily and co-existed peacefully.
He said his elders and sub-chiefs comprised Konkombas and Chokosis and therefore the current mishaps came as a shock to the chiefdom. General Officer, Commanding the Northern Command, Brigadier General Francis Ofori, and the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Timothy Boga, all cautioned the residents particularly the youth to stay clear any mishaps since the two security agencies will deal ruthlessly with anyone or group of persons culpable of any offense.
The Deputy Regional Minister, Solomon Boar, charged the people to redirect their energies and resources into developing themselves and their communities rather that engaging in ethnic battles.
He said there are no winners and losers in conflicts of this nature but rather both sides of the conflicts are losers of properties and human lives. Mr Boar urged them to have sober reflection on the recent happenings and give peace a chance.
The Paramount Chief of Saboba Traditional area, Bowan Mateer-John, has implored government and REGSEC to take steps to initiate concrete measures to quickly restore calm and order to the two areas to guarantee the return of all displaced persons back to the communities.
To this end, he has called on REGSEC to create a platform for dialogue between the Konkombas and Anufors of the two traditional areas to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Bowan Mateer-John made the call when REGSEC led by the Regional Minister, Salifu Sae-ed visted the area to assess the extent of devastation caused by the recent ethnic violence between the two groups.
He however, appealed to the team to review the curfew hours imposed on the area to a more convenient time since it is affecting their economic lives.
The National President of Konkomba Youth Association, Charles Nyojah said at this crucial moment, any action or move should be geared towards promoting peace in the two areas.
A Former District Chief Executive for Saboba, Imoro Sanda, suggested that the piece of land at Naduni where the conflict started should be declared a no man’s land and if possible the land should be turned into an afforestation site.
The Regional Minister, Salifu Sae-ed said REGSEC will launch surveillance on the roads to monitor human and vehicular movement and this according to him, was to ensure that no offensive weapons and arms are brought onto the two towns.
He noted that this has become necessary due to some ammunition that was impounded some few days at Nkwanta.
He also revealed that REGSEC will on Thursday, January 10, hold an emergency peace conference with influential individuals and state actors to deliberate and chart a road map towards resolving and finding a long lasting solution to the ethnic conference.
He advised both sides never to involve themselves in conflict again and promised that REGSEC will look into the curfew hours.
The team later visited Tampong and Kunajikum where about ninety percent of households and settlements had been burnt down.
Drinking spots, grinding mills, tricycles and other personal properties were all not spared. The communities looked deserted as residents had fled to neighbouring Togo and other towns to seek shelter.
However, information reaching Radio Ghana indicates that some residents have started returning from their hideouts to the communities.
Story by Joyce Kantam Kolamong