Time to end Konkomba-Chokosi conflict

BY: Daily Graphic
library photos
library photos

Conflicts have existed in societies since the beginning of time, with some of them being resolved in time to make those societies better places to live.

While some conflicts have led to improvement in social life, it is important to note that conflict is inherently divisive and the actions of some individuals who seek their ends by directly challenging the antagonists through violence have resulted in irreparable consequences.

What usually may start as a misunderstanding between two individuals could lead to a big conflict, and before the community realises that the pain is not worth it, people may have been killed and properties destroyed.

In any situation, this could lead to the destabilisation of communal life, with social and economic institutions closed or caught in a situation of chaos, which sometimes leads to loss of lives and properties.

It is for this reason that the Daily Graphic is worried that what started as an individual fight last year over a piece of land and which appeared to have been resolved has turned into a communal conflict between two ethnic groups (Konkombas and Chokosis) in the Chereponi and the Saboba districts.

The effect of this conflict is renewed hostilities between the two ethnic groups on December 31, 2018 which have led to the death of 28 people, the burning of communities and the displacement of more than 5,000 people, including women and children.

Many people are also reported to have sustained severe gunshot and machete wounds in the communal violence.

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We note that even though a curfew has been imposed on communities in the two districts, some residents are reported to have defied the curfew and attacked some communities last Friday, torching a number of houses and properties.

While urging the regional security council and its agencies to intensify their activities, we call on traditional authorities, non-governmental organisations and well-meaning institutions and individuals to cooperate with the security agencies to ensure peace in the area.

The two ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for a very long time and must see the conflict and subsequent clashes as unfortunate and unnecessary which must be quickly settled to avoid further destruction.

We recognise that almost every human action is likely to interfere with the plans of another person, which may lead to one conflict or another.

It is the approach to the resolution of the conflict and the proper resolution of it that can lead to the growth of society to avoid the carnage that some societies have suffered over the years.

The Daily Graphic welcomes the formation of a joint mediation team to lead the way to bring lasting peace to the communities affected by the conflict.

We also urge the youth who are at the forefront of the conflict to reexamine their actions, bearing in mind that any excesses have the tendency to leave scars in relationship that will have a negative impact not only on the current generation but also those yet unborn.

We look forward to the planned Peace Conference on Thursday and urge all leaders of the two groups, as well as all stakeholders, to attend and actively participate in it to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

It is only in an atmosphere of peace that we can achieve progress and development for the nation.