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Graphic Online 

Give Dagbon peace talks a chance

BY: Daily Graphic
Regent of Dagbon and acting President of the Dagbon Traditional Council, Kampakuya-Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai
Regent of Dagbon and acting President of the Dagbon Traditional Council, Kampakuya-Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai

It appears a Herculean task, but if history is a guide, the resolution of the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute is possible.

That is why Dagbon is making some effort to recover from the ashes of conflict and seek lasting and durable peace.

The Dagbon State was thrown into a protracted conflict following the assassination of the then Overlord, Ya Naa Andani II, in 2002.

The conflict had a spillover effect on the entire Northern Region and the country, with the loss of many lives and the destruction of properties.

Moreover, the violence affected production, marketing and investment in agriculture, the most dominant economic activity in the Tamale metropolis and other towns in the Dagbon State.

Again, during the outbreak of violence, farmers engaged in the cultivation of perishable foodstuffs such as watermelon, tomato, pepper and onions suffered heavy losses.

Farmers abandoned their crops because they feared being attacked on their farms. Also, transportation networks were disrupted during the violent clashes and farmers were unable to transport their produce to the market centres.

Many attempts at mediation failed as a result of misunderstanding over the implementation of the final phase of the road map to peace in Dagbon.

However, now representatives of both sides of the chieftaincy divide in Dagbon have agreed to resume peace talks in Tamale today.

The Daily Graphic welcomes the resumption of peace talks after a long period of deadlock and urges the inter-ministerial committee handling the dispute to leave no stone unturned in its search for lasting and durable peace.

We are aware that the committee has made some progress in arriving at a middle ground with the two gates and wish to commend it for the great strides.

The Daily Graphic commends the efforts of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, the Northern Regional Minister, the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, the National Security Minister and all other stakeholders who are contributing in diverse ways to give peace a chance in Dagbon.

It is our view that for lasting and durable peace to be achieved, the committee can adopt traditional conflict resolution techniques from within the local people, with the involvement of respected chiefs, opinion leaders and religious groups.

The Daily Graphic expects that when all is done and the dust finally settles, Dagbon will bounce back and regain its glory.