We have had to return to the issue of peace because barely 48 hours after President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo had admonished Konkombas and Chokosis in the Chereponi District in the North East Region to give peace a chance, fighting again broke out between the two groups over a piece of land.
This renewed conflict may just be the tip of the iceberg, in relation to how much the nation has lost, aside from the loss of human lives.
It is an indication of the huge negative impact of conflicts on the country’s development. For this reason, therefore, every development-oriented patriotic citizen wishes that there would be no conflict to safeguard our progress as a nation.
The call by the President to the leadership of the Konkombas and the Chokosis in Chereponi to soften their stance and speedily settle the recurring ethnic disputes should be taken seriously by the parties in order to ensure accelerated development of the area and Ghana in general.
For the Daily Graphic, the feuding factions in the Chereponi conflict must understand that violence is not a good means of resolving challenges in society.
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Indeed, it is a destructive approach to the resolution of misunderstandings.
Ghana has seen a number of conflicts over the years and we have all been witnesses to the aftermath of such conflicts. That is why, as a people, we must not only promote peace and harmonious co-habitation but also seek the welfare of our neighbours.
An analysis of inter-ethnic conflicts in the Northern Region reveals a pattern of struggle for paramountcy and autonomy. One of the main causes of the conflict between the Konkombas and other ethnic groups, such as the Dagombas, Nanumbas and Gonjas, is the struggle for paramountcy and autonomy.
Land ownership and the control of land are another major sources of ethnic conflicts in the Northern Region. Land remains a thorny social, economic and political issue which generates ethnic conflicts between Konkombas and Bimobas, Konkombas and Dagombas, Konkombas and Nanumbas, Konkombas and Gonjas, Gonjas and Nawuris and, lately, Konkombas and Chokosis.
Though there is no single workable solution to resolve ethnic conflicts, this does not stop us from making recommendations towards the process of conflict management in the Northern Region.
For the Daily Graphic, at the end of every war, the most important issues that need to be addressed are the restoration of peace to the conflict zone, the reintegration of the warring parties and the reconstruction of the war zone.
We are even more worried by the fact that these conflicts are happening in the country’s food basket and during the rainy season when most of the people are supposed to be engaged on their farms.
This will likely affect food supply and make the country food insecure.
With the creation of the new North East Region, the Daily Graphic admonishes the youth, who are often at the centre of such conflicts, to redirect their energies to help the region become a haven of peace and progress. Development cannot take place in an atmosphere of conflict or hostilities.
This is what the parties must appreciate.
It is our view that politicians from the conflicting ethnic groups should be the ambassadors of a peace campaign.
Last Saturday, we mentioned a number of areas that we thought needed attention before conflicts there developed to uncontrollable proportions.
The Daily Graphic once again urges leaders and civil society organisations to take the initiative of organising seminars to sensitise the ethnic groups in general and their opinion leaders in particular to the need for inter-ethnic harmony, peaceful co-existence and the need to promote lasting peace for development.