The government has set up a five-member fact-finding committee to delve into the circumstances that led to the recent outbreak of communal violence between the Chokosis and the Konkombas in the Chereponi and the Saboba districts in the Northern Region.
The committee, which has been tasked to find out the remote and immediate causes of the conflict and come up with solutions to ensure lasting peace in the conflict area, is chaired by a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong.
Mr Acheampong once served as the Northern Regional Police Commander. Other members of the committee are Mr Paul Kwasi Ahiakpor, the Tamale Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) representing the Regional Security Council (REGSEC); Rev. Father Thaddeus Kuusah, the Northern Regional Secretary of the National Peace Council (NPC); Pastor Azumah Kofi, representing the Chokosis, and Joshua Yikpri, representing the Konkombas.
The committee is to submit its report by Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
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The committee was inaugurated by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery at a peace conference in Tamale yesterday.
The government delegation at the event also included the Minister of National Security, Mr Kan-Dapaah, and the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi.
Organised by the REGSEC, in collaboration with the NPC , the conference brought together chiefs, opinion leaders and youth groups of the two ethnic groups to dialogue and help bring about sustainable peace in the conflict area.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Dery called on the youth from both sides of the conflict to support the peace-building process to help bring about lasting peace in the area.
He said apart from the setting up of the fact-finding mission, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had directed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to move into the conflict zone to assess the situation to ensure that help was extended to persons displaced by the conflict.
He expressed the commitment of the government to ensure total peace in every part of the country to enable development to take place.
The minister, therefore, called on the people to use dialogue and the law courts to resolve their differences, instead of resorting to violent confrontation.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, who chaired the peace forum, described the communal violence as unacceptable and cautioned the people against turning individual fights such as what erupted into a communal conflict.
The Chairman for the event, the Most Rev. Philip Naameh, who is the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Tamale Catholic Diocese, urged the feuding parties to adhere to the principles of non-violence and use dialogue to address their grievances.
“Although it is worthy to note that leaders of Konkombas and Chokosis have already pledged to end the fight for a common good, we urge them to avoid the temptation of relapsing into overt violence.
We also urge them to open up and use dialogue and mediation processes to sustainably cement their relationship,” he stated.
He reminded Ghanaians that the Criminal Code of Ghana had enough provisions to deal with interpersonal relationship problems, adding that individuals who felt offended should seek redress at the law courts rather than taking the laws into their own hands.
“ The phenomenon where interpersonal squabbles degenerate into large-scaled inter-group conflict involving some adult members of the groups is no longer attractive and should be condemned at all times,” he said.
The Most Rev. Naameh, therefore, urged both parties to separate interpersonal problems from inter-group relations.