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Konkombas, Chokosis resolve to make peace

BY: Mohammed Fugu
Ubor Bowan John Mateer Sakojim IV, the Paramount Chief of the Saboba Traditional Area, welcoming the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to the durbar
Ubor Bowan John Mateer Sakojim IV, the Paramount Chief of the Saboba Traditional Area, welcoming the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to the durbar

Feuding factions in the recurring ethnic conflict in Saboba and Chereponi which has claimed many lives have unanimously resolved to cease fire immediately and use amicable means to resolve their differences.

According to the leadership of both the Chokosi and the Konkomba ethnic groups, they had suffered enough from the negative impact of the violence and could not stand it any longer.

In that regard, the Paramount Chief of the Saboba Traditional Area, Ubor Bowan John Mateer Sakojim IV, and the Regent of Chereponi, Reverend Jaminja Ndakar, will be meeting to signify an end to the recurring communal violence.

Delegation

This came to light when the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, led a government delegation to Chereponi and Saboba yesterday to interact with the chiefs and the people to consolidate the peace in the area.

Among the delegation were the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery; the Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi; the Deputy Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Abu Ramadan, and the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed.

Cease fire

Recounting the impact of the conflict at a durbar, Ubor Sakojim said it had had a toll on the lives of the people and that " we must be able to find a lasting solution to the challenge or whatever is militating against us".

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"Konkombas and Chokosis are the same, we are intermarried and have been living together for a very long time, so whatever be the situation, the time has come for us to bury our differences amicably and move on,” he said.

He stated that peace was a prerequisite to drive the development agenda of the area and, therefore, appealed to the youth to give peace a chance.

Committee report

Rev. Ndakar called for the publication of the report of the committee which the government set up to investigate the violence.

He also appealed for the establishment of a military post in Chereponi to enhance security.

Focus on development

Vice-President Bawumia pointed out that the surest way to end the disturbances was for the people to soften their stance on the peace processes.

He urged the people to redirect their focus to collectively fight poverty and chart a common course for development, and not to take the peace for granted.

"What we should be focusing on is the development of the area, the enemy among us is poverty so we are going to work together to ensure that we have peace," he stated.

While commending leaders of the feuding factions for committing themselves to ending the conflict Dr Bawumia hinted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would invite both chiefs to Accra to deliberate on how to cement the peace in the area.

Government's commitment

For his part, the Interior Minister expressed the government's commitment to ensure sustainable peace in the area, saying: "The government is for the unity and peace of all of you, we are not sitting with only one faction.”

On the review or lifting of the curfew, Mr Dery said: "If you are able to convince us that you are peaceful, we will lift the curfew.”

Arrest

Meanwhile, the police in the Northern Region have arrested a man with 250 pieces of cartridges meant for a shotgun believed to be smuggled into Chereponi, a conflict zone in the North East Region, reports Samuel Duodu.

The suspect, Gushi Kwesi, was arrested on intelligence last Sunday around 4.10 p.m. at a police barrier in Yendi on board a Metro Mass Transit bus heading to Chereponi.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Northern Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Mohammed Yusif Tanko, who made this known to the media in Tamale yesterday, said the suspect was in police custody assisting in investigations.

He said the police, acting on information, intercepted the bus, with registration number GR 2026 U, from Yendi to Chereponi.

Mr Tanko said a search conducted on the bus led to the discovery of 250 pieces of AAA cartridges suspected to be smuggled into Chereponi.

He said one Gushi was identified as the owner and detained in Yendi to assist in investigations.

Background

There has been a raging conflict between Chokosis, also known as the Anofus, and Konkombas in the Chereponi District in the North East Region and parts of the Saboba District in the Northern Region. The latest conflict broke out about three weeks ago.

According to the police, calm had returned to the area, but the current conflict had claimed the lives of three persons, with several houses burnt down.