Renewed clashes at Lukula, Mempeasem, 70 arrested
Renewed clashes at Lukula, Mempeasem, 70 arrested

Renewed clashes at Lukula, Mempeasem, 100 arrested

About 100 suspects have been picked up by the police in connection with the renewed chieftaincy and land disputes at Lukula and Mempeasem communities in the North Gonja District in the Savannah Region.

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The suspects were rounded up in a swoop conducted by security operatives at Daboya on Friday dawn upon intelligence.

They are in police custody pending screening as part of investigations.

Graphic Online gathers that the suspects who are believed to have launched the violent attack on the two communities were picked up from their hideouts.

Attack 

A renewed chieftaincy and land clash in the two communities on Thursday has resulted in the death of at least seven people and the injury of many others.

A number of residents, particularly women and children have been displaced while many houses have been burnt down beyond recognition.

It is unclear what might have sparked the violence. However, there have been recurring chieftaincy conflicts in the area over the years.

The conflict involved rival chiefs in the Wasipe Traditional Area in the Savannah Region and the Soo Traditional Area in the North East Region.

The Lukula community is on the boundary of the two traditional areas.

The Police in a statement said a gang numbering about 50 reportedly invaded the Mempeasem community and kidnapped a 50-year-old man. 

The gang, however, fled into the bush when the Police responded to the attack.

The Police managed to rescue the kidnapped victim and retrieved one AK-47 weapon together with 14 rounds of ammunition, seven motorbikes and two bicycles from the scene of the incident.

A search for the suspects in the area led to a further retrieval of a bag containing 240 AK-47 ammunition.

According to the police, three persons were initially arrested while others were being pursued in connection with violent attacks on Mempeasem and Lukula communities by opposing factions in land and chieftaincy disputes.

“On 1st June 2023, the Police, while on patrols within the communities, responded to another distress call of an attack by another gang on the Lukula community. The said suspects who were on a rampage, burning houses and shooting randomly, opened fire on the Police upon seeing them,  three suspects, who sustained gunshot wounds during their arrest, are currently receiving treatment at a medical facility. 

A search conducted on them led to the retrieval of one (1) pump action gun, two (2) single barrel guns, one long knife, 80 live cartridges, some talismans and cowries “  the statement added.

It said after restoring calm in the area, the Police had information that an 81-year-old man from the Lukula community was allegedly shot by the rampaging gang on his farm, and proceeded to the farm and with the help of his children, took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following the Police encounter with the suspects and the subsequent arrests, some individuals believed to be sympathisers of those arrested, attacked the Daboya Police Station, causing damage to accident cars parked at the station and some louvre blades within the barracks. The Police, however, resisted the attack and took control of the situation.

Relative Calm

Calm has since been restored and security has been strengthened in Daboya and its surrounding communities to forestall further attacks.  

Efforts were also currently ongoing to get the perpetrators, including those who attacked the Police Station,.

Confirmation

The District Chief Executive of North Gonja, Adam Illiasu,  said a joint military and police personnel have been deployed to the community to restore calm.

He said the incident was linked to a chieftaincy conflict which had been lingering for the past 40 years, adding “Anytime it sparks we deploy security to the community to restore calm”.

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