Set up more security check points in Bawku - RISE-Ghana

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi

RISE-Ghana, a non-governmental organisation wants the military to set up more checkpoints in Bawku to help consolidate the relative peace the area has witnessed over the past few days.

According to the NGO, setting up more security checkpoints as well as beefing up security operations in the area will help to respond quickly to any security threat as well as prevent the incidence of ride-by shooting in the area.

In a statement dated January 1, 2022, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, Alhaji Awal Ahmed Kariama, noted with concern that although the Regional Security Council in collaboration with its allied agencies were working to forestall peace in the area, some unscrupulous individuals intentionally ride motorbikes and shoot indiscriminately at people.

He said two people died through the incident of ‘ride and shoot’ since conflict broke out recently in the town.

He said if more checkpoints are not raised, people who do not want their area’s peace will continue to hide behind such individuals to perpetuate crimes in the town.

Alhaji Kariama also wants the security agencies to stop all illegal roadblocks in the town, expressing the concern that such activities were not only affecting indigenes of the area but other foreign nationals including those from Togo and Burkina Faso.

Background

It will be recalled that the Ministry of the Interior imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the Bawku Municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region following renewed chieftaincy disputes in the area.

The curfew took effect from 4.00pm to 6.00am on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

A statement signed by the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery explained that the imposition of the curfew had been as a result of threat of insecurity in the area.

It had also placed a total ban on all persons in the afore-mentioned communities and their environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons.

The statement further called on residents of the area to exercise restraint as well as to use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace.

Similarly, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) also banned the wearing of smock in the area with the explanation that some criminals or unscrupulous elements hid arms and ammunitions in the smock and attacked opponents or innocent civilians in the area.

Below is RISE-Ghana's statement

STOP THE ILLEGAL BLOCKADES IN BAWKU TO AVOID INTERNATIONAL EMBRASSMENT/LOSS OF LIVES-RISE-GHANA APPEALS TO REGSEC, PEACE COUNCIL, MINISTRIES OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERIOR.

News of relative calm returning to the Bawku Municipality after reported incidence of armed conflict between Kusasis and Mamprusis on 27th December 2021 is a positive development that must be consolidated. We commend REGSEC, Peace Council and all stakeholders.

RISE Ghana has received some disturbing news about illegal road blocks at some of the entrance to Bawku around the Kusasi enclaves of Misiga, Kobore and Highways and wish to bring to the attention of REGSEC, Peace Council, the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior to take urgent action to stop this criminal act.

This call is warranted by the following:

1. A truck load of used bicycles was blocked from exiting Bawku into neigbouring Togo at the Misiga community in the early hours of 1st January 2022. It took the intervention of the Military detachment to escort the vehicle to safety.

2. About Eleven (11) foreign nationals of Burkina and Togo who were coming into the Bawku Town at different occasions on the 1st of January 2022 to trade were blocked and made to return to their countries by the individuals who set up the blockades.

3. Vehicles coming from Bolgatanga are stopped at the Highways area and passengers including non-nationals made to disembark and not allowed into the township-some may resist and it could lead misunderstanding and possible loss of lives.

4. This criminal and unfortunate activity is a serious breach of the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and persons- the responsible agencies must act before foreign national is harmed or killed.

5. The Security establishment should provide security escort to leave vehicles coming into and getting out of Bawku to prevent any further attacks, save lives and property to and ensure lasting peace.