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13 arrested over Bawku clashes; airlifted to Accra for prosecution – Chieftaincy Minister

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13 persons have been arrested and airlifted to Accra following sporadic shootings in Bawku in the Upper East Region on Monday.

The incident has increased tensions in the town which have resulted in heavy security deployment to the communities within the municipality.

Though calm has been restored in Bawku, various stakeholders are appealing to factions in the conflicts to resort to non-violent ways in resolving their differences.

Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Ebenezer Kojo Kum who confirmed the arrests to Citi News said the police will continue to apprehend persons who foment trouble in the area.

“The police are taking steps to process some individuals who were arrested a couple of days ago, and after they have been processed, they will be brought to Accra for further investigations. Already, some 13 persons who were arrested on Tuesday evening were sent to Accra and are being processed for court.”

The Chieftaincy Minister also described as unwarranted current disturbances in Bawku because to him, there is no ambiguity about the status of the Bawku overlord, which has become the root cause of the intermittent violence recorded in the area.

The community has seen renewed clashes triggered by various ethnic events since November.

But Ebenezer Kojo Kum indicated that persons with concerns should resort to appropriate quarters to have their grievances addressed.

“In the first place, let us admit that there ought not to be any chieftaincy crisis in Bawku because as far as the status of the overlord of Bawku is considered, he is the actual Chief. The Supreme Court in April 2003 delivered the judgment, confirming that status. There should be no debate whatsoever about who the overlord of Bawku is.“

“The situation we are experiencing is being caused by some recalcitrant persons who have set out to foment trouble,” he added.

The Minister however says security agencies should show no mercy in dealing with persons causing violence as they have been engaged but to no avail.

“We have had a series of meetings, not all of them get into the public space. The Minister for National Security was present at the last meeting we held. So the parties’ claim that no one has met them yet is untrue.”

“There are also committees working behind the scenes. But if a group of individuals decides to take the law into their hands, they will have to be made to face the full rigors of the law. They can’t in one breath be engaging and in another breath be doing things that are untoward.”

On Monday, December 27, 2021, a renewed chieftaincy clash in Bawku led to the loss of lives and the destruction of property.

Before that, there have been sporadic shootings in parts of the town following attempts to perform final funeral rites for a Chief who died about 41 years ago.

This resulted in a curfew being placed on the entire township and a ban on smock wearing.

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