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Bawku conflict escalated due to lack of budgetary support for dialogue - Analyst

The escalating violence in Bawku, a town in the Upper East Region, has raised significant concerns, with security analyst Dr Adams Bonaa emphasizing the critical need for dialogue sessions to address the root causes of the conflict.

Bawku conflict escalated due to lack of budgetary support for dialogue - Analyst

He revealed that despite initial efforts in 2022, the lack of budgetary support has hindered the continuation of mediation processes, causing the situation to worsen.

Bawku has gained popularity for deadly gun attacks between two tribes, Mamprusi and Kusasi. A combination of disputes involving chieftaincy and allodial rights are at the core of the Kusasi-Mamprusi feud. Both the Kusasi and the Mamprusi assert allodial possession over Bawku; both claims are based on autochthony claims and are obscured by their respective narrative histories of origin.

In an interview on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3, Dr. Bonaa stressed the importance of a multifaceted approach to dealing with the conflict. He stated, "You can put all your military and police officers in Bawku, but if we are not engaging the people through rightful strategies to silence the gun, we will just be pushing in human resources and all." Dr Bonaa highlighted that the conflict has expanded beyond Bawku, affecting areas such as Wale Wale, Bolgatanga, Binduri, and Garu, necessitating a comprehensive strategy.

The security analyst recalled a previous dialogue team's visit to Bawku, which yielded a temporary ceasefire. However, he lamented that subsequent efforts were hampered by the lack of funds allocated to the heads of security agencies, preventing them from returning to continue the dialogue.

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Bawku recently made headlines following a deadly attack on a community centre, resulting in the death of two individuals and injuries to four others. Another incident involved an attack on a bus carrying students of the Presbyterian Nurses Training College near Binduri, with several students sustaining gunshot-related injuries.

Member of Parliament for Bawku, Mr Mahama Ayariga, described the incidents as "dastardly" and "unacceptable." Appearing on TV3, Ayariga urged law enforcement agencies to act swiftly in apprehending and dealing with the perpetrators.

The Minister for the Interior had renewed curfew hours in Bawku and its environs, emphasizing the need for restraint and non-violent means to restore peace. A total ban on carrying arms in affected communities was also imposed, with authorities warning of arrests and prosecution for those found in possession of weapons.

As the violence continues to grip Bawku, there is a growing call for immediate attention and a comprehensive strategy to address the underlying causes of the conflict and bring lasting peace to the region.

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