The King of Dagbon Ya-Naa Abukari Mahama II, has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing conflict between konkombas and Anufors (Chokosis) in Chereponi.
The Yaa-Naa is extensively worried about the deadly communal strife in that part of his traditional territory and has decided to intervene.
Secretary of the Yaa- Naa and a spokesperson at the Gbewaa Palace, Abdul Rahman Mohammed confirmed the King’s move to Starr News.
The Yaa-aa, according to the secretary, would select four top members of the Dagbon traditional council and dispatch them as a fact finding delegation to chereponi.
The delegation will meet with feuding factions and other stakeholders and report their findings to the King, after which the Yaa Naa would then assume full control over the matter and begin to take complaints and apply sanctions.
“The overlord has already initiated process towards meeting the two factions”, the secretary said adding “he wants to send a delegation to the site – four or five chiefs, so that they can use two or three days to go round the communities,” to encourage the people to stop the violence.
The decision of the Yaa- Naa is also to stamp his control and reaffirm the authority of the Dagbon Traditional Council over the chereponi district, which was controversially carved into the newly created Mamprusi dominated North West Region, even as he prepares to settle down as the new overlord of a refined Dagbon.
Violence between the two ethnic tribes renewed on the night of Friday, March 15, and has since been relentless for four days now. At least 20 communities have been affected, according to police, and nearly 600 locals forced to leave their homes.
Reports said some of those fleeing, mostly women and little children, are trapped in no man’s land and others caught up in-between fire gun battles.
Dozens of armed security forces have been on the grounds since the escalations but poor road and communication networks in the area continue to hamper the provision of adequate security.
A fresh attack was confirmed only last night at a Chokosis village of Gbalu, a community less than 7kms from the Chereponi Township.
“So far, the combined team of police and military who are on the ground around the chereponi area have been able the arrest a total of eight persons in the connection with the violence that is currently ongoing,” the Northern Regional police spokesman, DSP Mohammed Yussif Tanko, said Tuesday morning.
“We’ve been able to retrieve six single barrel guns plus one locally manufactured weapon. This morning, we’ve not heard of any violence around the area. We have been able to send more men to increase patrols and also get to the interior and ensure that they respond more to distress calls that are received by the security.
“It is our expectation that we will be able to bring the situation under control very very soon. We have escorted some internally displaced people to safety to have some respite. We appeal to the Konkomba and the Chokosi leadership to call their people to order, speak to them to eschew violence, let them understand that they cannot get peace, development through the use of violence, machetes”.
Tension between these two ethnic minorities living in the Dagbon land had laid dormant until June 2017. There has been a longstanding dispute over land between two individuals of the factions in a village called Naduni.
Clashes broke out again in January this year in the same village, spreading across over 15 villages and leading to massive casualties.
A committee was set up by government to look into the violence after both factions agreed to a ceasefire. Peace durbars were organised, facilitated and supervised by external mediators including, the Peace Council, Northern Regional Coordinating Council and office of the Defence Ministry.
However, just four days after the committee completed and presented its findings to Interior Minister Abrose Dery, the clashes renewed and have since been escalating.
Transportation, schools, medical services in the district have been halted completely. Major routes from the district to other parts of the country have been blocked and residents are now using almost 6hrs to travel out from the district through communities in Togo.
“We are now using over 10hrs to travel from Chereponi to Tamale”, one resident fleeing the area spoke to Starr News. Me, for instance, I’m traveling through Mongo to Dapaengo to one community before Sankansi, then i will enter through Bawku and Bolga and come to Tamale”.