Government has by an Executive Instrument re-imposed the curfew which ended yesterday (Thursday) midnight on the Anlo Traditional Area in the Volta region, following the eruption of a violent chieftaincy dispute in the area last week.
Unlike the previous dawn to dusk curfew running from 18:00 hours to 06:00 hours each day, the re-imposed curfew would now be from 20:00 hours to 05:00 hours and shall cover only Anloga and its immediate environs, including Tegbi, Woe, Anloga, Whuti and Atorkor.
Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister for the Interior, who announced the re-imposed curfew in a statement in Parliament yesterday, said Keta would no more be covered by the curfew. He said even though no unusual incidents had occurred since the imposition of the curfew and Anloga was calm, the situation there continued to be potentially volatile.
Mr Bartels said the Police and Military contingent present in Anloga and Keta shall, however, be maintained to ensure law and order and to consolidate the current calm that was prevailing in the area as the Ministry continued to monitor the situation. The ban on the possession of arms and ammunition in Keta and Anloga still remains in force. The Minister appealed to traditional leaders, opinion leaders, citizens and other well-wishers of the Anlo Traditional Area to support Government in its efforts to ensure that calm returned to the area.
He made an appeal to the press to be circumspect in reporting issues arising out of the violence. 'Issues of chieftaincy are very, very sensitive, emotive and explosive and the role of the press is very important in determining whether peace and tranquillity return or whether we have another explosion on our hands. The role played by a particular radio [station] in inciting the genocide of Rwanda should be a lesson and guide to all of us,' Mr Bartels said.
Government urged all parties to the dispute to settle the issue of the rightful heir to the Anlo Paramount Stool through the constitutionally recognised structures of the Regional or National House of Chiefs or the courts.
Mr Bartels reiterated Government's position of non-interference in chieftaincy affairs, but would, however, take the necessary steps to bring peace to the area. Mr Kofi Humado, MP for Anlo, said the situation was improving, but noted the need for faster lifting of the curfew to allow the people in the communities, who were mostly fishermen to go about their duties. He expressed condolence to families that had lost dear ones following the eruption of the conflict. Violence exploded on November 1, 2007 in Anloga between factions of the royal Adzovia clan over who had the right to install an Awomefia (Paramount Chief) to succeed Togbui Adzaladza, who died in 1998.
The violence resulted in the death of four civilians and a Police officer. The Government obtained an injunction from an Accra High Court restraining the kingmakers of the Anlo Traditional Council from holding any meeting or event concerning or connected with the installation of Togbui Sri III as the Awoamefia until further notice from the court.
However, a statement from the Secretary of the Palace of Awoamefia said the installation of Awoamefia Sri III was completed before the court order was obtained.