Bombande: Prosecute those behind fighting
The government has been called upon to initiate measures to apprehend and prosecute those behind the renewed rumpuses in Bawku in the Upper East Region and Anloga in the Volta Region.
The Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mr Emmanuel Bombande, who made the call, said such a move would serve as a warning to others, as well as help to disabuse the minds of the perpetrators that they were untouchable.
Mr Bombande told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the longer the perpe¬trators were left to walk freely, the more they would create problems that could easi¬ly destabilise the entire country.
He said particularly at a time when a general election was drawing closer, those disturbances should be a major cause for concern.
There were reports of renewed fighting in the two areas at the weekend, a situation which has caused the people to live in fear.
In Bawku, for instance, the curfew hours have been reviewed as a measure to bring clashes between the feuding factions to a halt.
The curfew in Anloga was lifted a couple of months ago as a result of the calm that returned to the area after the protracted chieftaincy dispute that claimed many lives, including that of a policeman.
Mr Bombande said the situation at the moment was volatile, a clear indication that security was not firm on the ground, and called for immediate action before things got out of hand.
He urged the government to take a more serious view of the situation and find a lasting solution to the root causes of the problems that usually degenerated into conflicts.
"We have toyed with these disturbances for far too long and we need to sit up to ensure that they do not degenerate into what we cannot solve," Mr Bombande said.
He regretted that in spite of the security presence in the two areas, there had still been renewed disturbances and wondered whether the security forces deployed there were enough and well equipped to deal with any worrisome situation.
He paid tribute to President Kufuor for inviting chiefs and opinion leaders from Bawku in particular for discussions that were expected to ensure lasting calm.
Mr Bombande, however, noted that it would have been even more appropriate if the President had involved those who worked to build peace in those areas to share their ideas and also give their side of the story.
Making particular reference to Bawku, he said what was happening was not something for the government to gloss over but one that needed a more comprehensive and tactical approach towards finding a lasting solution to it.