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06.05.2008 Crime & Punishment

72 arrested in Bawku …over recent clashes in the area,

By William N. Jalulah, Bawku - Ghanaian Chronicle

72 people were arrested in Bawku yesterday, following Sunday's bloody ethnic clash between the Kusasi's and Mamprusi's. They are currently being held by the police on suspicion of their involvement in activities leading to the clashes.

Among the 72 are 15 persons who sustained various degrees of injuries, who are now receiving treatment at the Bolgatantaga government hospital under police guard.

Barely 24hours after the clash, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) held a meeting at which a decision was taken for the police to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the West African Examinations Council (WEAC) to give police escort to candidates sitting for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

Meanwhile, a 22hour indefinite curfew has been imposed on the area.

The curfew, which started at 9am yesterday, is intended to avoid further clashes between the two ethnic groups.

Four people were gunned down on Saturday when fresh clashes erupted.

The violence claimed the life of a popular contractor Alhaji Karim. He was shot from behind by an unknown assailant in front of the offices of the Bawku municipal Assembly at about 7:00pm on his way from an evening Muslim prayer.

He was immediately rushed to the Bawku Presbyterian hospital for treatment.

He was later referred to the Bolgatanga government hospital but died on the way.

His corpse was then taken to Bawku and was buried at 3:00am yesterday.

Shortly, a sporadic shooting ensued between the Kusasi's and Mamprusi's, leading to the death of two more people.

It would be recalled that somewhere last month, President Kufour engaged the Paramount Chief of the Bawku traditional area, Naba Abugrago Azoka and his elders at the seat of government, at the Osu castle, and later the elders and opinion leaders of Mamprusi ethic group.

This move by the President was aimed at ensuring permanent peace in the traditional area.

Though DCOP Mr. Ofosu-Mensah Gyeaboru, the Upper- East regional police commander has told The Chronicle that so far, four people have been killed, sources have it that at least five people have lost their lives

According to the DCOP, ten houses were burnt down at Pussiga, one at Bozua, and an unspecified number at Bagri and Binduri. Two cargo vehicles were also set ablaze on the Bawku Garu road, whilst a taxi cab was also burnt at Bawku.

Mr. Gyeaboru said there was also an attempt by some civilians to attack the police barracks at Bawku, but the timely intervention of the security personal saved the situation.

The Regional Police Commander said enough police and military personal have been deployed to the area to control the situation.

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior has imposed stiffer curfew hours from 9:00am -7:00am instead of the old curfew hours from 12:00am - 4:00am.

This means that the people in the affected areas including Bawku, will have only 2hours to carry out their daily activities and spend the rest of the 22hours in-doors.

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