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08.05.2008 General News

Bawku Curfew Relaxed

By Times Reporter -
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THE Ministry of the Interior has reviewed the curfew hours in Bawku.

It is now from 3 pm to 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. curfew imposed on the area immediately following the fighting that rocked the municipality on Sunday night.

The review is aimed at enabling residents of Bawku municipality, Zabugu, Binduri, Pusiga, Zoosi and their environs 'to attend to various household chores, go to the market and generally help these areas to return to normalcy whilst at the same time enabling the police and the military to maintain the calm that is returning to the area'.

A statement signed by the sector Minister, Kwamena Bartels, said the decision was at the request of the Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC).

The statement reminded the public of the directive restricting persons in the affected areas to carry arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons.

'Any person found to have contravened the ban will be dealt with according to the law,' the statement emphasised.

Meanwhile, A.I. Mohammed reports from Bawku that Baguna Musah, who passed out of the Police Training School at Pwalugu, last Friday, is among the 72 suspects arrested on Monday in a joint military-police operations at Bawku.

Lt. Col. Ike Awuah-Mantey, Commanding Officer of the Airborne Force at Tamale, made this known on Tuesday at a press briefing on the situation.

He said nine AK 47 assault rifles with 90 rounds of ammunition, one G3 rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition, one sub-machine gun rifle, a self-loading rifle and a locally manufactured pistol were retrieved from the combatants during the operations.

Lt. Col. Awuah-Mantey, said the suspects, who are presently in police cells, will be put before court soon.

He warned that nobody should under-estimate the capabilities of the military to deal with the situation at Bawku stressing 'we are not at war with our disgruntled brothers but our duty is to ensure that peace returns to the place and not to kill our brothers'.

The Commanding Officer admitted that the just reviewed 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. curfew brought a lot of untold hardship to residents of the area.

Lt. Col. Awuah-Mantey advised the leaders of the feuding factions to resolve their problems through dialogue and not through war.

He appealed to government workers in the area not to flee from the municipality assuring that with the recent military and police reinforcement of 70 and 30 personnel respectively, the security agencies are absolutely in control of the situation.

He appealed to the people to cooperate with the security personnel to ensure early return of peace to the area.

The Bawku Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Peter Mawong, disclosed that all houses belonging to Mamprusis at Pusiga and Binduri with the exception of two at Pusiga have been burnt down as at Monday.

He said two cargo vehicles have also been burnt adding that three deaths have been officially recorded.

Chief Supt. Mawong named the dead as Alhaji Karim Oga, a businessman, Mumuni who was shot in the chest and beheaded and an unidentified man killed on the Garu road.

He advised the people to exercise restraint, report all cases to the police and not to take the law into their own hands.

Earlier, Captain Victor Abbey, Officer Commanding the Bawku detachment of Airborne Force, stated that the arrest of Jagri and Sadik, both suspects who have been on the police wanted list was one of the causes of the renewed fighting.

He said the arrest of Sadik led to the burning on Sunday of a container belonging to Alima, a Moshie, who was suspected of tipping off the police of his whereabouts.

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