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21.06.2008 Regional News

Nkonya and Alavanyo set for lasting peace – Chiefs

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Accra, June 21, GNA – The chiefs and queen mothers of Nkonya and Alavanyo in the Volta Region on Saturday called on their citizens to accept the maps of the disputed boundary land as a commitment to the peace process going on between the two communities.
They said they had come a long way after 80 years of war and are ready to put the past behind them for peace to prevail in their communities.
“The peace vehicle in which we are today is fueled by goodwill. It does not have a reversed gear and its name is forward ever”, Torgbuiga Tsedze Atakora, VII, chief of Alavanyo, said.
The chiefs and queen mothers made the appeal at a one day briefing session on the peace process, maps and outcomes of boundary indication exercise for citizens resident in Accra, Tema and Ashaiman.
Torgbuiga Tsedze Atakora said the Mediation Committee, surveyors, Catholic Relief Service, the United Nations Development Agency, the government, the Consultative Committee and many other concerned individuals and groups had used their time and resources to assist them to reach this far in the peace process.
He said the only way for the two communities to thank them was to move forward, be united as one people and concentrate on developing the two areas, which he said lack infrastructure and socio-economic development due to the many years of war.
Rt Rev Dr Livingston Boamah, Moderator of Evangelical Presbyterian Church and Chairman of the Mediation Committee, thanked chiefs and queen mothers, leaders, the youth and all citizens of Alavanyo and Nkonya for being instrumental in making the peace process get to its present state.
He explained that during dialogue with the two parties it came to light that the people did not know the breadth and length of the disputed boundary land for which they fought and that the two parties agreed for the area to be demarcated for which reason surveyors were engaged to draw the maps of the boundary.
He said “The maps were officially presented to the chiefs of the two communities when it was done and we are here today to show you the outcome of the work of the surveyors.”
The maps were presented by Mr Albert Braimah Adisi, Vice Chairman, Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana and Managing Director, Konsoha Consult, who together with the Regional Surveyor worked on the maps.
Mr Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peace Building, strategic facilitator for the peace process in the two communities, said three years ago, the people of Nkonya and Alavanyo agreed to dialogue on the problem that existed between them in order to appreciate each other and foster a good and sustainable relationship.
He said though it was not easy at first, the two had come very far and the level of peace they enjoyed in the two communities at present was history in the making.
Mr Bombande said the peace process in Nkonya and Alavanyo had attracted international attention from countries such as Japan and Germany, and for which reason they had agreed to assist them to develop economically.
In their presentations, representatives of the youth and women of both communities said during war children and women suffered most.
They pledged their full support for the peace process and said they would not allow anybody to destroy the calm they enjoyed with each other for some time now, adding that unlike the past they now played together, visit each other's towns and did almost everything together.
They said what they wanted was to see the two towns become the most peaceful in the country more especially now that organizations, countries abroad and people in Ghana were willing to help them build the areas.
“We want to build our communities and have jobs so that we do not waste our time in unprofitable ventures such as fighting each other, we want to develop like other youths in the country”, they added.
The Alavanyo and Nkonya war over a disputed boundary land started in 1923 and in 2005 a mediation committee was set up to assist the two communities to dialogue and solve the problem.

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