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02.07.2008 Regional News

I am more committed to resolving Bawku conflict -MCE

By GNA
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Mr. Abdulai Abanga, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Bawku Municipal Assembly has stated that he was more committed to bringing peace to Bawku and would not take sides with any particular ethnic group in the area to undermine the peace process.
He made the statement in reaction to some people who have been sending intimidating text messages and phone calls to him and the Upper East Regional Minister Mr. Alhassan Samari on the Bawku conflict at Bawku during a Press Conference.
He said those intimidating messages were made apparently by those who wanted to achieve an agenda and appealed to them to desist from that and rather focus more attention on how to help bring lasting peace in the area.
The Press Conference organized by the Bawku Municipal Assembly and the Security Agencies in Bawku was also to brief the media about the arrest of one John Awumbilla, a bursar of Bawku Senior High School who was arrested with two AK 47, a pistol and ammunitions and also the situation in Bawku.
The MCE stressed that he has nothing to do with ethnic affiliations but said his ultimate aim was to search for the return of peace to the Bawku Municipality and its environs.

Mr. Abanga indicated that there was the need for the people in Bawku to bury the hatchet, re-unite and to co-exist peacefully.
“I would never take sides in such a complex situation. The peace of Bawku is paramount than any ethnic group. My ultimate aim is to help restore peace in Bawku and it environs”, he stressed.
The MCE appealed to the people of the area to rather cooperate and support the security agencies to help restore peace in the area.
He expressed worry about the negative effects the conflict had created in the area, including the closure of schools, the inability of workers especially, health workers to go to work.
“Farming activities and economic activities have been hampered by the imposition of the curfew and the future of our children is bleak as they cannot attend schools properly under the prevailing condition”, Mr. Abanga lamented.
Lt. Col. Awuah Mantey in-charge of the Airborne Force (ABF) of Tamale, briefing the media about the arrest of Mr. Awumbilla, explained that on 27 June Mr. Awumbila was arrested on a motorbike heading towards the Bawku township with two AK 47 guns, a pistol and ammunitions concealed under a smock he was wearing and made a stopover to re-fuel his motor when he was suspected of carrying the weapons and arrested by the security agencies and handed over to the police.
Lt. Col. Mantey said it was surprising that the educated and the elite who should have known better were rather engaging in the conflicts and advised the people to use dialogue in solving their differences instead of violence.
Mr. Peter Mawong, the Bawku Divisional Commander of Police, stated that many suspects and their accomplices involved in the conflict had been arrested whereas more were still being arrested as investigations go on.

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