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15.07.2008 Regional News

Bawku Naba Calls For Peace In Bawku

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The Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area in the Upper East Region, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II at the weekend called on his subjects to halt all hostilities in the area to maintain the current peace and stability.

He warned especially Kusasis not to avenge the death of their relatives but to report all forms of attacks to the law enforcement agencies.
He said Kusasis by nature were not blood-thirsty people and explained that the age-old tradition was that where one mistakenly killed a fellow human being, the land was pacified and the relatives reconciled for life to continue.
The Bawku Naba said this at a meeting with his Divisional and Sub-Chiefs to inform them about the outcome of his recent meeting with President J.A. Kufuor in Accra.
He further urged his subjects to allow anybody no matter who they were, wishing to cultivate their farmlands to do so without any hindrance, as there could be a food shortage in the area if some people were not given the chance to farm.
Naba Azoka told his chiefs that President Kufuor recognised him as the only legitimate paramount chief in the Bawku area and held him accountable for the instability in his traditional area. He told them that President Kufuor urged him as a matter of urgency to find a lasting solution to the protracted conflict between Kusasis and Mamprusis in the Bawku Municipality.
According to the Bawku Naba, he also honestly told President Kufuor that he had tried several times to get the other side to come to terms to bring lasting peace to the area and that he was not responsible for the regeneration of the conflict.
He said he appealed to President Kufuor, to prevail on the Paramount Chief of Mamprugu Traditional Area, Nayiri Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai to stay out of the Bawku chieftaincy affairs and he obliged.
He said he had declined the Nayiri's request to be allowed to travel to the Naa Gbewaa Shrine at Pusiga to offer sacrifice because none of the three Nayiris he had seen and known had ever offered any such sacrifice at the Naa Gbewaa Shrine to pacify the Chief Ancestor of the North.
All the Chiefs agreed in principle to observe, maintain and work to sustain the peace.
The Military Officer in charge of peacekeeping in the area, Lt. Col. Awuah Mantey warned the people against hiding behind the conflict to pursue selfish interests and said Bawku was not a war zone and so the laws of the country would be applied.
He said anybody found guilty of any crime would be culpable and the necessary legal action taken against such offenders; 'vengeance should not come from you, leave it to the law,' he added.
He reiterated the need to allow farmers to go about their farming activities and the need for the people to burry their differences so that they could enjoy the implementation of development projects meant for the area.
The conflict in Bawku has resulted in the loss of many lives and destruction of property running into millions of cedis. Currently the Regional Security Council in consultation with Ministry of the Interior has revised the dusk to dawn curfew hours imposed on the area from 1800 hours to 0600 hours.  

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