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09.03.2009 Politics

Gov`t, Peace Council to meet

By William N-lanjerborr Jalulah, Navrongo - Ghanaian Chronicle

AS PART of its efforts to finding a harmonious solution to the conflict between the Kusasis and Mamprusis at Bawku, the government is making all the necessary arrangements to hold a consensus building meeting with the National Peace Council (NPC) and the conflicting factions.

Though Vice-President John Dramani Mahama made the disclosure in Bolgatanga when he met with representatives of the Kusasis and Mamprusis, he could not immediately tell the date and venue for the crucial meeting.

He expressed the government's readiness to address all the outstanding issues, and find a permanent solution to the conflict.

Each faction was represented by five persons, while the minority tribes in the area, including the Hausa, Bissa, Bimoba, Frafra, Moshie and Dagomba, were represented by two each.

The purpose of the meeting was to look at the way forward, as far as previous meetings with the same tribes were concerned. It was also to afford the Vice-President the opportunity to reiterate government's commitment to finding a solution to the conflict.

His Excellency said as soon as he briefed President Atta Mills on the situation at Bawku on his return, government would meet with the National Security Council to critically examine all the issues that bordered on the conflict.

The Presidential Spokesperson Mahama Ayariga earlier told reporters that the Vice-President had studied the petitions/reports that all the tribes had come out with, during the Damongo, and Bolgatanga Peace Accords, in attempts to resolve the conflict.

According to him, the final report/petition expected from the Peace Council was not yet ready. He said when it was ready it would be made available to the President for the necessary recommendations (if any), to be effected.

Before going into a closed-door meeting with the groups, Vice-President Mahama said having listened to the conflicting factions earlier at Bawku, one thing that was so heart-warming was the fact that they all wanted an end to the conflict.

However, no blame game would be allowed in the pursuance of solution to the feud, thus, government would create a platform to guide all the discussions that would transpire.

“We have come to the end of the impunity, because government is ready and willing to address the issue,” the Vice-President maintained.

Vice-President Mahama described as critical, the controversy surrounding lands issues in the area, because the farming season was drawing to a close.

The Minister for the Interior and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Zebilla Constituency, Mr. Cletus Avoka, told representatives of the tribes that if after meeting with the government delegation, led by His Excellency Mahama, and the conflict erupts again, then the youth of the area would lose confidence in their elders and leaders.

Mr. Avoka regretted that one felt shameful of oneself when one mentioned elsewhere that one was from Bawku. “We have become a laughing stock,” he lamented.