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21.01.2010 Regional News

TENSION MOUNTS BETWEEN DORFORS AND AKWAMUS…over boundary demarcation exercise

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The 1825 boundary demarcation dispute between the Dorfor Traditional Area in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, and the Akwamu Traditional Area in the Eastern Region, is resurfacing, as tension is mounting between the two traditional areas again, over the boundary demarcation between the two.

The recent tension between the two traditional areas emerged as a result of a customary boundary demarcation exercise being carried out for Akwamu, Anum and Boso, under the Land Administration Project, for traditional areas in the Eastern region.

The contractor and the surveyors engaged in the exercise, allegedly raised pillars between the Fintey-Dorfor area, indicating that the Akwamus share a boundary with the Anums, a development the Fintey-Dorfor chiefs and people see as a deliberate attempt by the project contractors to take away their land for the Akwamus, because Dorfor only share a boundary with Anum at the Fintey-Dorfor area.

Speaking at an emergency meeting at Fintey-Dorfor, with the Land Administration Project (LAP) Authorities, representatives from the Dorfor Traditional Area, Akwamu and the Anum traditional areas, the Spokes person for the Dorfor Traditional Area, Mr. Moses Asem, noted that the boundary demarcation conflict between the Dorfors and the Akwamus was a long standing issue, which must be dealt with, once and for all.

Mr. Asem said the demarcation exercise, engaged in by the LAP, was laudable, but should be transparent without taking sides, noting that the people of Fintey-Dorfor in the Dorfor Traditional Area saw an element of bias in the activities of the personnel conducting the exercise, which provoked them to destroy pillars raised on the Fintey-Dorfor side, indicating the boundary between Akwamu and Anum, instead of Anum and Dorfor.

He said when the issue was brought to the knowledge of the Dorfor Traditional Council, the element of bias by the personnel conducting the demarcation exercise was clear, because the LAP officials held meetings with the traditional areas that share a common boundary, and representatives of traditional areas from Akwamu, Anum, Boso, Peki and Abutia were involved in discussions, without inviting representatives from the Dorfor Traditional Area.

Mr. Asem pointed out that the involvement of all the traditional areas, which share boundaries in the demarcation exercise without the Dorfor Traditional Area, under which Fintey-Dorfor falls, was the basis for which the youth of Fintey-Dorfor went ahead and destroyed the pillars that only showed Akwamu sharing a boundary with Anum, instead of Dorfor.

The Spokes person for the Dorfor Traditional Area and a former District Chief Executive for North Tongu, who was provoked by the conduct of the personnel engaged in the exercise, said the people of Dorfor would not allow any administrative exercise to undermine the traditions and culture of the people.

Mr. Asem therefore directed, on behalf of the Dorfor Traditional Council, for work to stop on the boundary demarcation exercise on the Dorfor and Akwamu area, but could continue their work at the Peki side, until the chiefs and the people of Dorfor and Akwamu traditional areas were able to determine their boundaries.

He suggested that the LAP Administration organise a meeting with the representatives of Dorfor and the Akwamu traditional areas, to enable them to amicably deal with the age-old boundary demarcation conflict between the two traditional areas, to the pave way for the ongoing Customary Boundary Demarcation Exercise.

The Chief of Anyensu, Nana Offei Owobie VI, who represented the Akwamu Traditional Area, said he was surprised that the Dorfor Traditional Area said it only shared a boundary with the Anum Traditional Area at the Dorfor-Fintey area, and not with the Akwamu Traditional Area, and said he was also unhappy about the raising of the pillars that only indicated Akwamu and Anum traditional areas.

He also agreed with the representative from the Dorfor Traditional Area that a meeting be convened for the representatives of Akwamu and Dorfor to help both parties address their differences, noting that dialogue was a better option of dealing with issues relating to land dispute.

The Assistant Eastern Regional Stool Lands Officer, Mr. Edem Kwami Ametefe, said the concerns raised by the Dorfor Traditional Area, and the response from the representative of the Akwamu Traditional Area, showed that there was a long standing problem between the two traditional areas, which was not known to the personnel undertaking the exercise.

Mr. Ametefe said because of the concerns raised, the LAP would disregard the first demarcation exercise, and hold meetings with the two traditional areas to settle the boundary dispute that has existed over the years, but work would continue on the Anum and the Peki areas.

The Eastern Regional LAP Coordinator, Mr. Geoffrey Osafo Osei, said it would be better to settle the boundary demarcation dispute between the Dorfor and the Akwamu traditional areas, and stressed that his outfit would decide on a date to meet the two parties, to deliberate on the issue.

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