22.04.2004 Regional News

Chieftaincy disputes threaten peace and security in Wassa West

22.04.2004 LISTEN

Tarkwa (W/R) April 22, GNA- Chieftaincy disputes and "Galamsey" operations in the Wassa West district are the two major threats to peace and security in the district, Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Ayensu, the District Chief Executive (DCE) has said.

He has therefore called on the Wassa Fiase Traditional Council and the Western Regional House of Chiefs to take urgent measures to deal with the situation.

Addressing the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the district assembly at Tarkwa on Wednesday, the DCE noted that even though the Awudua Chieftaincy dispute, was getting better, there was the need to find lasting solution to the problem.

He said with the assistance of the District Security Committee (DISEC) and the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) displaced residents of Awudua who were banished from the town had returned to continue with their normal lives.

"Let us hope and pray that the return of these people will be the beginning of the end to the protracted chieftaincy dispute and its attendant conflicts".

Mr. Ayensu said due to the recent development, the decision to relocate the headquarters of the Apinto Area Council to Kofi Gyan had been suspended.

The dispute, which is between Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko III and Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil VI over the rightful occupant of the Wassa Fiase Paramount stool had been ranging on for about two years and as a result, many communities in the traditional area had been affected.

Mr. Ayensu disclosed that many mining companies operating in the district had had serious confrontations with "Galamsey" operators in their concessions in a bid to flush out the illegal miners.

Some of the mining companies have placed some of their pits under 24-hour surveillance, he said and added that the threat to security between the mining companies and illegal miners placed a huge responsibility on security personnel in the region.

He called on the government to find amicable solution to the problem to avoid serious conflicts.

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