02.08.2004 Regional News

Alavanyo/Nkonya conflict flare up as two are killed

02.08.2004 LISTEN

Ho, Aug 2, GNA - The Volta Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) is to submit proposals to the National Security Council (NSC) over the Alavanyo and Nkonya land conflict following renewed skirmishes on Monday in which two people were killed.

Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, the Regional Minister, Chairman of REGSEC, who announced this at a Press briefing in Ho on the latest development on the conflict, said the measure became necessary in view of the limited mandate of the REGSEC in dealing with the situation.

He said extraordinary but discreet measures were needed to deal with the conflict, explaining that such steps were without prejudice to the mandate of two Committees already working to bring peace to the Alavanyo-Nkonya area.

He said: "The measures would be flexible but drastic enough to combat the lawlessness gaining ground in the area".

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said the feuding parties have adopted unorthodox tactics of engaging each other in the bush despite the presence of the joint Police and Military taskforce.

He expressed regret that the people in the area were not giving information that could assist security agencies to arrest people whose conduct breached peace and security.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said it was necessary for the two communities to put aside their "conspiracy of silence" and give up the few people who were benefiting economically by inciting and instigating them to violence. He said the security agencies were examining reports with the view to identifying such agents-provocateur operating in the area.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said there might be political undertones to the escalation of the conflict "at this time of the year" and gave the assurance that neither the government, the REGSEC, the RCC nor himself (Regional Minister) had any partisan interest in the conflict as recent news reports tended to indicate.

He, therefore, urged the media to investigate allegations pertaining to the conflict thoroughly before going public on them.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa urged journalists to be circumspect in expressing their opinions on the conflict in order not to negate the good intentions and efforts being made by individuals and the government to maintain peace in the conflict area.

On the latest clashes, Mr Mohammed Abubakari Adams, the Deputy Volta Regional Police Commander, said the hostilities erupted when people of Nkonya-Tayi and Alavanyo-Kpeme came face-to-face with each other in the disputed area in the bush at about 0730 hours.

He said in the ensuing clash two people from Nkonya-Tayi namely Frank Kwawu and Koblah Ansah were shot dead.

Their bodies have been deposited at the Margaret Marquart Hospital at Kpando.

Mr Adams said calm has returned to the area with security reinforcement enabling the people of Nkonya-Tayi going about life normally while Alavanyo-Kpeme has been deserted.