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12.01.2005 Regional News

Fulani herdsmen create more problems in UW/R

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Wa, Jan. 12, GNA - Barely four years after the formation of "operation cowleg II" to flush out alien Fulani herdsmen from the Upper West Region most of them have returned into the region with their destructive activities.

Apart from droving their animals to graze in people's farms, they have also been accused of rustling cattle belonging to the indigenous people, raping of women and committing murder in their operational areas.

Ghana News Agency (GNA) investigations revealed that most of the Fulani herdsmen had connived with opinion leaders who hail from their operational areas to commit those criminal offences.

According to the investigations anytime the herdsmen were caught up in the law, the indigenous opinion leaders claimed ownership of their property thereby deepening the emotions of the masses. Wa East, Nadowli and Jirapa-Lambussie districts.

Reacting to the plight of the masses in affected districts, Mr Emmanuel Opata, Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said it was unfortunate that most of the affected people were not reporting to the appropriate authorities for redress.

He said although the GIS had granted residence permits to a lot of the herdsmen, those permits could be revoked if they were guilty of committing unacceptable crimes in the country.

"The fact that we have given them the residence permit does not empower them to misconduct themselves in an unacceptable manner," he emphasised.

Mr Opata challenged the traditional rulers and assembly members to channel their grievance to the police and immigration offices rather than going to the media directly.

"Fulani herdsmen just like any other aliens are by law compelled to be law abiding and if they are found conflicting the laws they need to be drastically dealt with according to the laws of the land," he concluded.

Most of the Fulani herdsmen who enter the country to seek pasture for their cattle end up rustling the cattle of natives apart from which they also rape women and molest farmers who challenge them of misbehaviour.

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