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15.01.2005 Regional News

Search for common ground to resolve conflicts

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Accra, Jan 15, GNA - The Apinto Hene of Wassa Traditional Area, Nana Kwabena Angu II, on Saturday, has asked Ghanaians to always endeavour to search for common ground for resolving disputes. This, he said, calls for open-mindedness, a genuine disposition to act in good faith and avoiding mischief in their approach to issues of public concern and interest.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, about the recent conflict in Awudua near Tarkwa, Nana Angu described the incident as a dent on efforts to bring lasting peace to the town. He said there could not be peace and progress in any society where people simply show disrespect for law and those in authority. He, therefore, urged the youth, opinion leaders and other community leaders to ensure that they do not act in any manner that would undermine traditional authority as well as peace building efforts of the Traditional Council.

Nana Angu said after four years of bitter chieftaincy dispute, the time had come for them to work together and pool resources to address the socio-economic problems of the area.

What is, therefore, required now is for all to stay away from acts likely to engender a cycle of rivalry, suspicion and apathy. The Apinto Hene said, "my New Year resolution is to unite and reconcile the people in the traditional area, mobilise and harness the vast human and material resources to improve their living conditions. He, therefore, asked for the co-operation and support of all to translate this resolution into reality.

Nana has also appealed to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other philanthropic individuals and groups to assist victims of the recent communal conflict in the area. Meanwhile some citizens of Awudua resident in Accra has appealed to factions in the chieftaincy dispute to give up their "hardline positions" and allow for a peaceful settlement.

They noted with concern the "devastating effects" of the four-year-old dispute on the unity and progress of the people in the area.

Apart from the painful polarisation of the people, the dispute has stifled the communal and self-help spirit of the people, they noted. The Citizens were emphatic that the conflict was not in anybody's interest and said they were determined to promote peace, mutual understanding, trust and co-operation among the people and called for cooperation.

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