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15.09.2005 Crime & Punishment

Three workers shot dead by Fulani herdsmen.

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Sadan (ER), Sept. 15, GNA - Three workers of the Government Plantation Development Project were shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen on their tree plantation near Sadan in the Kwahu South District.

Five other workers who sustained gunshots wounds have been treated and discharged at the Kwahu Government Hospital at Atibie. The dead were identified as Kwabena Appiah Agyapong, 54, and Kwame Agyei, 39, both from Abene and Stephen Boateng, 60, from Kwahu-Nkwatia. Those who sustained gunshot wounds were, Akakpo Ahunagbe, Yao Ohene, Stephen Agyeman Duah, Alex Baah and Kwaku Anim.

Speaking to the media at Abene on Wednesday, Mr Sheriff Mensah, Field Supervisor of the Project, said since July, staff of the plantation had experienced frequent bushfires in the 100 hectare tree plantation in the Northern Scarp West Forest Reserve planted last year. He said a 30-man team was selected to patrol the plantation daily and on September 9, this year, while the workers were on the field putting on pegs to plant seedlings, they saw some herdsmen with a large herd of cattle grazing on the plantation.

Mr Mensah said the workers told the herdsmen to send the cattle away from the plantation but they took offence and started shooting indiscriminately.

He said the workers, sensing danger, fled but three of their colleagues were missing when the team re-assembled while five others also reported with gunshot wounds and had to be rushed to the Kwahu Government Hospital for treatment.

Mr Mensah said the incident was reported to the Hweehwee Police who accompanied them to the area where the deceased were found on the plantation with a knife stuck in the mouth of one of them. Mr Stephen Ampadu, a leader of the Third Plantation Group at Sadan, two bicycles belonging to the workers were also set ablaze by the herdsmen.

He therefore, appealed to the Government to send reinforcement of military and Policemen to the area to flush out the herdsmen for work to resume on the plantation.

Mr Ampadu said people in communities such as Sadan, Abene, Ahinase, Nkwantang, Suntre, Dadease, Demano, Sanase and Sempoa were now living in fear and could not go to their farms.

He said the huge investment the Government was making to replant degraded forests in the area would not achieve the desired positive results if the herdsmen were allowed to continue setting bushfires to the plantation.

When Chief Superintendent of Police Roy Amuni, Nkawkaw Divisional Police Commander, was contacted, he said no arrests had been made but efforts were being made to flush the herdsmen out of the area.

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