Resurging Chereponi conflict regrettable – Interior Minister

Resurging Chereponi conflict regrettable – Interior Minister
Source: Ghana | | Jerry Tsatro Mordy
Date: 20-03-2019 Time: 03:03:41:pm
Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, says growing suspicion amongst the two groups is fanning the conflict.

The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery is pained at the resurgence of ethnic violence in the Chereponi District of the North East Region.

He said the violence has re-ignited at the time when the government was about acting on the report submitted by a committee that looked into the cause of the protracted conflict between two main ethnic groups, Konkonba and Chokosi. 

There are fears the renewed conflict could worsen soon if police are not adequately resourced to deal with the fluid security situation. 

The joint police-military team at Chereponi where three people have been killed and several communities torched say the situation is gradually under control although police have appealed for logistics such as motorbikes to access remote parts of the district where gunmen wreak havoc on residents, mostly women and children. 

Read also: 'Chereponi conflict is escalating' -- Security analysts call for firm action

Chereponi District Police Commander giving water to displaced children captures the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict

At least three persons have died with some 1,860 residents displaced, according to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) have been displaced.

Speaking to Joy News on the sidelines of an Annual Review Meeting of the Ministry and its agencies in Accra Wednesday, Mr. Ambrose Dery observed that the growing suspicion amongst the two groups is fanning the conflict and must be nipped in the bud.

“The situation in Chereponi is regrettable…clearly we need the leadership of both sides to educate the people on the ground on what transpired. Because it’s about land and if it’s about land, the law is clear [and] you go through due process,” he said.

He called on the leadership of both groups to step forward and make sure that the people there live in peace.

“It’s spilling over because there is a certain level of suspicion and that level of suspicion must be nipped in the bud and that is the way we are thinking of going forward about it,” the Interior Minister appealed.

Listen to Mr. Abrose Dery in the audio attached:

Deserted schools

Meanwhile, teachers there are reported to be deserting schools following the renewed clashes despite a directive by the Ghana Education Service for them to remain in school.

Some of them massed up at the Chereponi police station earlier Wednesday asking to be allowed to go home.

“Because we don’t have security here they are just passing anyhow with guns and we are afraid for our lives,” a student told Joy News Correspondent, Martina Bugri over the telephone.

Protracted violence

The relatively small town in northern Ghana has witnessed several communal violence in recent times over a fundamental disagreement over issues of land and political representation.

The two ethnic groups in the Chereponi district of the Northern region have engaged in violence since the New Year.

Konkombas, who form the majority in the district, and Chokosis, a minority group have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons over a piece of land.