The Noble Order of Knights and Ladies of Marshall, a Friendly Society in the Catholic Church devoted to unity, charity, fraternity and service, has noted with concern the increasing spate of communal violence, especially as the country prepares for elections this year.

The Board Chairman of Marshallan Relief and Development Services (Maredes) , Sir Knight Brother Eddie Prah said this at a presentation ceremony of relief support to the people of Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo in the Northern Region.

“To augment our work in the area of charity, the Noble Order in 2011, established a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as Marshallan Relief and Development Services (MAREDES). Among the aims of MAREDES, as its name implies, is to join forces with like-minded organisations within and without the Catholic Church to bring relief and where possible development to victims of conflicts, disasters, migration and the suffering in society. It also seeks to address issues of good governance and public policy and undertakes research and advocacy where needed,” he said.

“In this respect, we make special reference to the recent inter-ethnic clashes in some communities in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese over land disputes, which have resulted in deaths, brought untold hardships and displaced hundreds of people. As is usual in such situations, it is the marginalized in those communities; especially the aged, women, disabled and children who bear the brunt of the agony and suffering! Particularly in this area, such conflicts coming at the threshold of the rainy season is likely to further worsen the fragile livelihood conditions of majority of the people who incidentally are also among the most poor in Ghana.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, this morning we are gathered here because our thoughts are with Bishop Alfred Agyenta of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese and the affected people in the conflict areas. We want to tell the affected communities and the Bishop that we solidarise with them in the wake of the unfortunate loss of lives and displacement of persons as well as the emotional and financial burden that the poor families now bear.
“To help assuage the difficulties of the affected people and their families, we first wish to add our voices to the many that have already made appeals for calm and cessation of atrocities. We implore all factions in the conflicts to be more tolerant and pursue the dialogue and reconciliation options.

“Second, to give concrete expression to our thoughts with Bishop Agyenta by way of supporting his efforts at bringing relief to the affected persons, we wish to make a modest cash donation of TWO THOUSAND GHANA CEDIS (GHC2, 000) and other relief items worth over THREE THOUSAND GHANA CEDIS (GHC3, 000) to him.

“We hope that MAREDES’ widow’s mite will ameliorate the suffering of the people. Further, we call on other benevolent individuals and organizations within and out of the Church to come to the aid of the Bishop in his efforts to restore hope to the suffering people of the conflict areas.

“Lastly, may we thank you Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat for accepting to pass on our donation and solidarity to the people of the conflict area through the Bishop. Kindly assure him of our prayers and fraternal love for him and all the affected people, he concluded.