MyJoyOnline.com

Police, residents clash over protection for nomadic herdsmen

Fighting broke out between police and residents in an Eastern regional community over the handling of the deadly menace of nomadic herdsmen.

The Police patrol team in the Hweehwee community came under attack after some officers provided escort to the nomadic herdsmen to give food to their people in the bush.

The residents found this level of protection discriminatory because farmers were denied a similar service when the police taskforce was assigned to the community after deadly conflict between the herdsmen and the farmers.

"When they came we told them that they should escort us into our farms but they told us that by their operations they are not to go into the bushes.

"I don't know why they were able to stay in the bush for one hour", the Assemblyman of the Hweehwee electoral area Hon Solomon Aboagye told Joy News' Maxwell Kudakor.

A mob prevented the patrol team from moving within the town and as tensions went up the police fired warning shots.

The angry residents retaliated with stones and damaged the police patrol vehicle.

The residents say they are convinced the police are not working in the interest of the residents and have sided with the herdsmen whose cattle are owned by powerful members within society.

"We are very disappointed in the police. We don't trust them," the Assemblyman said after the police were seen to be protecting aggressor and leaving the victim helpless.

The government is struggling to contain the menace of nomadic herdsmen since these renewed clashes were recording in November.

Eleven days after the regional minister Eric Kwakye Darfour visited some communities and assured them of their safety, nine mud houses were torched by the herdsmen.

The displaced including a queenmother are seeking refuge and shelter with friends and extended family members.

Farmers have also been deprived of their livelihoods as their farms have been destroyed by unrestrained cattle grazing.

Children have been left without a parent as killings and maimings continue. Communities like Mpaemu have become a ghost town.