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Regional News of Thursday, 26 August 2021

Source: GNA

BEWDA initiates plans to build capacity for Bawku youth

The programme is to engender peacebuilding among different ethnic groups in the area The programme is to engender peacebuilding among different ethnic groups in the area

The Belim WUSA Development Agency(BEWDA), has initiated moves to train the youth to promote co-existence and peace among inter-ethnic groups in the Bawku enclave.

The programme is aimed at helping the youth to go on outreaches to sensitize communities on the need for promoting mutual trust and peaceful coexistence in five districts of the area with support from the USAID through Office Transformation Initiative (OTI) and littorals Regional Initiative (LRI).

The districts include; Bawku Municipal, Bawku West, Binduri, Garu, and Pusiga Districts.

Shaibu Abubakar, Executive Director of BEWDA in an interview with the GNA said the Bawku area was one of the conflict hotspots in northern Ghana, with a long-standing inter-ethnic chieftaincy issue between Mamprusis and Kusasis.

“The conflicts became ethnic in character, with some taking political dimensions, where some of the youth are segregated and deeply polarized with some forming clubs and associations along ethnic and political lines,” he noted.

“This inter-ethnic and political violence deepened mistrust and mutual suspicion as they did not have interactions or relationships with each other.”

He noted though that there had been a greater opportunity for improving the mutual trust and co-existence amongst rival ethnic and political youth in Bawku, and added that the youth had demonstrated and proven commitment to re-building the peace.

Alhaji Mohammed Mutari, a Chief Imam, said religious groups were necessary in helping to maintain peace in the communities. “For where peace is maintained, there is love among the people in the community” and applauded the people of Bawku for maintaining peace for some time now.

Mr. Mutari who is also the Director of the West Africa Centre for Violent Extremism said initiating peace helps to make the youth responsible as future leaders.

Thomas Abilla, Chief of Wande community, and co-chair of the Bawku Inter-ethnic Peace Committee for Kusasi said there could not be successful leaders until there was peace in the community and beyond and urged the youth to preach peace and coexistence.