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General News of Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bawku conflict: We were shocked by occurrences - Interior Minister

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery

Curfew in Bawku and its environs

Peace Council engaging Bawku residents to calm tensions

I was frightened by what I saw when entering Bawku, Haruna Iddrisu


Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery has admitted that the ministry was shocked by the recent occurrence in Bawku which they didn’t understand.

According to him, government had deployed both military and police personnel to Bawku ordinarily before the conflict escalated.

“…the crisis in Bawku all started with ‘simple suspension’, when we did that it was an ordinary deployment until we were shocked by some occurrence which was not easily understood.”

Speaking on the floor of parliament in response to the Minority Leader’s comment stating that he was frightened by the deteriorating situation in Bawku when he visited the area, Ambrose Dery said even though the steps taken so far is not enough, the peace Council have been assigned to engage residents in Bawku to reduce tension.

“They did not involve the major stakeholders and in view of the fact that it is near border where you have extremists being close, about 20 kilometres, there is reinforcement. Honourable Minority Leader and if you went there, you would have also seen the heavy armour that has been deployed.”

"We are also conscious of the fact that, that alone is not adequate so we have deployed the peace council to engage the people in the area. The intervention of the Peace Council will also bring down the tension that we saw but we are prepared to make sure that status quo is respected and maintained and that no lawlessness is going to be tolerated,” Ambrose Dery added.


Background

The Ministry of the Interior in November 2021 imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the Bawku Municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region following renewed chieftaincy disputes in the area.

According to the Minister, the imposition of the curfew had been a result of threat of insecurity in the area.

It had also placed a total ban on all persons in the afore-mentioned communities and their environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons.

Before the implementation of the curfew, REGSEC had banned the wearing of smock in the area with immediate effect, explaining that “This was necessitated by the fact that criminals or unscrupulous elements hide arms and ammunitions in smock and attack opponents or innocent civilians”.

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