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General News of Friday, 10 January 2003

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Govt hasn't aligned itself in Yendi crisis

The deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akufo-Addo has reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure lasting peace in the Dagbon traditional area.

She made it clear that the government has not aligned itself to either side of the conflict in the Yendi crisis and that the “government’s commitment is to seek lasting peace in the Dagbon Traditional Area.”

Ms. Akufo-Addo has accordingly called on all stakeholders to join the government in its search to bring about peace in the area and the country as a whole. The deputy Attorney General was reacting to the rejection of the Wuaku report by the Andani family in the northern conflict. To her, the Wuaku Commission dealt with the facts, which were made available to it by the witnesses who appeared before it.

She noted that at each stage of resolving the problem, the Andanis have sought to find fault with the government. “In the beginning, the Andanis said the solution to the crisis did not lie with the Wuaku Commission and “they did not want to attend the sittings of the commission but later they changed their mind.”

Ms. Akufo said getting to the end of the commission’s sitting; the Andanis withdrew amidst the allegation that the chairman of the commission was bias.

“You may have difficulties with some portions of the report but not in its entirety,” she said, adding, “the government itself had problems with some of the commission’s findings and recommendations and has accordingly called for further investigations into those areas.”

She described as false the allegation that the commission failed to unearth the perpetrators of the conflict and contended that, “it presupposes that they the Andanis know the perpetrators and why didn’t they make the evidence available to the commission.”

Ms. Akufo wondered how a lasting solution can be found to the problem if the Andanis, who are calling for justice to be done, continue to keep themselves out of the process in resolving the matters.

She said it is unfortunate that the Andanis continue to blame the government for the crisis when the “government has demonstrated its commitment through using various means including the intervention of the United Nations and three eminent traditional rulers to help resolve the problem.” No matter the grievances, either side of the gate may have, it is important that they allow due process to take its course, the deputy A-G said.

She described as false allegations that the AG, Nana Akufo-Addo manipulated the media to serve government agenda. She explained that the AG was only consulted on the appropriateness of the word “discharge”, which is used technically for persons on trial.

According to the deputy AG, the word was used advisedly by the commission and it was based on the technical meaning that the A-G suggested that “cleared” will be most appropriate, since all the persons who appeared before the commission were not on trial.