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Regional News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: GNA

Konkomba and Bimoba opinion leaders to broker peace

Accra, Feb. 7, GNA- Konkomba and Bimoba opinion leaders are converging at Bunkpurugu- Yunyoo District, in the Northern Region on February 20, to February 29, 2008, to pursue the ambitious agenda of bringing lasting peace to conflict- prone communities in the district. The team would hold meetings with chiefs, community opinion leaders, members of the District Assembly, members of parliament and heads of the security agencies as prelude to a peace and reconciliation plan, which would be discussed with government and other stakeholders for implementation.

Mr Daniel Bugri Naabu, an opinion leader in the North, who made this known to journalists in Accra on Wednesday, said the members would assess the cost of such conflicts to lives and property and meet with the victims and assess their needs for possible support. The latest conflict was a clash between the two dominant ethnic groups at Jimbale, on September 16, 2007, leading to the loss of lives and property.

Mr Bugri Naabu expressed dissatisfaction that Konkombas and Bimobas had clashed for the fourth time in that community. He said a peace forum would be held in the town to brainstorm on the way forward.

Mr Bugri Naabu said the Konkomba Development Association, which was organising the visit was concerned about the consequences of conflicts on development, especially the heavy toll on lives and property in neighbouring Bawku, in the Upper East Region. "The frequent outbreak of armed conflict between Konkombas and Bimobas at the least provocation is developing into a phenomenon of very dangerous proportion. This development is very worrying indeed and does not augur well for the future of the district and the people." Mr Bugri Naabu noted that such conflicts have implications for national security and the development agenda. He stressed: "Everything must be done to bring an end to these unjustified and senseless armed conflicts between the two ethnic groups."

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