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General News of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

Kufuor's direct presence needed in Bawku -MP

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA - Two NDC Members of Parliament on Tuesday called for the direct presence of President J.A Kufuor in Bawku to stop the violence that have engulfed the area since December 31, last year. Mr Mahama Ayariga, (NDC-Bawku Central), the first to make the call, said military solution was not sufficient to end the conflict in the area.

He said he had received reports from the Mamprusis, a rival faction to the conflict, that they wanted the President to come over and sit and talk with both parties, the Kusasis and Mamprusis, to find a lasting solution.

Mr Ayariga was reacting to a statement by Interior Minster, Mr Kwamena Bartels, on the Bawku situation in Parliament. He said should the curfew in the area be extended from 12 noon to 8 am the next day, the violence would not stop.

Alhaji Sumani Abubakar, (NDC- Tamale-North) on his part, said military might was not a solution and a personal trip by the President would go a long way to help address the conflict.

Earlier, Mr Bartels, giving an update on the situation, said an indefinite curfew has been re-imposed on the area from 5 pm to 6 am because of renewed violence resulting in the burning of four houses, one truck and a pick up just yesterday, February 25.

He said since February 12, when he came before the House to update members on the Bawku situation, things have taken a turn for the worse with more outbreaks of violence, mounting tensions among students from rival factions, which resulted in a student narrowly missing a gun-shot by another student of the Bawku High School.

He said efforts to resolve the conflict were ongoing, including the holding of a meeting among all stakeholders on February 18, which resulted in the issuing of a communiqu=E9 by all the parties. He said peace could return to the area if all parties commit themselves to implementing the communiqu=E9.

The Minister said security presence in the area had been beefed up but the situation remained volatile.

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