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General News of Friday, 18 April 2003

Source: GNA

President Kufuor Declares A Fresh State Of Emergency In Dagbon

President John Agyekum Kufuor acting on the advice of the Council of State and the National Security Agencies has declared a fresh State of Emergency in the Dagbon Traditional Area and appealed to Parliament to review its decision not to renew it.

A statement by Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, Press Secretary to the President, on Thursday said the declaration was in cognisance with the reasons Parliament assigned for not renewing the State of Emergency.

It said in spite of several positive developments in the area, particularly, the recent declaration by the two factions in favour of peaceful resolution of the Dagbon crisis, there are still very delicate issues to be addressed. These include the burial of the late Ya Na, the restoration of the Gbewa palace and the process, which would lead to the instilment of a new Ya Na.

The statement said: '' Given the sensitive nature of the ongoing negotiations and the advanced stage it has reached on some of the delicate matters, the President Kufuor deems it necessary that the prevailing optimum security framework should be maintained to afford the negotiations a fair chance of success.'' It said while the curfew in the area would be lifted, the State of Emergency would continue to be enforced.

The statement said President Kufuor has notified Parliament of the Proclamation to enable the House to act in accordance with article 31 of the 1992 Constitution. The President appealed to political parties, citizens of the area and Ghanaians to adopt a nationalistic outlook to matters relating to the Dagbon Traditional Area.

The statement gave the assurance that the government would continue to work with all interested parties on the basis of good faith to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the shortest possible time. It said the security agencies are closely monitoring the situation, which would be reviewed when appropriate.

Meanwhile Parliament has been recalled from recess to sit on Wednesday 23 April to consider the President's proclamation.

A statement signed by the first Deputy Speaker, Mr Frederick Wosemao Armah Blay, said the House would also discharge its duty in relation to Oaths of a member-elect.