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General News of Friday, 29 March 2002


Two Ministers Resign Over Yendi Conflict.

Two ministers have resigned over the feud for power in Ghana's Northern Region where the paramount chief of the Dagomba Traditional Area, the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, has been confirmed killed, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reported.

The minister of information and presidential affairs, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, announced on Friday that the Northern Region minister, Prince Imoru Andandi and Interior Minister Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu had resigned. President John Kufuor has accepted the resignations "with regret and without prejudice", GNA reported.

Both men denied involvement in the clashes in the region's capital, Yendi, which pitted two royal families against each other. On Thursday, Yakubu denied that he had marshaled forces to the Abudu against the Andani group in the dispute.

"I want to state categorically that not only are these allegations totally unfounded and defamatory, but malicious and truly wicked," Yakubu said. "It is worth to note that I am a close relation to the Ya-Na and we grew up together from childhood. I could never cherish the Ya-Na killed."

The Andani group called on Wednesday for Yakubu's resignation, the dismissal of Yendi District chief executive Mohammed Habibu Tijani, and for the detention of Accra businessman Aminu Amadu, for their roles in the crisis.

It remains unclear what dispute sparked the fighting on Monday in which the chief and several other people were killed. There had been conflicting reports of the chief's death with the counsel for the Adani faction in the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis, Ibrahim Mahama, telling the GNA that chief Andani was still alive. He said hired assassins had mistakenly beheaded the wrong man.

However, the government said Friday that Andani was dead. President John Kufuor has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the conflict area and ordered a full-scale operation to arrest the perpetrators of the killings. He warned anyone or group that might try to take advantage of the situation that they would be "swiftly and decisively dealt with under the full rigours of the law".