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Editorial: Bawku Conflict Revisited   
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The Bawku conflict never seems to go away. From all indications, the conflict seems to be spreading to other areas surrounding the Bawku municipality.

In the evening of Thursday, November 26, 2009, two Ghanaians who reside at Mognori, a suburb of Bawku, were beaten to death following a misunderstanding between them and some residents on the Burkina Faso side of Mognori.

And last Friday, the Northern Regional Police Command sent out reports that it had pick signals which indicated that some Mamprusi youth were being mobilised in the Northern Region for an operation in the Upper East Region, that is, the Bawku area, in support of their kinsmen involved in the intractable Bawku conflict.

Some residents of Nalerigu in the Northern Region have allegedly burnt down a house belonging to the prime suspect in the murder of the People’s National Convention (PNC) parliamentary candidate in the 2008 general election, Mr Moses Alando Banaba.

All these happenings show clearly that the Bawku conflict is gradually spreading to the border towns in the Upper East Region and some areas in the Northern Region.

These developments, if not checked but allowed to continue, will lead to a major conflict within the Upper East and the Northern regions, with devastating consequences which we can never dream of.
It is in line with this that we endorse the call by the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, that the government should beef up security in Bawku.

The government, we believe, should declare a state of emergency in Bawku and more security and intelligence operatives deployed to the area to search for and arrest those who are fomenting this internecine conflict in the area.

We also endorse the call that peacekeepers in Bawku should be provided with a helicopter and motorbikes for them to monitor the activities of the troublemakers from the air and move to all the corners of the area to chase and arrest them.

The security personnel should be given the mandate to arrest anybody found with dangerous and sophisticated weapons such as AK47 rifles.
What is happening in Bawku is so dangerous that we should come up with a more comprehensive security operation that will, as early as practicable, stop the conflict before it escalates to a veritable conflagration to consume all of us in the country.

Of late, some media houses and supposed human rights activists are using some unfortunate incidents in the conflict area to obfuscate the real issues on the ground in Bawku.

No one can deny the fact that chieftaincy issues lie at the heart of the Bawku conflict, but within it also lies the political issue which, of late, some people want to play up, albeit covertly, to confuse the people.

To the media, we will say they should be circumspect when setting the agenda, for in an armed conflict situation, sometimes gate-keeping comes in handy to stop a bad situation from getting worse and, more important, to save lives and property.

We need to get it clear that if we do not come together as one people and find a lasting and durable solution to the Bawku conflict and allow it to fester, the ensuing result could be anyone’s guess.
A solution must be found for the Bawku conflict, for it is becoming a growing problem. Everything humanly possible should be done to solve the problem.
Source: Daily Graphic

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