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Bawku Residents Prefer Peace To The Barrel Of A Gun Mark Woyongo   
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The Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Mark Woyongo, believes the people of Bawku and its environs are fed up with the protracted conflict in the area and have therefore embraced peace permanently, hence the decision to remove the curfew imposed on the municipality for many years now.

He said the curfew was lifted based on recommendations from the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to the National Security, adding that a lot went into the decision to lift the curfew despite the occasional flashes of violence in the area.

He revealed that there has not been any serious breach of the peace in Bawku in the last eighteen months due to concerted efforts of the combatants, traditional rulers and NGOs, to broker peace.

Curfew was placed on the Bawku municipality on December 31, 2007 after the celebration of the annual Samanpiid festival of the Kussasis when the festivities turn violent with the exchange of gun shots between the Mamprusis and the Kussasis.

Speaking in an interview on Peace FMs Kokrokoo Morning Show, Hon. Mark Woyongo noted that government is convinced that there is going to be considerable amount of peace in Bawku.

For the last eighteen months we havent had any serious breach of the peace in Bawku and we are getting the cooperation of the combatants and the traditional rulers, NGOs; so it is an all hands on deck affair. We are convinced that from now on-wards, we are going to see some considerable amount of peace in Bawku that is why we recommended the lifting of the curfew based on the recommendation from the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to the National Security. We are hoping that this will further enhance the peace process, he noted.

He pointed out that the current wind of peace blowing in Bawku cannot be attributed to the curfew but to a genuine change of attitude and the decision of the people to talk peace than resort to the barrel of the gun.

We cannot say peace returned because of the curfew because in 2010, there was curfew but people were killing and committing crimes everywhere but we have come a long way and we are convinced that the people now want to talk peace than resort to the barrel of the gun. The people are committed to the peace process. Everybody has realised that it pays to talk and rejoice instead of war so we are convinced that peace will reign, he stated.

He revealed that to enhance the capacities of the youth to start their own business so they can take their minds off the conflict, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has offered some form of packages for them.

UNDP has also come in with a package for the youth. Like the saying goes; the devil finds work for the idle hands and the youth in the town are unemployed, they have nothing doing so they think of nothing but conflict so UNDP has come in. They are trying to enhance their capacities to start their own businesses so that it can take their minds off conflicts, he added.
Source: Beatrice Adepa Frempong/Peacefmonline.com

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