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Cops Caught In Crossfire…In Bawku Conflict   
 
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07-Nov-2009  
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Three police officers involved in peacekeeping operations in Bawku have been caught in the ethnic crossfire. Constable Oscar Sarpong, Constable Augustine Henyo and Lance Corporal A.K. Mawualo sustained various degrees of injury, in trying to resort peace to the perennial conflict zone.

Henyo, whose injury was described as critical, has been flown to Accra to receive treatment at the Police Hospital, while the other two are on admission at the Quality Medical Centre in Bawku.

Giving details of the situation to the Daily Graphic in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Police Public Affairs Officer, Chief Inspector Thomas Agbanyo, lamented that at all material times, the police had remained neutral in the conflict. However, it appears they had become targets in the conflict. He warned the combatants of dire consequences if they continued to turn their guns on the police. “

“We wish to inform the people of Bawku that so far as the police are concerned, our mandate in Bawku is to help ensure peace and save the lives of innocent civilians. When they continue to attack our personnel, they (police) will be forced to react,” he warned. “They (the combatants) should know that the police personnel have been well trained and equipped with the expertise to handle all kinds of situations including attacks on us but we as professionals will not resort to any form of violence.”

Explaining further, Chief Inspector Agbanyo said the latest disturbances began when a cattle dealer by name Fuseini Imoro aka Gazere from Sabon Geri, who was riding a motorbike towards the Kariyama cattle market, was allegedly ambushed by some AK-47 wielding young men, who fired several shots at Imoro, but failed to get him.

He said Constable Henyo, who was at the scene where Moro was attacked, was hit in the left leg by a bullet from the assailants’ rifle. The victim was immediately rushed to the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital and later referred to the Police Hospital in Accra. He added that on Sunday November 1, 2009, an informant notified the police that a group of people had violated the curfew in the municipality and therefore eight policemen led by Chief Inspector G.K Okyere were dispatched to the scene.

The PRO said on arrival, they were confronted by a group of young people and in an attempt to disarm them, General Constable Oscar Sarpong’s rifle went off and the bullet hit one Samuel Akparibo in the waist. Chief Inspector Agbanyo said people then regrouped and took the policeman hostage, while the other policemen were chased into the Binduri forest from where they were rescued and returned to base.

According to the Police PRO, on November 2, 2009, some youth attacked some police officers at their rented quarters at Hausa Zongo and in the process Lance Corporal Mawaualo was hit in the left foot by a bullet and was admitted to the quality Medical Centre. The Police Spokesman described these attacks as unfortunate and warned the combatants to desist from them.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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