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In the wake of increasing jihadist encroachment in neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, residents of Bawku fear the insurgents may have it easy infiltrating the area if the constant communal violence is not addressed.

The long-standing war between the Kusasi and Maprusi in Bawku appear endless in spite of investing huge resources to bring absolute calm in the area.

Lives have been lost. Properties destroyed. Businesses have crumbled.

The once vibrant town with a significant influence in commerce has lost its spot. Several businesses have closed down and others relocate due to the conflict.

The Bawku district court, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), and some commercial banks have relocated to the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga.

The disturbing development has and continue to affect livelihoods.

“Business was booming but now because of the conflict most people have fled the community and this has affected sales,” a resident and shop owner, Nama’u Zakari said.

Nama’u Zakari 

A ban on motorbike was placed in the troubled town almost a year ago as part of measures to minimize the impact of the conflict.

Residents however say, the decision is not making any positive impact but rather restricting their movements.

“I have not seen effect on the ban because Bawku is still fighting. We are not riding motorbikes but people are still being killed,” visibly worried Abugri Seidu Ibrahim noted.

Abugri Seidu Ibrahim

But the biggest fear of residents is the chances of jihadists taking advantage of the conflict to enter the area.

“We have seen huge number of Burkinabes troping into the country to seek asylum because of jihadists attacks. If these terrorists find their way to either support Kusasi or Mamprusi, they will let them in to support them fight their cause and this will worsen the issue. So, we are pleading with our people to come together and end this conflict. If it means arresting Mr A or B for peace to prevail in Bawku, then so be it because we can’t allow one man’s interest to take away 1000 lives,” an angry resident, Simon Alega stressed.

Simon Alega

There is a call for an urgent government intervention to bring a lasting peace in the area.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|AkomaFM|