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Rev Dr. Ernest Adu Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Peace Council, has said his outfit has not given up on Bawku yet, regarding the renewed conflict in the area that has claimed some lives recently.

The age long conflict that has recently escalated beyond the borders of Bawku is a huge threat to the peace and security of the country as President Akufo-Addo noted during his State of the Nation address Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

According to Dr. Adu Gyamfi, the Council has been engaging the various factions to sustain the peace in the area for some time now until the recent killings came up.

He tells sit-in host of Hot Issues, Alfred Ocansey, that aside from meeting the chiefs in Bawku and its adjoining areas, the National Peace Council has ensured that Kusasi constituents of the inter-ethnic committee who withdrew were brought back to bring their mandate to shape.

“The National Peace Council has been involved in the Bawku issue for years and we had been part of the inter-ethnic tribal committee between the factions that are there and we have managed over the years until this last came up again and then some of the Kusasi withdrew from the inter-ethnic committee. Currently, fortunately we have been able to bring them back and now the Committee is actively working and we are doing everything we can to seek to the resolution of this.

“Currently the issue has escalated beyond a certain proportion and before we can go in, because we don’t have the mandate to arrest and prosecute, it is only when there is peace that we can get in but we have been in and out of the place. We’ve met the Bawku Naba, we’ve met the Nayiri, we’ve met all kinds of people within the area. We’ve met various groups and we are still actively in there,” he said Sunday, March 03, 2024.

He explained that they are also in talks with Manhyia to put their heads together to bring peace to the area.

“We are also liaising with Otumfuo. In fact, we’ll have a meeting with him very soon. We are waiting for a date that he will be available. So we hope to be in touch with him to see how far his committee can also help to resolve this problem so the Council hasn’t given up on Bawku yet,” he said.

When asked why their impact on the Bawku matter has not come to bear in bringing closure to the matter, Dr. Adu Gyamfi said “the Council over the years has been the factor that has sustained the peace in that area in the past until this last time.”

During the SONA on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo reemphasised the need for the warring factions to choose truce to secure them the needed development, bearing the consequences of the conflict on the security of the entire nation.

“Mr. Speaker, I must make special mention of the troubles in Bawku. The tragedy is not only that a thriving and dynamic town is being reduced to a wasteland of destruction and distrust, we are spending money and energy that would have been better spent on development needs of Bawku, providing security to keep brothers and sisters from killing each other.

“Mr Speaker, what should concern all of us and not just the people of Bawku is that, in its current state, Bawku is an alluring magnet to mischief makers and extremists operating a few kilometres across from the border.

“In the bid to find a lasting solution to the conflict, Government has, in the past year, undertaken a number of measures, including the establishment of a special Bawku Taskforce, and the intensification of engagements with the factions for the resolution of the chieftaincy dispute.

“On the recommendation of the Upper East Regional and National Security Councils, four (4) radio stations, that have been broadcasting incendiary language and propagating hate speech, have been shut down by the National Communications Authority. The Chief Justice has also recently established specialised Courts in Accra and in Kumasi to deal expeditiously with criminal matters emanating from the Bawku conflict,” the President read in his address to the nation.

We to look up to God, our ancestors and gov’t to restore peace – Bawku Naba