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Violent Clashes Between Chokosis and Bimobas Again Reinforces Stereotypes


If there is one thing that I agonize endlessly over besides my health, it is the propensity for violence among some of our brethren. Once thought to be on the decline, violence in the region is on the ascendancy as recent disturbances in the Chereponi district amply indicate.

Like many outside the conflict zone, I was stunned; indeed shocked by the ugly confrontation between the Chokosis and the Bimobas because open hostility between the two groups was least expected;

After all, they are neighbors and have been since the beginning of time. Whatever differences exist between them have been papered over by intermarriages as well as a common adherence to similar customs and traditions.

What sparked the conflict according to authorities was the failure of the two tribes to resolve fishing rights on the river Oti. Fortunately, no life was lost, but many people were left homeless after houses were torched and burnt to the ground.

The clash is particularly heart-wrenching because the northern region is just emerging from a violent crisis in Bimbilla which claimed the lives of more than a dozen residents and destroyed property worth millions of Ghana cedis. The township and its surrounding villages are still traumatized and yet to recover from the conflict.

It is sad to note that violence is rapidly becoming normalized among some northerners: truth be told: wherever some northerners congregate outside the borders of their region, violent disputes are invariably among the first items on the agenda, besides earning money and taking care of the family.

How then do we explain the behavior of some Dagombas and Konkombas who engaged each other in a fierce battle last week in the slums of Agblogloshie over a trivial matter, a stolen phone? Two Konkombas were said by authorities to have been killed, and their tribesmen have vowed revenge, thus further complicating an already tense situation.

The latest clashes have once again unwittingly thrust the northern region into the spotlight, making it the target of cruel jokes and endless teasing by its detractors, affording them the opportunity to depict northerners as violence prone, untamed and far removed from civilization.

Unsurprisingly, the media was quick to describe the clash in Accra as an ethnic conflict while, in fact, it was just a brush up between two groups. Given all this, one wonders when we northerners are going to come to terms with our worse impulses and reject violence in all its forms.

Violence has torn our society apart, destroyed our families, and broken ancient bonds that once held us together. Compromise and amicable solutions of rather mundane issues are conspicuously missing in our everyday interaction with other tribes who are essentially our neighbors.

We resort to violence as a means to project our tribal strength and superiority over tribes we contemptuously refer to as minorities. Violence gets us nowhere; we are in the 21st century and that in itself should make us sit up and think.




1 Comment
  1. Ayiku Alex says

    The northern part of of our country is already deprived and less privilege. Is disheartening to hear such clashes among the northern tribes. The recent clash at old fadema in Accra by some gangs from the north was said to be a clash between two northern tribes. The Dagombas and the Komkombes which was not so. The conflict between the Dagombas and the Komkombes some years back is still fresh in our minds. Money for development was wasted in such of peace and one could see how the northern regional capital (Tamale) suffered in terms of development.
    No one least expected that this two tribes Chokosis and Bimobes will clash and houses will be burnt to Ashes. The river that they are fighting over and claiming ownership is a gift from mother nature and no one can claim it. It has be been there since generation.
    Yes is it true that the north is deprived but some are more deprived. When you take chreponi the capital of the Chokosis and Bungkrugu the capital of the Bimobes one will definitely see less development and serious poverty in this areas. They have bad roads, poor source of water, bad weather conditions just to mention a few. Instead of living together as brothers and sisters they want to choose the path of conflict and war.
    I do tell people that there is know receipt for an expenditure in a conflict or war. Those who fuel it benefits after all money will be given to them to such for peace, will they account for the money? No.
    When I was in Kumasi some few years ago, anybody I tell am from the north they begin to think am violet which is not so. We have nice people from the north but there are some few who want all to be tag with it. Lord have mercy.

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