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Northern region sheds reputation as violence prone; four regions now assume dubious title -NPC



Well, the northern region has shed its dubious reputation as the most violent prone region in the country; four regions in Ghana have overtaken the northern region in terms of conflicts and violence ahead of the December 7 polls, the northern regional secretariat of the National Peace Council (NPC) has revealed.

The four are the Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra and Brong-Ahafo regions, the West African Network for Peaceful Building, Ghana, latest weekly regional report indicated.

The turn of events was largely attributed to the work and efforts stakeholders in peace building have put in place, such as constant engagement with people perceived to be perpetrating violence.

The National Peace Council’s Northern Regional Executive Secretary, Reverend Father Thaddeus Kuusah disclosed this at a civil society organizations’ harmonization forum, when he presented an overview of the peace situation in the northern region in Tamale.
The forum was organized by NORSAAC, a non-governmental organization.

Reports from the Regional Early Warning and Respond Group (REEWAG) weekly meetings indicate that northern region was not one of those regions flagged for violence, Father Kuusah recounted, cautioning stakeholders that, the region was not in competition with any region.”Generally, I will say we are getting out from under the bad publicity as a conflict prone region,” Father Kuusah noted.

The National Peace Council, while commending the stakeholders, charged NGOs working in violence-prone areas to ensure that signals of conflicts are reported early before they generate into violent confrontations.

Reverend Kuusah mentioned the Bimbilla chieftaincy case currently at the Supreme Court, and the Tamale High court’s ruling on the Dagbon chieftaincy on 28th October 2016 that the funeral of the late Ya-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai be performed at the old Gbewaa palace as evidence that the people of the northern region would rather have their disputes settled in court than engage in bloodletting. Father Kuusah said there has been silence since the ruling and urged NGOs working in the areas to keep their eyes on the ground to monitor the situation.

The council, Rev. Kuusah said, is also monitoring events on Bunkpurugu land dispute conflict, which he said, has subsided now due to the rituals both sides performed last year.
The conflict is about land and not chieftaincy. The council fears that violence could reoccur anytime soon and again urged NGOs in those areas to intensify their monitoring efforts.

He said the western part of the north, around Damongo and its environs, where some communities have two Chiefs are hotbeds for violence. Touching on the peace situation in Tamale, Rev. Kuusah said even though it looks a little peaceful, the NPC is worried about the menace of vigilante youth groups, and the emergence of two musicians in town and the activities of Internet fraudsters, popularly called Sakawa boys. Their activities, he noted, have security implications which need urgent attention.

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