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WANEP-GHANA Warns Of Deterioting Cordiality among Ethnic Groups


The West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP-Ghana) has warned of deteriorating cordial relationships between and/or among some ethnic groups in the country, and urged the security agencies to act swiftly to apprehend the situation.

According to WANEP in its 2014 first quarter national human security early warning brief released recently: “In the Upper West Region, the cordial relationship and cohesion between the Dagaaba and the Sisaala in Fielmuo and Nimoro in the Lambussie-Karni District is currently challenged and requires urgent steps to prevent any act of violence especially before the onset of this year’s raining season”, the report stated.

National Network Coordinator of WANEP, Isaac Bayor addressing the media in Tamale, said information gathered by WANEP indicates that communication between the two groups is currently reduced and trust is dwindling. “It is important to note that, that any violence between the two groups has tendencies to escalate even beyond Fielmuo and Nimoro, and would be more costly and complicated to resolve”, he emphasised.

It is unclear what could be the actual cause of the frosty cordiality between the two ethnic groups in a region touted as one of the most peaceful in the country.

Mr. Bayor also noted that, recent communal clashes and incidents which resulted in loss of lives at Bimbilla, Sakongu and Kojoboni all in the Northern Region require urgent and all inclusive peace and conflict sensitive approaches towards resolving them. “It also requires a combination of hard-core security and soft approach aimed at reconciling/transforming community differences in order to ensure its sustainability.

“This approach is all the more important as the latest killings in Aboabo, Sagnarigu and Savelugu which, are currently under investigation by the security operatives are being linked to politics and unresolved community conflicts including the existing Dagbon chieftaincy conflicts”, he stressed.

He said there is need to collaborate with various agencies and stakeholders including the community institutions and civil society to ensure that revenge and retaliatory attacks which could undermine the peace process is avoided.

The January–March 2014 brief based its analysis on data recorded in the WANEP-Ghana’s National Early Warning system, GHANAWARN, as well as information gathered through stakeholders across the country.

For instance, the Greater Accra Region recorded the highest figure of 41 incidents of the 124 total incidents captured within the period. The Ashanti Region came second with 29 incidents while the Northern Region was third with a record of 14 incidents. The Central Region recorded 12, the Western and Eastern Regions 9 each, the Brong-Ahafo, 4, the Upper West and Volta Regions, 3 each while the Upper East Region recorded no pronounced incident.

Data from GHANAWARN indicate that despite stringent efforts by the security agencies, armed attacks remain the topmost security threat. Killings, which could be described as targeted, persist.

Accidents, most of which were motor accidents was the second most threatening human security issue occurring especially along the roads of Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Western Regions of the country.

The third issue identified was social tension and labour related demonstrations. These threats have been identified based on their frequency, casualty and their structural causes.

While recognizing the fact that human security early warning was essential to preventing violent conflicts, Mr. Bayor said that could only be possible if immediate and adequate interventions were put in place.

He called on the Ghana Police Service, the Judiciary, and other security agencies to remain responsive, fair and open in enforcing the rule of law to serve as deterrent to crime and violence perpetrators.

He also called for increased police-community collaboration to enable sharing of information towards crime and violence prevention.

Mr. Bayor stressed the need for the police to continue to advice individuals to be security minded and report all forms of threats to life and properties to the appropriate them for proactive response.

The WANEP Network Coordinator further appealed to the various Regional/District Security Councils, relevant Parliamentary Committees and Members of Parliament to intervene in the communities where violence has occurred and where there are threats of violence and use their good offices to ensure social cohesion and peace.




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