Feuding parties in the protracted Bawku conflict have been entreated to soften their stance and allow peace to prevail in the once bustling commercial town.
According to the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, the conflict had reduced the area to a ghost town.
“Banks have closed down, schools are closing down, businesses are closed and people are moving away.
Please let us end this conflict and find a way to restore our community back to its status,” the minister entreated at a meeting with the leadership of both Kusasis and Mamprusis in Bawku on Monday.
The minister reminded the people of the huge economic potential the area which shares borders with Burkina Faso and Togo offers, adding “it is important for you to end the conflict due to Bawku’s strategic location to enable economic activities to bounce back for you to reap its full benefits”.
The meeting was against the backdrop of a recent killing of some 10 residents allegedly by the military.
Unfortunately, while the meeting was ongoing, there were sporadic gun shots in some parts of the municipality leading to the death of a man believed to be in his 50s.
Last week, 10 people including a 12-year-old boy were reportedly killed following an operation by the military in the area.
The incident has heightened tension in the town which is currently reeling under an 8:00p.m. to 6:00a.m. curfew.
There is also a ban on possession and carrying of arms.
Mr Yakubu further entreated the people to always use dialogue to resolve their differences instead of the gun, saying “already Bawku is on its knees and our message to you is to put your guns down”.
He added that in any conflict situation, it is women and children who suffer the most, hence the need for them to see reason to bring closure to the conflict.
“What are we doing my fathers, brothers and mothers to ensure peace and harmony among the people in this municipality?
“Nobody will come to this town and seek peace but ourselves.
So in our own big or little ways, let us work together to bring peace to Bawku for the benefit of current and future generations,” Mr Yakubu added.
Both the Kusasis and Mamprusis pledged their commitment to ensure cool heads prevail towards ensuring peace and harmony in the area.
They also called on the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to intensify security operations to facilitate easy movement of the people.
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