Editorial: Bawku Conflict: National Security must buckle-down

Asaase Radio, an Accra-based private radio station, reported on Monday, this week, that, at least, eight people had been reportedly killed in a reprisal attack at Bawku in the Upper East Region.

Several others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds, following renewed fighting between two feuding tribes.

The radio station quoted its sources as saying the conflict began on Saturday, December 17, 2022, after an elderly man and his son were reportedly attacked by faceless individuals at Sinateng, a suburb of Bawku.

The death of the elderly man, the report continued, caused a reprisal attack on the night of the same day, resulting in the killing of five others. Two more deaths were also recorded on Sunday, December 18, 2022, from a spill over, despite increased military-police patrols in the Municipality.

“The fight was serious on the ground. Bullets were just flying everywhere. Even the security agencies could not patrol on the ground, so they used a jet fighter,” a resident, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, told the radio station.

On the same day, Citi FM, another Accra-based radio station, reported during its mid-day news that the gun-toting men opened fire on some of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) sub-stations, causing a disruption in power supply to Bawku and its environs.

According to history, the Bawku conflict is as old as Ghana. In other words, the conflict started in the colonial era, and has been going on up till date.

Successive governments have failed to resolve the impasse, because it involves two different ethnic groups, apparently fighting over land and supremacy. 

The Chronicle is, however, worried over the new twist to the whole conflict – deliberate shooting of a NEDCo transformer to cause a blackout – so that the perpetrators could execute their criminal agenda. In our opinion, this is a clear case of terrorist activity and we urge our National Security Ministry to sit up before something horrible happens.

We also advise National Security to do thorough investigations to establish if terrorist group or groups had not already infiltrated the Bawku conflict, and is using it as a camouflage to launch attacks on us, as a country.

We are raising all these alarms, because we still can’t fathom why the Northern Electricity Distribution Company’s installation should, all of a sudden, become a target for an attack by those perpetrating the crime in the name of ethnic conflict.

NEDCo is a state-owned power distribution company that certainly has nothing to do with the Bawku conflict, so why attack it? The idea, we believe, was to cause a blackout (the perpetrators) so they could execute whatever agenda they have against the state.

This is the reason why we are calling on the intelligence gathering agencies to buckle-down and ensure that criminals do not use the conflict as a ruse to inflict more pains on the people of Bawku, and Ghana as a whole.

The same searchlight should also be thrown on Bator, in the Volta Region, where six people were recently slaughtered in the name of a chieftaincy dispute.

It is interesting to note that it was the same geographical area where a group of people claimed to have seized, in the run up to the 2020 elections, and declared it the Republic of Western Togoland.

Certainly, there cannot be smoke without fire, hence our clarion call on the authorities to focus their lenses on that area as well.

The earlier action is taken to stem the tide, the better, because ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly across borders.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here