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Disaster Looms In Bawku If…   
 
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27-Nov-2009  
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The Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has warned of dire consequences and a possible “blood bath” in Bawku if a stop is not put to what it describes as attempts to further demoralize the security personnel on peacekeeping mission there.

Presenting an agenda which the REGSEC believes can bring peace to the conflict area, the Upper East Regional Minister and Chairman of REGSEC, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, said the peacekeepers were already suffering from poor remuneration, inadequate logistics and equipment and serious threats to their lives, such that any further injury to their morale could be disastrous.

Baring this heart in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, Mr Woyongo lamented the plight of the peacekeepers and called for more incentives to motivate them to work harder to ensure peace in the area. He revealed that currently each peacekeeper received a daily allowance of GH¢2.50.

He also suggested the provision of a helicopter for the soldiers to enable them to monitor the activities of the warring factions from the air, as well as more tents to house them.
Mr. Woyongo also called for the provision of motorbikes to enable the peacekeepers to move to all corners to chase and arrest people who cause mayhem and attempted to abscond.

He called on human rights activists to sympathize with the peacekeepers, since many killings went unreported in the Bawku conflict zone, explaining that some people who died in the conflict were hidden and buried in the night.

He appealed to the media not to over-flog the Bawku crisis to the detriment of the core issues in the more than a half century conflict.

Referring to the alleged maltreatment of two civilians by soldiers at Bawku recently, Mr Woyongo said while the abuse of human rights should not be supported, the media must desist from creating a situation that would lead to disenchantment among the peacekeepers in the area.

The regional minister further cautioned that over-blowing the Bawku conflict could lead to its escalation beyond the borders of Bawku.
There has been criticism of the action of the military in Bawku, with some people castigating it and calling it all sorts of names, but the regional minister maintained that since the situation in the area was critical, excesses could occur. “Everyday, people are being killed and maimed, while others are causing arson in the name of the conflict,” he said, and advised the media to be prudent in their reportage from the conflict area.

Mr. Woyongo said the media had a responsibility, through their reportage, to ensure the end of the war, instead of inflaming passions at the least opportunity.

He hinted that efforts were being made to institute an awards scheme to reward people who offered information leading to the arrest of crime perpetrators and those who were in possession of arms.
He advised factions involved in the conflicts to give peace a chance, since both the Kusasis and the Mamprusis were related through inter-marriages.

“You should learn to co-exist and not allow chieftaincy conflicts lead to killings,” he said, and called on them to learn to forgive one another, since “to forgive is divine”.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
 
 

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