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11 February 2017

Mayhem At Bimbilla. Death Toll In Chieftaincy Clash Rises To 10

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The death toll in the protracted chieftaincy conflict at Bimbilla in the Northern Region has risen to 10, following an exchange of gunfire between the two feuding factions last Thursday.

Two people were reported dead in the conflict last Wednesday but the security forces that were deployed to the area to maintain law and order found eight additional dead bodies yesterday morning.

Of the dead, seven were females, aged between four and 85, while three were males who were between 18 and 35.

The spokesperson for the Northern Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr Ebenezer Tetteh, who confirmed the casualties to the Daily Graphic, said the bodies of the deceased had been deposited at the Bimbilla Government Hospital morgue pending further investigations into the conflict.

At the time of going to press, the identities of the deceased were yet to be established.

Meanwhile, 21 people have been arrested in connection with the renewed chieftaincy conflict in Bimbilla.

Cause of disturbances

According to the police, last Thursday’s violent clashes resulted from a disagreement between the two feuding factions over the alleged enskinment of a sub-chief by Yelinbolingu-Naa Abdulai Dasana, the regent of Bimbilla.

The action by the regent, according to the police, was contrary to advice by the Bimbilla District Security Committee (DISEC) to him against the enskinment of the sub-chief since any such attempt could re-ignite the conflict in the area.

Situation

The security forces deployed to the area are said to have brought the violent situation under control.

However, some of the residents, especially women and children, are said to have fled the town to avoid being caught up in another gunfire exchange, which, they believed, might recur.

Schools in the area are also said to have been closed down, while market and shops had been deserted.

Background

Bimbilla has been at the centre of some ethnic and chieftaincy disputes. It was the centre of the Konkomba-Nanumba war that occurred in Ghana in 1994 which claimed many lives.

In the early 2000s, the town again experienced a chieftaincy dispute between the two factions of the same gate, the Bang-Yili and Gbugma-Yili.

In March 2013, the killing of the Overlord of the area, Naa Dasana Andani, at his palace, by some unknown assailants, again plunged Bimbilla into crisis as a result of which a curfew was imposed on the town.

The renewed clashes between  the Bang-Yili and Gbugma-Yile gates of the same royal family last Thursday led to the review of the existing curfew from 4p.m. to 6a.m.

Bimbilla consists primarily of Nanumbas and Konkombas.

A peace process was initiated by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) last month to bring the feuding factions together.

Source: Graphic Online

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