Bawku has been reduced to a wasteland of destruction and distrust – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo says the conflict in Bawku in the Upper East region has turned the area into a wasteland of destruction and distrust.

According to him, government is subsequently spending money and resources which could have been used to develop the area on security to prevent more killings.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday, February 27, President Akufo-Addo stated that Bawku is an “alluring magnet to mischief makers and extremists operating a few kilometers across from the border”.

He explained that in a bid to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Bawku, government has undertaken a number of measures, including the establishment of a Special Bawku Taskforce, while intensifying engagements with the various fractions.

“On the recommendation of the Upper East Regional and National Security Councils, four (4) radio stations, that have been broadcasting incendiary language and propagating hate speech, have been shut down by the National Communications Authority.

“The Chief Justice has also recently established specialised Courts in Accra and in Kumasi to deal expeditiously with criminal matters emanating from the Bawku conflict,” he said.

The comments by the President follow reports of killings and clashes within the area.

Already, close to 200 people have been killed in renewed conflicts between November 2021 to August 2023.

As of February 2024, five more deaths had been recorded with four local radio stations shut down.

In a radio interview, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Amadu Hamza said although official records by the police on the death toll may be less, the reality on the ground far outweighs what the police has.

“Many have died and their bodies were never given to the police,” he explained.

The MCE who was speaking on a shooting incident that led to the death of one person with three injured victims said the conflict continues to claim lives with most of the clashes taking place at areas that are difficult for the police to reach.

Bawku has experienced chieftaincy conflict for many years. This has resulted in the destruction of properties.


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