General News of Monday, 12 January 2015
President John Mahama is saddened by the unending skirmishes between the Nkonya and Alavanyo communities in the Volta region.
“The President is unhappy that after the assurances that were given to him, after the apology that was sent to him, which he accepted in good faith, we still are in a conflict mood,” Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur told Chiefs and traditional leaders from both sides of the conflict in a recent meeting at Kpando.
The two groups have intermittently launched attacks on each other, which have resulted in deaths and destruction of property.
Development has stalled in the area due to the endless fighting, which is stemmed in a 90-year-old land dispute.
Numerous efforts by the Clergy, the Government and peace organisations toward resolving the conflict have yielded no results.
The intractable nature of the conflict has caused the Government to constantly impose a curfew on the area. Currently, Nkonya and Alavanyo areas are under a 14-hour curfew.
It followed the killing of one person as he returned from his farm with another person. Gunshots were also heard in the area on New Year’s Day.
Chiefs from the two sides recently apologised to President John Mahama for the unending conflict and pledged to resolve their differences, but that promise has been breached.
Apart from the President’s unhappiness about the conflict, the Vice President said the cost of the recurrent skirmishes is getting out of hand.
“…The cost of the conflict is now getting rather too high for us…the unending retaliation, where every time somebody says that: ‘Do you remember that last month something happened and so I have to settle my scores?’…An eye for an eye will leave us all blind so we cannot continue retaliating for every ill that is done to us, at some point we have to say that let us bring this thing to closure, let us end it where it is because the economy in the area is suffering.
“Our children cannot go to school. I hear that some schools have been destroyed, and therefore we are even destroying the future generation through this conflict and therefore on both sides we are losing. We are spending money keeping a military detachment, we are spending money maintaining a police presence in the area and this is all costing money, diverting resources…” the Vice President told Chiefs on both sides of the conflict at a recent forum in Kpando in the Volta region.