Accra, March 14, GNA – The Mamprusi faction in the Bawku crisis which broke away from the Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee (IEPC) dialogue, has announced its return to the peace negotiation table.
Members also promised to help address the problem, by finding a lasting solution to it, for peace to prevail in the area.
Dr Samuel Bugri, a Lecturer at the School of Nursing, University for Development Studies who made this known at a press conference in Accra, said ‘we have come to reiterate the fact that we have accepted to return to the peace committee meeting’
He said the return followed President Mahama’s appeal to the members in February last year to go back and continue with the peace dialogue.
Dr Bugri, however, noted that ‘the denial of access to our lands, many murders in Bawku without arrest and prosecution, were some of the issues that forced the withdrawal of the faction in the IEPC.
Dr Bugri recalled that the President directed the Regional Minister to convene a meeting of the Regional Security Committee, and invited the IEPC within two weeks to address the issues raised since they bothered on security.
He said since then, there had been three changes of Regional Ministers for the Upper East, which might have contributed to the lack of appreciable progress.
Dr Bugri said the recent partial lifting of the ban on men riding motorcycles in Bawku had given some hope of the return to normalcy in Bawku.
‘In furtherance of our desire for peace in Bawku we have come to thank the government for the efforts to bring peace and development to Bawku.’
He said the group would meet with President Mahama to reiterate the issues bothering Mamprusis in Bawku.
Mr Dominic Azimbe Azumah, Member of Parliament for Garu Tempane, said it was a great joy to the Upper East Parliamentary caucus for the people to return to the IEPC, because it had been a source of great worry to them.
He said the caucus was much concerned about the development of the area, pointing out however, that there could not be development without peace.
He said Bawku was fast deteriorating, and urged the people to make useful suggestions for Bawku to return to normalcy.
‘We are with you morning, day and night, and we will give you the support’ he assured the people.
Mr Bukari Issaku, Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, expressed his happiness for the return of the group, adding that the next press conference would address issues on development attained as a result of this outcome.
Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Interior Minister who spearheaded the IEPC during his time as Regional Minister of the Region, said the area had been infested with arms, and that when eventually the factions smoked a peace pipe, a process would begin to collect the guns.
He appealed to the media to be circumspect in their reportage on such delicate security issues, and monitor the developments of the dialogue.
Mr James Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister, said ‘Bawku was a cosmopolitan town where one could find all the very good things, and it was about time for us to say that united we stand, together we will build.’
Mr Salifu Bashiru, Assembly Member for South Natinga in Bawku, said though the main contenders in the crisis were the Mamprusis and the Kusasis, the Moshie, Dagombas, Frafra were also some of the factions.
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