General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
It has emerged that the Northern Regional Security command picked up intelligence of a potential security breach in Bimbilla but failed to avert the clashes that claimed more than ten lives, mostly women and children.
Interior Minister Ambrose Dery told Parliament Wednesday February 22, 2017, two weeks after the bloody clashes, that the security picked up intelligence that one of the factions was about to enskin a chief in the area divided by chieftaincy crisis.
He said the faction threatening to enskin a chief was directed to hold on but ignored the warning and went ahead to attempt an enskinment which culminated into violence.
According to him, violence broke out even before the security men got into the area to protect lives and properties.
Hours of gun battle between chieftaincy factions in the Northern Regional Town of Bimbilla on February 9, 2017 claimed several lives.
Ambrose Dery blamed the clashes on impunity by the factions. He told Parliament a combined challenge of logistics and unresolved security breaches threatens the security in the area.
Bimbilla has been a hotbed of chieftaincy violence since 2013 after the death of the overlord of Bimbilla, Naa Dasana Abdulai Andani II.
A 12 hour curfew imposed in the area led to a semblance of peace but with pockets of intermittent violence.
Ambrose Dery recounted incidents in 2015 which led to the death of at least 13 people. He said the situation in Bimbilla is still unsettling and called for a concerted effort to addressing the impasse.
Already the curfew has been intensified to 14 hours beginning at 4:00pm to 6:00am, an immediate measure to stop the violence.
Dery said the security has been tasked to protect each faction, particularly the homes of all leaders of the factions in the area.
He expressed hope that a more lasting solution will be found to bring lasting peace to the area.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu blamed the clashes on failure by the security to act with a sense of urgency.
Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported the Minority leader as saying that if the regional and security command had acted with dispatch after picking up the intelligence, perhaps the violence would have been averted.