Ethnicity not cause of Konkomba, Dagomba clashes – Slum Union

The Slum Union of Ghana says Tuesday’s clashes between some Konkombas and Dagombas at Agbogbloshie in Accra has nothing to do with ethnicity.

The Union said political rivalry and economic interests are to blame for the fight that led to the death of two people and injuring of a dozen others.

Union Secretary, Abdullah Alhassan, said the rivalry started when late President John Evans Atta Mills won the 2008 elections.

Military personnel on the scene minutes after the clashes

He said supporters of the NDC used the opportunity to seized properties of some persons believed to be supporters of the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The NPP supporters were driven from their homes and some of them killed.

Alhassan told Gifty Andoh Appiah on The Pulse on JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV Thursday, some NPP supporters also used the party’s victory in the 2016 elections to exact revenge and retrieve their properties that were reportedly seized.

“The political culture that when the NPP is in power the NDC supporters should be driven out and when NDC is in power, NPP supporters have to be driven out has to be curbed,” he said.

At least two people died and dozen others, including a pregnant woman, were left in critical condition in clashes.

Details of the cause of the clashes are sketchy, but some residents are attributing it to the theft of a mobile phone and cylinder. Others also blamed ethnicity for the incident.

There have been similar clashes in the past. Clashes in April 2015 between Dagombas and Zabarima traders left four people including a police officer injured. Also, a clash in November 2014 left two people dead.

The Small Arms Commission has said the community is a volatile place because of the use of assault rifles by some residents.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Jones Applerh, said there are estimated 1.1 million illegal weapons in the hands of some citizens.

“The Northern Region is the one with the highest gun possession,” he said, adding measures have been put in place to retrieve them.

A contingent of police and military personnel has been dispatched to the scene of the clashes to retrieve illegal weapons in the hands of residents.

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery and Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul visited the scene Wednesday

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Apeatu, has suggested the relocation of residents to curb the spate of violent attacks there.

But the Slum Union said a lasting solution to the clashes will be for the appropriate authorities to cure the problem from the roots.

“The relocation has been on the table…[but] the culture of attacks between supporters of the NDC and NPP has to be addressed,” Alhassan said.

“People have been living here since the 1980s and attempts to drive them out won’t help the issue.”

He appealed to government to encourage dialogue between supporters of the two dominant parties to address their concerns.