General News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Government plans to end a 94-year old land conflict between Alavanyo and Nkonya in the Volta Region by taking over the property for use as Ghana’s second jungle warfare training school.
The Defence minister Dominic Nitiwul revealed this on the floor of Parliament Tuesday indicating that the disputed area has “a virgin forest which is very good and suitable for a second jungle warfare school”.
While the training school serves the purposes of the Ghana Armed Forces, for many it is expected that the take-over will end the heinous and recurring killings in the area.
Violent conflicts between Alanvayo Kpeme and Nkonya Tayi occurred in 1923, 1983, 2003, 2004 and 2012 and 2013 with sporadic killings in 2015 and 2016. It is easily triggered by the trivial actions by individuals or groups belonging to any of the two communities.
Both communities have maps from colonial times showing their land boundaries, but these maps vary and contradict.
Each community, as expected in land disputes, uses different accounts of oral history to claim ownership right over the land.
The land in dispute is fertile and supports farming activities all year round.
Again, the land has high economic value due to the timber lumbering.
Presently, the Alavanyo Kpeme people farm on the disputed land but the Nkonya Tayi people are now demanding their land which they claim was given to the Alavanyo people.
However, the Alavanyo Kpeme people are not prepared to give out the land to the Nkonya Tayi people because they will lose their source of livelihood.
At least two people were confirmed dead in a shootout between the two communities in April this year.
In May a middle-aged woman was also shot dead by unknown persons when she went farming. Several others have been killed in similar fashion over the years.