General News of Saturday, 5 January 2019
The Chief of Wenchiki in Chereponi, Abubakri Anufor has asked the government to declare a state of emergency in the Chereponi district in order to stop a fresh flare-up of ethnic violence that has killed over 10 people and sparked a refugee crisis in remote border communities.
The fighting between indigenous Konkombas and Chokosis sparked on Monday and intensified in violent spillovers causing total disorder and widespread state of fear.
The violence has led to an imposition of curfew with nearly 50 armed security forces sent to the area in a move by the Regional Security Council to ensure ceasefire, but on Friday, fighting raged into day four when several villages were attacked, forcing a mass exodus of residents from the district to neighboring Togo.
“The curfew is not helping us move”, the Chief of Wenchiki told Starr News, adding: “The soldiers are only in Chereponi town and if the president doesn’t come in the killings won’t stop”.
Chief Abubakri observed that the only strategy to quell the violence is to shut down the district to curtail the movement of people and motorbikes. He reported on Saturday the area was tensed and that possibilities of outbreaks were high.
After nightfall on December 31, armed men descended on one another in the village of Naduni, made up largely of people of both konkomba and chokosi ethnicities, and burned down houses.
The following day, fighting spread to several villages in a deadly tit for tat attacks, resulting in massive casualties.
By Friday morning, about seven more villages were attacked and burnt, despite the curfew and presence of the joint troops. The fatality toll is said to be around 16.
Both warring factions are accusing each other of starting the violence.
According to the Konkomba Youth Association, 10 Konkombas have died so far and about the same numbers injured, and are at the Saboba hospital. The figure has not been independently verified.
Both factions are accusing the security of avoiding conflict villages. There are also reports of militias dressed in military uniforms engaging in indiscriminate burning and shootings.