Posted by: rumnet | February 3, 2012

POLITICAL STABILITY IN GHANA

POLITICAL STABILITY IN GHANA

Chieftaincy disputes most serious Threat

(Published in the February edition of TheADVOCATE)

By Josehp Ziem

Chieftaincy related disputes in the country remain the most serious threat to political stability, peaceful co-existence and human development as the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections approach.

According to the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Ghana), the last quarter of 2011 witnessed an increase in violent tendencies among chieftaincy factions in Northern Ghana.

WANEP-Ghana noted that the chieftaincy disputes in Dagbon, Bawku, Bimbilla, Buipe, among others, remain the most vulnerable in terms of conflict risks.  “This is because overtime, the dynamics in chieftaincy change with the change of governments or increase in political activities especially in Northern Ghana,” it stated.

 These were contained in a report dubbed: “2011Annual National Human Security early warning Alert,” issued by WANEP-Ghana and signed by its National Network Co-ordinator, Mr. Justin Bayor.

 The report cited that a total of 13 chieftaincy related incidents or threats were captured last year (2011), out of which four were violent while nine were threats to existing relative peace situations in the disputing communities.

 According to the report, “One violent incident occurred in Dagbon, two in Bawku and one in Buipe while there were four cases of threats in Yendi, two in Bawku and one in Bimbilla,”

 It added that the violent cases in Dagbon and Buipe and threats in Bimbilla were reactions to Court hearings or rulings over Chieftaincy cases within the period.

Minister of Interior, Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor

 While recognizing the fact that human security early warning was essential to preventing violent conflicts, the report said that could only be possible if immediate and adequate interventions were put in place.

 The report called on the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs, Parliament and its designated Sub-Committees, Departments and Agencies to discuss further and find win-win outcomes to address the numerous Chieftaincy disputes in the country. 

Arms and Ammunition

According to the report, between March and April 2011, the security intercepted large quantities of arms from 55 Ivorian Nationals arrested in the Brong-Ahafo Region. 

Forty-eight rounds of ammunition were also retrieved from a man at Sefwi-Wiaso, in the Western Region, while other arms were seized from people at Accra, Tema and Kasoa.  These included a fully loaded pump action gun, a foreign pistol with five rounds of ammunition, two locally made pistols, 20 cartridges and three garden gun cartridges. 

The WANEP-Ghana report further disclosed that officials of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service at Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District, in the Northern Region, discovered a total of 1000 pieces of shot gun ammunition concealed in two boxes. 

A man was also arrested at Sabon Gare in the Bawku Municipality by the Police with 12 rounds of 9mm pistol ammunition, 21 rounds of mark 4ammunition, 78rounds of G3ammunition, 31rounds of M16ammunition and 892rounds of AK47 assault rifle. 

Also, suspected armed robbers at Gushiegu, in the Northern Region, abandoned one AK47 rifle and six magazines loaded with 366 rounds of ammunitions. 

According to the report, the movements of arms seemed to have heightened in the month of August 2011 which witnessed heightened armed robbery in the northern sector. 

Comparatively, armed robbery related incidents were higher in the southern sector of the country between March and April 2011 and most of them occurred in people’s residences. 

The report emphasized that continuous and effective collaboration between and among the various security agencies, community members as well as the general public should be encouraged t help curtail the movement of arms and ammunitions into and within the country.

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