Defence Minister orders removal of road blocks in Chereponi, Saboba

Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is demanding the removal of all road blocks mounted within the Saboba and Chereponi districts where ethnic conflicts have caused dozens of death and destroyed properties. He has thus directed the paramount chief of Saboba, Ubor John Mateer and the Regent of Chereponi, Jaminja Ndakar to direct the youth in the two areas to comply with the order as government attempts to resolve the conflict. “I am demanding the chiefs of both tribes to direct the youth in their areas to remove all road blocks mounted within their districts,” Mr Nitiwul stated when he visited the Saboba district with a bi-partisan delegation on Monday. The Minister had on Friday, May 24 visited Chereponi District. He addressed a community durbar of chiefs, elders, and residents of Saboba after paying a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Saboba Ubor John Mateer at his palace. Issues on roadblocks mounted on some roads in some adjoining communities in the two districts came up strongly during the visit by the bi-partisan delegation led by the Defense Minister. Communities like Garinkuka, Wenchiki, Ugando in the Chereponi District and Nambiri, Wapuli, and parts of the Saboba township are said to have mounted road blocks by residents to prevent people from crossing from one end to the other. This has prevented residents in Saboba from accessing to healthcare services in Chereponi. Also, students from both districts are barred from accessing schools in these communities. According to Mr. Nitiwul, this action by both tribes could destroy the future of the students. “In a month time, school children will be writing exams, if these children are unable to write their exams because we’re fighting, we have destroyed the lives of thousands children,” he stated. He expressed regrets about how the previously harmonious coexistence between the two tribes that saw inter-tribal marriages, have now turned sour. “Anufors and Konkombas have lived together for more than three hundred years. Indeed, there have been some issues but they have lived together. Anufors and Konkombas have inter-married more than any tribe in Ghana so why should we fight?” he quizzed. “The Anufors promised us that they will not pick a gun and shoot any Konkomba. They told me that it is my own people the Konkombas that will disgrace us and not them, so I’m here today with the senior leaders of the both tribes to appeal to you to lay down your arms”. He urged leadership of the two communities to ensure peace prevails.

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Demands by Saboba chief He wants the curfew in Saboba and its environs reviewed to 10:00pm to 5:00am and the ban on the use of motorbikes lifted. For his part, spokesperson for the concerned citizens of Saboba, Reverend Moses Bakar, accused the military officers deployed to the area of being partial in their operations. However, Chief of Army Staff, Major General William Azure Ayamdo refuted the allegation, stating “resources are not unlimited. We work with some restrictions and that is why you see us as being ‘partial’ as you mentioned”. Notwithstanding, he assured that some attention will be given to their concerns. Meanwhile, a total of four Anufor dominated communities and one Konkomba community in the Saboba district have been torched since the renewed clashes last Saturday, May 25. By Zubaida Ismail||Ghana]]>