Soldiers must stop killing Konkombas in Chereponi – Butomm Coalition

The Butomm Coalition, comprising all Konkomba communities in the troubled Chereponi District of the North East Region has asked soldiers deployed to maintain peace and security in the area to immediately stop killing Konkombas while defending the Chokosis following a renewed ethnic conflict between the two tribes.

In a statement released on Tuesday March 19, members of the coalition said they are stunned by the unwarranted killing of Konkombas by the soldiers and called on the government to withdraw the current crop of troops in the area and replace it with a different contingent.

Abraham Tinaanla, president of Butomm Coalition, his Public Relations Officer, Moses Nna-jor Bimpor and organizing secretary, David Tibeb, who signed the statement, said the Butomm Coalition and Konkombas in general can longer trust the neutrality of the military personnel deployed to ensure peace and security in the area.

They said, “The selective and unjustifiable killing of Konkombas in their backyard and rooms without any provocation is a grave source of worry and must stop immediately to possibly avoid the unexpected between the Konkombas and the side-taking military. As we talk, three Konkombas are confirmed murdered in cold-blood by the military in Ugando, Liwalbu and Gbingbani in the Saboba and Bunkprugu Yinyoo districts. While the military goes about killing Konkombas with tacit approval of the DCE for Chereponi, the Chekosis are given a field day to unleash their armoury on our people. So far, a total of eight Konkomba communities namely; Danaando, Moapado, Bogul, Mayegmado, Butomm, Jayang, Binagmacharb and Kunjul are completely burnt down.

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The indiscriminate killing of konkombas by the military warrants a call for a background check and in particular the ethnic extraction of the personnel sent to the area. This unprofessional conduct of the military is clearly interpreted to be intimation of our people to the advantage of the Chekosis. We therefore, appeal to the military hierarchy, the ministry of National Security, Interior and Defence to call the joint military and police team of personnel to order in order to safeguard our people.”

The coalition further alleged that the District Chief Executive of Chereponi has bribed the military to do the things they are doing to the Konkombas.

The statement said, “The Butoom Coalition is also reliably informed and tempted to believe same is true, that the DCE for Chereponi Abdul-Razak Tahidu bribed the military with an amount of eighty thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 80 000.00) for their mercenaries actions against Konkombas. We wish to state unequivocally that if this ruthless action motivated with the alleged bribe does not stop against Konkombas, then the unexpected will be unavoidable. The compromised and unprofessional behaviour of the military in blatant support of the Chekosis is gone out of proportion and must without further delay end.”

While condemning the renewed clashes and calling for cessation of hostilities almost three months after the first one occurred, the coalition has demanded the dismissal of the DCE, Abdul-Razak Tahidu because his continuous stay in office will fuel more clashes.

They said, “The DCE is compromised, proven to be grossly incompetent and bias against Konkombas. The continuous stay of Razak as the DCE will fuel more clashes as he uses his position as the head of DISEC to control and direct the security personnel to carry out his hidden agenda against Konkombas.

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The several scandals involving this character do not inspire the kind of leadership that will unite the feuding factions. The inability of the DCE to first prevent and two the lethargic approach he takes security warnings significantly contributed to this deadlock. We firmly think that the DCE has lost his foothold and outlived his usefulness.  It is time he takes a rest to allow new and fresh mind and energy to take over the affairs of the district.

We foremost also demand that the military cease the needless brutality against Konkombas and be dissolved immediately. Subsequently, we further request a formation of impartial, ethnically unbiased military team who will not stoop low and succumb to the whims and caprices of the DCE and his cohort to maintain law and order. We also require equal protection from the military with their presence in key Konkomba communities as the case is in Chekosis communities of Tekasu, Wenchiki and Chereponi. We belief this will speed the process of restoring calm in the place.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Africa Center for Security and Counterterrorism, Emmanuel Kotin, has admonished Government to see the ongoing ethnic conflict in Chereponi as a national security issue and urgently put in adequate measures to bring it under control.

Speaking on A1 Radio on Tuesday, Mr. Kotin said terrorists in the Sahel region who are being driven away could take advantage of the Chereponi conflict to launch attacks on Ghana if swift and adequate measures are not put in by the government to end the conflict.

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