Peace Council Officials in Ghana Call for Calm, Dialogue to End Conflict in Bawku Region

Members of the National Peace Council (NPC) in Ghana. Credit: National Peace Council (NPC)

Officials of the National Peace Council (NPC) in Ghana are calling on “all actors” in the Bawku conflict to cease fire and create an enabling environment for dialogue.

In a Tuesday, April 5 statement, NPC officials who include representatives from the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) say they are concerned about the protracted violence among the Kusasi and Mamprusi people of Bawku region in the Northeastern part of the country. 

The Council and our CSO partners wish to call on all actors in the conflict to cease fire to create the enabling environment for the National Peace Council led team to begin the role out of nonviolent strategies from short to medium term to address the grievances fueling the conflict," they say in the statement signed by the Council’s Chairman, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi. 

They say the call “particularly goes to the traditional leaders and youth groups of both the Mamprusis and the Kusasis.”

Officials of Council formed by a Ghanaian Act of Parliament emphasize the need to have talks, saying, "Between 2013 to 2017 when the parties set dialogue and other non-violent mechanisms, they were able to resuscitate the Bawku Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee (BIEPC), which has served as insider mechanism for the restoration of peace in Bawku." 


They add that with dialogue, the violence de-escalated and there was a return to peace until the recent relapse.

The Mamprusi and Kusasi people have been fighting for years. According to Project MUSE 2014 study, at the heart of the old age conflict is a collection of issues over the ownership of land. Members of both communities claim ownership of Bawku. 

In the April 5 statement, NPC officials say the ongoing conflict has "led to loss of lives and destruction of property, and the imposition of curfews on the Bawku community." 

"The situation has not only deprived the people their sources of livelihoods but also, affected the education, health delivery and other commercial activities required for development," say officials of the Council that brings together representatives of different religious groupings in the West African nation. 

The leadership of the Peace Council says it intends “to continue its intervention from April 2022 and do hereby, call on all the parties to support and cooperate with it to find enduring solutions to the problem.” 

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The Council concludes with an appeal to all those who make statements on the matter, either in print, radio or social media to do so with circumspection and to restrain themselves from pronouncements that could exacerbate the situation. 

Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu of Ghana’s Ho Diocese  has been representing Ghana’s Catholic Bishops at the NPC since November 2020 when he was appointed a member of the  Governing Board

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.