Uneasy Calm Returns To Nkonya/Alavanyo

DCOP Peterkin Yentumi Gyinae, Volta Regional Police Commander.

Real peace between Nkonya and Alavanyo in the Volta Region seems to be far from becoming a reality as the Volta Regional Minister has asserted that ‘uneasy calm has returned to the two traditional areas.’

Helen Adjoa Ntoso made the assertion when she addressed the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) on Wednesday.

She intimated, ‘Interactions with the people indicate that the conflict (between Nkonya and Alavanyo) is no longer over land, but associated with reprisal killings and settling of personal scores.’

She noted that the over nine decades of land dispute had consistently engaged the attention of the VRCC as there seemed to be one issue or the other to stall peace moves. The situation, she said, had led the ministry of the interior to maintain the 4:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew imposed in December, 2014, despite pleas from the leaders of the two sides to have it reviewed.

Failed Peace Talks
She recounted that an intervention by President John Mahama led to the signing of a peace accord between the two traditional rivals in Accra in August 2013. However, the situation kept worsening, threatening security in the area, and that led to a joint apology to the president in Ho in December 2014. The leaders of the two areas pledged among other things, to assist the security agencies to weed out trouble makers in their jurisdictions.

The apology and pledge however, did not stop them from returning to reprisal attacks. The Vice President, Paa Kwesi  Amissah-Arthur, also intervened and spoke to the chiefs of both sides in January 2015 on the need to maintain peace and security for rapid development; but that also seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Latest Attacks 
A week ago the traditional war leader (Asafoatse) of Nkonya-Ahenkro, Nana Kwame Agyei Mayeden III, was murdered on his farm by unknown gunmen. This was followed by the shooting of a woman from the same area, but she survived the attack and is receiving treatment at the Worawora Government Hospital.

Two women were also shot on the Alvanyo side a few hours after the regional minister had led the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to talk to the warring sides to give peace a chance. The two women are also receiving treatment at the Hohoe Government Hospital.

Madam Helen Ntoso, who is also the MP for Krachi-West, noted that despite the challenging and complex nature of the conflict, the REGSEC was successfully managing the security situation.

Key among the measures employed is VRCC’s commitment to revive the peace talks abandoned in the past. Secondly, the REGSEC has resolved with the security agencies to move the security personnel from the community to a mountain close to the area.

The move is to make it difficult for the criminal elements in the communities to monitor the movement of the security personnel. It is to also give the security personnel an upper hand over the situation.

Roads are also being developed to make it easy for the security personnel to move in and out of the communities and reach other hitherto unreachable areas. Plans are also far advanced to turn the disputed area into a training ground for the security agents.

From Fred Duodu, Ho ( [email protected] )

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