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Friday, August 7, 2009


… As two ethnic groups prepare for battle

By Ivy Benson

Information picked up by The Chronicle indicates that a conflict is emerging between the Nawuri inhabitants of Balai and their Kpandai counterparts, all in the Northern Region.

The Nawuris in Kpandai have accused their counterparts in Balai, a small farming community in the Kpandai District, of persistent acts of indiscipline and lawlessness, calculated to throw the entire district into mayhem, and communal violence over the past three months.

The Chronicle learnt that on July 6, this year, a visibly angry mob from Balai besieged Kpandai, chanting war songs and threatening to attack their Nawuri counterparts in Kpandai.

With an overwhelming display of courage, the mob paraded the principal streets of Kpandai, and made several repugnant and castigating statements against the Kpandai Nawuris, this paper was told.

The mob took over the principal streets of Kpandai for over three hours, creating tension in the community. The situation forced the District Security Council to meet the following day to deliberate on the imminent danger that the dispute posed to peace and order in the district.

The facts of the matter are linked to a boundary dispute between Balai and Kpandai, which began in 2002.

The various Nawuri settlements attempted to resolve the dispute by setting up an investigative committee.

The committee submitted its report, which spelt out the boundary between Kpandai and Balai, and urged the two parties to abide by its findings in the interest of the peace and unity of all the Nawuris, The Chronicle was informed.

Further information gathered indicated that the Balai Nawuris refused to abide by the committee’s findings, and continued to encroach on Kpandai lands, making claims to swaths of lands far in the heart of Kpandai and beyond.

This culminated in a suit filed by the Kpandai Nawuris before the District Court at Bimbilla, requesting the judge to restrain the Balai Nawuris from encroaching on and making claims to Kpandai lands.

After taking oral and written evidence from the parties in the suit, including witnesses, as well as undertaking a visit to the disputed area, the court pronounced its verdict on 6th July this year, awarding ownership of the disputed parcels of land to the Kpandai Nawuris.

The Balai Nawuris exhibited their displeasure towards the ruling of the court, and vowed not to accept its verdict, The Chronicle noted.

On that day, the Balai Nawruis allegedly thronged Kpandai, threatening to attack and burn down Kpandai anytime soon.

Rumours are rife that the Balai Nawuris are feverishly preparing to attack their counterparts in Kpandai and if nothing is done to pre-empt such an attack, war will explode soon within the district.

Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Kpandai, Mr. Gyato Jasper, in an interview with this reporter, confirmed that there existed some differences between the Balai Nawuris and the Kpandai Nawuris.

According to the DCE, who is also the Chairman of the District Security Council (DISEC), efforts are ongoing to bring the feuding parties together.

Mr. Gyato indicated that the dispute had become a matter of a court case, for which someone had been put on remand, but insisted that the situation was under absolute control, since he had been working with other security agencies in the district to bring peace between the feuding parties.

The DCE further noted that Kpandai was absolutely calm, as he had not received any complaints of attacks from any quarters, adding that he would allow the disputing parties to solve their differences through the court system if they so wished.

“It is not volatile,” the DCE intimated.

He asserted that there were no diabolical means to humiliate the people of Kpandai, stressing that he had met with leaders of the disputing parties, who were cooperating with the process.


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