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The Bawku Crisis - Weapons Seized

2008-05-07 22:17:57
This article has been read 644 times.

The military on operation in the Bawku municipality in the Upper East Region has retrieved 13 weapons from the combatants in the renewed fighting in the town.

The weapons, which were seized following last Monday’s upheavals, include nine AK 47 assault rifles, a shot machine gun, one G3, one self-loading rifle and a locally manufactured gun.

The Officer Commanding the Airborne Force Detachment in Bawku, Captain Victor Abbey, who disclosed this at a news conference in Bawku yesterday, said the AK 47 rifles contained 90 rounds of ammunition, while the G3 had 10 rounds, as well as an AA cartridge.

Present at the news conference were the Commanding Officer of the Airborne Force in Tamale, Lt Col Awuah-Mantey; the Police Divisional Commander for Bawku, Chief Superintendent Peter Mawong, as well as members of the Municipal Security Council.

Lt Col Awuah-Mantey said the Bawku crisis was assuming dimensions which were quite disturbing.

He said the President, in his wisdom, had called the leadership of the two feuding parties to appeal to them to ameliorate the situation, explaining that following that move, the situation became calm for some time.

“But, then, it is as if the people are still adamant and they are trying to take the law into their own hands,” he noted.
He said it was quite unfortunate that for the past three days Bawku had become turbulent, adding that the most disturbing aspect of the situation was that while “we have been trained to hold the weapons, unfortunately people who are not qualified are handling such sophisticated weapons”.

Those weapons, he alleged, had been acquired through unknown sources, a situation which was quite disturbing.
He noted that the conflict in Bawku was draining the coffers of the nation, adding that in spite of all the efforts being made by the government, the people were not reciprocating with their attitude and conduct.

“While we are thinking of pursuing unnecessary conflict, we should also be thinking of the development of this area because all the other parts of the country are seeing development,” he admonished the people.

Touching on the 22-hour curfew imposed on Bawku, Lt Col Awuah-Mantey conceded that the decision was quite harsh, but he was quick to add that it was a step to stem the tide.

“It has come to our realisation that a lot of people are hungry at home and are unable to access health care and food, but who has created that situation?” he asked.

He, however, gave the assurance that once the situation improved, the curfew hours would be reviewed.

The Bawku Divisional Police Commander confirmed that 72 people had so far been arrested and were being screened, adding that among those who were arrested was a police recruit who had graduated from the Pwalugu Police Training School just last Friday.

He said after the screening, appropriate charges would be preferred against them and for them to be arraigned.
Story by Benjamin Xornam Glover


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