One shot dead as tension engulfs Chereponi

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Heavy fighting has erupted at multiple locations between Konkombas and Chokosis in Chereponi district of the North East Region.

One person is confirmed dead and dozens of weak mud-houses are currently in flames in the violence allegedly triggered by an attack on a Chokosi native of Togo who came last night to attend a pass out ceremony for her Ghanaian sister.

The chief of Wenchike, Naa Buuba, confirming the skirmishes said, the Chokosi man was shot on his motorbike while returning to Togo Friday night at about 8pm, after the ceremony.

“He came and support the sister and went to one of his friend house. He is sitting on top of the motor when one Konkomba man shoot him, he fall down and they brought him to my palace”, he told StarrNews from his base in Wenchiki, one of the largest community of the jungle district where sporadic conflicts continue to slow economic and social development.

According to the chief, the clashes broke out this morning, Saturday, March 16, at a village called Kwame Nazori and have spread to Tigenga, Nanbon, And Tinanboni, where deadly exchanges were still ongoing. He said several houses have been burnt and a male adult is believed to have been killed so far.

The chief said security forces are current avoiding troubled villages and only patrolling in the district capital. He called for swift security beef up especially in the Wenchiki territory and said the people are prepared to repel any aggression if the security failed to ensure their safety.

“Three community in our area here burnt down. Both Konkombas and Chokosis are still there fighting. Soldiers are not there, and they are still there fighting”, he said. “If the soldiers come is better but if they did not come…..”

Former President of Konkomba Youth Association(KoYA) Emmanuel Gulari has also confirmed the violence. He said six Konkomba communities have been completely burnt despite the presence of armed security reinforcement.

He called for fairness in provision of security in order to contain the situation.

The fighting comes just four days after the minister of interior, Ambrose Dery received report of a seven-member commitee’s investigation, led by a former Inspector General of Police, into an ealier clashes and reprisals which occured in January this year and led to massive human casualties.

However, this latest violence followed weeks of heighten tension over widespread speculations of reprisals among the two hostile neighbors in the poor district.

The speculations had led to Konkomba students and teachers leaving school campuses in the district capital, where Chokosis are in majority.

The Chokosis had alleged that Konkombas from Yendi, Gushegu and Nkwanta were planning to attack them.

This claim was rejected by the Konkombas through the former president of Konkomba Youth Association (KoYA), who had said speculations and suspicions were normal occurrences in the aftermath of every conflict. He also had advised the groups to avoid spreading and encouraging unsubstantiated reports and said plans were underway to quell the rumours and stop the mass exodus of the Konkombas students.

The District Chief Executive, Tahidu Razak, had told StarrNews that about 150 combined security men were on high alert to deal with any escalation.

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