Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Three more killed in Konkomba-Bimoba clash
Story: VINCENT ADEDZE, Tamale
RENEWED clashes between the Bimobas and the Konkombas at Jimbali in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region on Monday night have claimed three additional lives bringing death toll to six.
Consequently, the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is airlifting troops to beef up security and restore calm to the district as early as possible.
Although there are conflicting reports about the casualty figures security operatives have remained tight-lipped about the casualties recorded since the incident began three days ago.
However, a number of people are said to have sustained various degrees of gun-shot and machete wounds. The victims are reportedly receiving treatment at a health centre in Nalerigu.
So far, 300 houses have been burnt down as a result of the escalation of the violence, with women and children reportedly fleeing the area to other parts of the region to escape the conflict.
Sources at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Tamale maintained that the number of casualties could not be readily known until after a thorough investigation had been conducted into the issue.
Members of REGSEC have been holding series of crisis meetings since the clashes began last Sunday.
The Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District Chief Executive, Madam Elizabeth Puyari Pigit, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that since the incident began on Sunday, there had been gunshots but she did not disclose the casualty figures.
She admitted that since there were gunshots during the incident, a number of persons were likely to be hit by stray bullets.
Madam Pigit stressed that she had to be “on guard” so as not to be caught unawares as the violence escalated.
The disturbances followed a misunderstanding between two persons from the Bimoba and Konkomba ethnic groups at the Jimbali Market.
The situation degenerated into violence when other people believed to be from the two tribes in contention, mobilized themselves and attacked each other after news went round that their kinsmen were involved in a misunderstanding at the market.
On Monday, the Northern Regional Police Commander, Mr. Ephraim Brakatu, led a team of police personnel to help restore calm in the area.
The Bimobas and Konkombas in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District are said to have a long-standing land dispute that has occasionally resulted in violence. Another dispute is said to be over the local market at Jimbali.
Similar clashes between the two groups were recorded in 1985, 1986 and 1989 during which a number of casualties were recorded and many people were displaced.
Daily Graphic - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 Page: 3