In this press release, we highlight key issues and present a brief chronology of the events that led to the recent violent clashes between Kandiga and Doba, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of human lives and property. This is essentially to give readers a true perspective of what led to the current clashes as a lot of distorted narratives are out on many media platforms clouding the truth and the facts.
1. The conflict between Kandiga and Doba over a parcel of land located between the Anayere and Atankire Rivers in the Upper East Region began in 2012. However violent clashes erupted in April 2019 when work on two community projects namely, a Police Post and a CHPS Compound located in Azaasi-Atosale and Akunkongo-Abempingo Electoral Areas respectively were violently disrupted. Since then, there have been intermittent clashes between the two sides, each time instigated by cross-river attacks by the people of Doba.
2. To be sure, for the past two months, there has been relative calm within the two communities until unprovoked attacks by assailants from Doba set the clock of peace rolling back a few days ago. Specifically, On Saturday 21st May, 2022 assailants from Doba opened gun fire on residents of Kandiga at their homes in Abempingo between 1500 hours and 1600 hours. This attracted the attention of the Military Detachment stationed at Kandiga Junction who quickly intervened to quell the attack. But for the quick and professional response of the military, residents of Kandiga, their homes and property at Abempingo would have been set ablaze in fire as it is the modus operandi of these hooligans who usually engage in these unprovoked attacks.
3. The military’s intervention on Saturday 21st May, 2022 gave hope that the situation had been brought under control but that was not to be. Another surprised and unprovoked attack came early the next morning of 22nd May, 2022. Three armed assailants suspected to be from Doba, and riding motor bikes, gunned down a young man, Bismarck Akelinzea, right in front of his family house at Akunkongo-Kandiga. It is important to add that the mother of the murdered young man was murdered in a similar gruesome manner in 2020 when suspected assailants from Doba in cahoots with dissidents from the Akurugu family unleashed violence on innocent citizens one early morning. The gruesome murder of the innocent and unarmed young Bismarck Akelinzea following closely on the back of a similar brutality unleashed on his biological mother infuriated the whole of Kandiga Community, thus triggering a response from the youth of Kandiga in defense of their land and community. This is what led to the long drawn gun battle on that fateful Sunday, 22nd May 2022.
4. It is trite knowledge that violent clashes between Kandiga and Doba have been ongoing for the past three years, a situation that can easily be ascertained at the Municipal and District Security Councils of the Assemblies to which the two feuding factions belong. It is also trite knowledge that provocations leading to violent clashes often originate from the dissident Akuruga family who now live in a dilemma of uncertain allegiance, straddling either side of the Anayere River which is the borderline between Kandiga and Doba. These dissidents function usually as the conduit for assailants of Doba to gain entry in to Kandiga territory. In all instances of these violent clashes, the people of Kandiga have always had to rise up to the defense.
5. The land litigation case between Amogre Akuribire and Emmanuel Andema, partly the reason for which these unprovoked attacks continue, is currently before the Appeals Court in Tamale awaiting hearing. Therefore, interested parties should wait for the outcome of the court case rather than resorting to violence.
6. After the unfortunate clashes of Sunday 22nd May, 2022, we read from the media that scores of women from Doba had assembled at both the Navro-Pio’s Palace and the Office of the Municipal Chief Executive in Navrongo to drum home their displeasure about the loss of lives and property in the conflict zone, and to appeal to the revered overlord and the political head of the municipality to find an antidote to the unfortunate occurrences. We applauded their call for peace and urge them to do more for peace is very dear to all, especially the people of Kandiga and thus the only way to restore normalcy and bring back development to the two communities.
7. It is also worth noting that, these same women who are justifiably calling for peace now sat aloof when their colleague women from Kandiga (three to be specific) were killed on 14th December, 2020 including the loss of other lives and property when more than 100 houses were torched in Kandiga on that fateful Sunday by Doba assailants who had pulled a surprise one on Kandiga unprovoked. As a matter of fact, one of the murdered women left behind a three-month old baby. So a few questions for the protesting women: Could it be that these demonstrating women were observing table manners at the time this dastardly act occurred? Or were they simply discriminatory as they placed no value on their colleague women’s lives?
8. Women of Kandiga do share the pain and anguish of colleague women from Doba since we have experienced same excruciating pain or even worst in the past due to attacks by assailants from Doba who often choose to open fire directly on women against all odds and conventions namely, that women are not attacked in war situations.
9. By this release we wish to draw the attention of Government and the security agencies (the military in particular) to cases of impersonation of the military by some individuals in Doba. We have witnessed some individuals usually garbed in fake military apparels to deceive and scare their opponents in the battle field so as to enable them penetrate, loot, burn and kill residents of Kandiga. In fact, we have had past incidents of persons in military uniform open gun fire on residents of Kandiga, killing them in cold bold. Some of these fatalities, we have blamed on the Military Detachment who are expected to keep the peace but the recent arrest of one Anthony Anontara who was garbed in a fake military uniform now gives us reason to believe we may have blamed the military wrongly. We therefore urge the Police Service to allow the law to take its full course in the matter of impersonation of the military by one Anthony Anontara.
10. In conclusion, the people of Kandiga greatly appreciate the work of the security agencies in their efforts to bring about peace in the conflict zone. However, we wish to observe that the current location of the Military Detachment at Kandiga Junction is not appropriate as it gives leverage to assailants from Doba to easily cross the Anayere River to carry out surprise attacks on the people of Kandiga. We therefore urge the Regional Security Council to relocate the Military Detachment to the Anayere River side so that they can easily have a bird’s eye view of activities around that enclave, be able to tell who the aggressor and initiator of attacks are, and to act timeously to quell any attacks.
Long Live Kandiga! May Peace Return!
By: Concerned Citizen of Kandiga