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Why the bawku conflict and how to bring solution

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The Bawku conflict is a longstanding ethnic conflict between the Kusasi and Mamprusi tribes in the Bawku Municipality of Ghana’s Upper East Region. The conflict, which has been ongoing since the 1980s, has resulted in the loss of many lives, destruction of property, and displacement of thousands of people. The underlying causes of the conflict include competition for land, resources, and political power, as well as historical grievances and perceptions of injustice.

One of the major triggers of the conflict is the issue of land ownership. The Mamprusi and Kusasi people have different beliefs about land tenure, which has led to disputes over who has the right to use and control certain areas of land. The Mamprusi people believe in communal land ownership, where land is owned by the whole community and administered by traditional chiefs. In contrast, the Kusasi people have a system of individual land ownership, where land is owned and administered by individuals.

Another factor that has fueled the conflict is political power. The two tribes have different political affiliations, with the Kusasi people generally supporting the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Mamprusi  people supporting the New Patriotic Party (NPP). This has led to tensions during elections, with each tribe accusing the other of vote-rigging and other electoral malpractices.

In addition, historical grievances and perceptions of injustice have played a role in the conflict. The Kusasi people feel marginalized and discriminated against by the Mamprusi-dominated government and traditional authorities. They believe that they have been denied access to resources and opportunities, and that their culture and traditions have been suppressed.

To find a lasting solution to the Bawku conflict, it is important to address the underlying causes and grievances of the two tribes. One approach could be to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to investigate past human rights abuses and injustices and to provide a forum for victims to share their stories and seek redress. The TRC could also recommend measures to promote reconciliation and healing, such as compensation for victims, community development projects, and inter-tribal dialogue.

Another important step would be to address the issue of land ownership. This could involve establishing a land commission to review existing land tenure laws and to develop a more equitable and inclusive system of land ownership and administration that takes into account the needs and interests of both the Mamprusi and Kusasi people.

Political reforms could also be implemented to promote inclusivity and reduce tensions during elections. This could involve measures such as establishing an independent electoral commission to oversee elections and prevent electoral malpractices, and promoting inter-tribal dialogue and cooperation in the political process.

Finally, it is important to promote inter-tribal dialogue and understanding. This could involve community-level initiatives, such as joint cultural festivals and inter-tribal sports competitions, as well as the establishment of inter-tribal committees to promote cooperation and conflict resolution.


The solution to the Bawku conflict requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of the conflict. This could involve the creation of a more inclusive political system that provides equal representation to all ethnic groups in the region, addressing land ownership and use issues, as well as promoting cultural and religious tolerance.

Additionally, the government and other stakeholders need to work closely with the local communities to build trust and confidence in the peace process. They also need to ensure that those responsible for violence and other crimes are held accountable for their actions, while promoting reconciliation and forgiveness among the conflicting parties.

The involvement of the international community, including the United Nations and other organizations, can help to provide additional support and resources towards finding a lasting solution to the Bawku conflict.

In conclusion, the Bawku conflict is a complex and long-standing issue that requires a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to resolve. Addressing the underlying causes and grievances of the two tribes, promoting inclusive governance, addressing land tenure issues, and promoting inter-tribal dialogue and understanding are all key steps towards finding a lasting solution to this conflict. It is only through a sustained and collaborative effort that the Bawku conflict can be resolved and the communities can achieve sustainable peace and development.

Source: Citizen

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