By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
Residents of strife afflicted Alavanyo and Nkonya have been sternly cautioned to desist from the practice of firing at personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), who have been deployed by the State to ensure peace in the conflict ridden area of the Volta Region of Ghana.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), Southern Command (S/Comd) – Brigadier General Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, chided when he met variously with Nkonya-Tayi local leaders and Alavanyo Kpeme paramount chief and his sub chiefs, at their traditional areas on the 14th of May, 2019.
The visit by the GOC was necessitated, following a worrying trend of attacks targeting troops of GAF deployed on OP AHODWO, trending the over a century old schism for a few acres of land in contention by the two ethnic Guans and Ewes in the region.
General Nsiah urged the traditional authorities, various social and opinion leaders and their locals, to support the quest for peace and work hand in hand with the troops, since they are impartial to the dispute, but forcefully stated that henceforth, further forms of attacks on troops and civilians will be treated as criminal and culprits will be made to face the full rigours of the law.
“You should be reminded that the soldiers are also people’s children and relatives, just like you have children, husbands, wives, relatives just like you are, so the next time you fire at any soldier, they would not be idle or run”, Brig Gen Nsiah remarked.
“When you inquire from where the firing came and why, both factions claim that they are not the ones firing, so who is doing the firing at the soldiers?” the GOC said in a conversation with yours truly, stating that since 2015, there have been five attacks at soldiers keeping the peace and particularly from January 19th 2019, there have been two instances.
On their responses to the admonition by the GOC and his promise to liaise with the administrative authorities to find a lasting solution to the conflict, each party pointed accusing fingers at the opposing faction, but all asked for an impartial intervention in the resolution, while they assured of their willingness to cooperate with the peace process and further appealed for governmental aid in development.
The GOC who was in the company of the staff officers of his Command, later met with troops of the 66 Artillery Regiment, based in the Regional Capital of Ho and assured them that they had the support of the Command for as long as they do the right thing, charging them to avoid individual movements within the community but to take their physical security paramount.
Staff Officers from the Command who accompanied General Nsiah were Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) BB Pantoah, Commanding Officer (CO), 66 Artillery Regiment, Lt Col AB Issah, Captain (Capt) D Agyekumhene – Intelligence Officer, 66 Arty Regt, Capt IN Acheampong, the Command Sergeant Major and Warrant Officer (WO) PB Addi.