Clash over Rosewood harvesting leaves two dead
Two persons were shot dead, while two others were severely wounded, following clashes between the youth and members of the Auuro Family at Funsi in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region over the felling of Rosewood.
The youth are said to have been attacked by some people alleged to be connected to the Auuro Family who, in spite of the ban on Rosewood harvesting in the region, have leased a portion of their land for Rosewood exploitation.
According to the police, the chiefs of Funsi sent the youth to retrieve the Rosewood being exploited on the Auuro land when they were attacked.
Those who lost their lives are Issahaku Badawiisi, 35, and Wiisibine Batong, while the wounded are Viannyuam Banwan, 49, and Tofiq Yakubu, 43.
The Wa East District Assembly, in October 2018, placed a ban on the illegal felling of Rosewood and other exotic and endangered tree species.
That was to prevent illegal logging and also help preserve and conserve the environment from degradation.
Wa East is one of the districts in the region where the illegal felling of Rosewood has been going on for many years.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the shooting incident, the Upper West Regional Deputy Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Peter Ndekugri, said three persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.
“They are Sumaila Dundusi, Jakalia Lulatuo and Iddrisu Hillia. Another person, Nasiru Bakure, who is alleged to be the ring leader in the shooting of the deceased persons, is at large,’’ he said.
According to Mr Ndekugri, following the ban on Rosewood harvesting, the chiefs of Funsi confiscated some lumber that were allegedly being harvested on the Auuro land.
The chiefs then sent the youth to retrieve the lumber but they were attacked.
Prized as a decorative tree and used to make furniture, chopsticks and show pieces, Rosewood is a versatile and durable tree that grows abundantly in the tropics.
Brazil and Peru lead in the production of Rosewood, but some parts of Ghana are also known to have the tree species.
Rosewood is more than just a raw material used in manufacturing; a popular fragrant oil is also extracted from the wood.