Accra, March 12, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has invited a delegation of Kusasi chiefs and elders, under the leadership of the Bawku Naba to a meeting at the Castle on Thursday to find a lasting solution to the Bawku conflict. Mr Kwamina Bartels, Interior Minister, informed Parliament that he (the Minister) would be back to Parliament to inform members of the outcome of the meeting. Briefing members on the current situation in Bawku on Wednesday, he said the death toll resulting from the conflict had risen to 17 following the murder of two more people on March 11 and described the situation as tense.
Bawku has been a scene of violence following an outbreak of conflict between the Mamprusis and Kusasis since December 31, last year. A curfew imposed on the area has now been reviewed to 3 pm to 7 am following fresh outbreak of violence on March 11. The Interior Minister told the House that the National Peace Council made of prominent religious leaders and eminent persons would help in resolving the crisis. He expressed regret at some recent attacks on the security forces who are maintaining peace in the area and warned locals to desist from such attacks since it could result in self-defence by the security personnel with all its unpleasant consequences. Meanwhile, some Members of Parliament have called for a review of the curfew saying it could have a lot of implications, including health hazards because of the outbreak of cerebro spinal meningitis in the north since people would be forced to hole up in their homes for 16 long hours in the midst of heat.
A member also suggested a visit by a parliamentary team to interact with the people of Bawku and educate them on the need for peace. Earlier, the Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey, told the House that a draft on the Right to Information Bill is expected to be brought to Parliament before the dissolution of this Parliament. Responding to a question from Mr Haruna Iddrisu, (NDC-Tamale South) on the when the bill would be brought before the House as part of efforts to combat corruption, Mr Ghartey said views were being collated on the bill.
He said the Commissioner, Statute Law Review, Prof V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, was charged with the "collating and reviewing of all views expressed in discussions and memoranda submitted." "The Commissioner's work is at advanced stage and he has drawn up a programme to hold workshops with stakeholders to discuss his report very soon. As soon as that is done the final draft will be submitted to cabinet and then Parliament," the Minister said.