Regional News Wed, 1 Nov 2017
Hundreds of residents in villages in the Kwahu East District of the Eastern Region have been displaced following clashes between Fulani herdsmen and residents of Dwibease and Hweehwe.Nine persons have been confirmed dead, according to police, although reports said the death toll had risen to 15, with five dead Fulanis.
Fear has gripped the inhabitants, especially the aged, who fled to nearby churches to seek refuge under police protection.
Hundreds of residents have also relocated to nearby villages to stay with family and friends to avoid attacks.
The deaths normally occur at night in the farms and the bodies are spotted daytime.
Joint military and police team has been deployed to the communities to protect the residents.
But most of the youth, who are farmers, are currently stranded, as they are afraid to go to their farmlands and nearby stream to get some foodstuff and water.
The Director-General of Police, Operations, George Dampare, has visited the place with the Eastern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Samuel Afeku to assess the situation on the ground.”
The Assembly member for Hweehwee Electoral Area, Solomon Aboagye, earlier told the paper that the clashes started after a boy was killed near a health center at Dwerebeafe.
“In retaliation, three of the Fulanis were also killed at Aboyan. Two of the natives went to the farm and did not return. I asked some people to search for them and unfortunately they found them dead,” he said.
“The people are farmers and could be attacked when they go to the bush, that is where the fear is…the police cannot go to individual farms to protect them.”
The bodies of the dead have been deposited at the Kwahu Government Hospital mortuary at Atibie pending autopsy.
Two women, who were going to Pentecost Church one Sunday morning, were ambushed and raped for five hours by the Fulani herdsmen.
The Deputy Minister of State in-charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, who revealed this while discussing the Fulani menace in the area on Adom FM’s morning show on Tuesday, said the traumatized mother and daughter were allegedly chased with machete and overpowered by the criminal Fulani herdsmen.
Mr. Acheampong, who is also the Member of Parliament for Abetifi, said the high level of rape and other atrocities by the Fulani herdsmen in the area were negatively affecting productivity.
This notwithstanding, the Deputy Minister said police reinforcement has been sent there to support the local security personnel to maintain law and order in the various communities to “wipe out” the criminal Fulani herdsmen terrorizing residents in the District.
The villages are currently now empty and the herdsmen with over 10,000 cattle have taken over their homes.
According to Bryan Acheampong, the situation is sickening and would be tackled with immediate effect.
Due to the clashes, seven schools serving 15 communities in the district have been closed down.
He, however, encouraged the indigenes of the area to express anger at leadership to ensure that it addresses the problems.
“If blood flows, it will be on the head of security so they have also assured me all cattle will be wiped out,” he stressed.