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Regional News Thu, 23 May 2019

Chereponi: Another person dead in latest clash

Police have confirmed the death of another person in renewed clashes between Chokosis and Konkombas in the North East region.

This brings the number of deaths in the conflict that resumed five days ago, to two.

Northern region police PRO, Yusif Tanko, who confirmed the death to Joy News said, the death occurred during curfew hours in the Chokosi community.

“The police and military team have been moved in there but the suspects ran away before the police could get to them.”

Some 16 people have been arrested in connection with the clashes and police and military patrols have been intensified in the community.

A 4:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew is also in place in Chereponi and surrounding townships with a ban on motorbikes.

The only persons permitted to ride motorbikes -the most common means of transportation in the communities- are health and government workers, teachers, women and security personnel. These persons must, however, provide an identification card as proof.

This has left many residents infuriated. The ban for them is not a solution to the problem, they want intensified police patrol and have staged a demonstration to register their displeasure over that manner in which security agencies have handled the deteriorating security situation in the area.

In a statement read on behalf of the residents of Chereoni, Sulemana Jamilatu Frinjei, asked for more police barriers on the major roads.

Addressing the ban on motorbikes, she said residents in and around Chereponi have only a few days to live and “we women and children of Chereponi cannot withstand.”

A Regional Security Council meeting is being held to strategise on how to bring the situation under control.

Background

The armed struggle is over ownership of land believed to be nothing more than two acres but with ancestral significance.

Chereponi is a Konkomba-dominated district. Chokosis, seen by the majority Konkombas as settlers, are a minority.

The Konkombas, who are one of the largest ethnic group in the north, until recently, did not have a paramount chieftaincy institution.

Land ownership is a pawn for political representation in the region. Where land is owned, chieftaincy is created, where chieftaincy exists political representation becomes viable in institutions like the National House of Chiefs and influence in political parties is enhanced.

The attacks and reprisals between the Konkombas and Chokosis (also Chakosi) have been going on since the colonial times.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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