The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul will no longer lead in efforts toward ending the protracted conflict in Chereponi in the North East Region.
According to him, his frontline role ended after he assembled a group of opinion leaders from Konkomba and Chokosi factions as well as religious and led them to the conflict zone to interact with the communities last week.
“He [Nitiwul] says after mobilising and successfully getting the opinion leaders of the various groups together to go and speak with the people directly. [They are] to get an audience and has led to what he maintains, is what has led to the calm that we have seen so far.
“He will not be on the forefront going forward. So the process would be done without him at the front any longer,” Samson announced after he got off the phone with the Minister.
The latest round of violence in the Konkomba-dominated district, where Chokosis remain the minority, marked the third of such incidents in the past five months. Two persons died. The toll of the fighting includes loss of properties, delayed development and humanitarian challenges.
The conflict is linked to a parcel of land reportedly two acres. But the land has ancestral significance and has become a matter of identity.
There had been calls for the Minister to recuse himself from playing any role in resolving the conflict due to his attachment to one of the warring factions.
A security analyst and conflict resolution expert, Col. Festus Aboagye (Rtd), argued that the Minister should not lead the mediation because of the view held by some people that his compatriots may be enjoying some protection because of his position as Defence Minister.
According to him, although views may have arisen from mere perceptions, they ought to be given serious consideration because they are “very important” in mediating conflicts.
The analyst, who traced the root of the conflict to the collapse of the Ashanti Kingdom during the colonial rule, favours the selection of someone who can bring a balance in the efforts to end the crisis.