In an attempt to curb reprisal attacks that fuel the Alavanyo-Nkonya land conflict, the Volta Regional Coordination Council (RCC) says it plans to hold counseling sessions for bereaved families and victims of the violent conflict.
The violent conflict that has raged for decades has resulted in the loss of lives and property.
Peace deals have been violated, and security analysts believe the best option is to use Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to resolve the dispute.
The RCC is optimistic that by counseling the victims and the affected families, retaliatory attacks could be prevented.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, who announced the move when a joint delegation of youth groups from Nkonya and Alavanyo called on him at Ho, indicated that the services of professional counselors would be engaged to attend to the families depressed by the death of their relatives.
“We need to assist them to get over the pain, and abandon any agenda of vengeance and forge ahead in peace,” he said.
Apart from the counseling, he advocated a disarmament exercise for the people of both sides to surrender their weapons voluntarily.
“We have to do this before we can think about amnesty,” he said.
According to Dr. Letsa, security intelligence has revealed that weapons such as AK 47 assault and G3 rifles meant for the exclusive use of security agencies, were used in the recent clashes, describing the revelation as “very disturbing.”
He reminded the members of the youth groups who called on him to declare their support for peace efforts in the area, that the land dispute between the two sides did not warrant the killings, “because there are civilized ways of resolving such matters.”
He said it remains regrettable that the bloody conflict continued to deprive the area of peace and development, since no investor would want to risk his investment in an insecure environment.
In addition, he noted that “teachers in the area are threatening to lay down their tools and leave, while enrolments in the schools are fast dwindling, due to the growing fear of insecurity in the area.”
He urged the youth group to help the RCC to identify the afflicted families for the counseling exercise to commence promptly and smoothly.
Dr. Letsa expressed the hope that the strong determination of the youth would mark “the beginning of the end of the Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict.”
Messrs Kokroko Asong Jutan, a teacher from Nkonya and Francis Kwasi Pongo, a teacher from Alavanyo, spokesmen for the respective sides, pledged the groups’ commitment to support the security agencies in preventing further clashes and apprehend perpetrators of violent attacks.
By: ADR Daily Correspondent, Ho