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Aug 7, 2017

Mr. Austin Gamey, a renowned Labour Relations and ADR consultant says that the protracted Dagbon conflict can be easily resolved using professional mediation.

According to him, efforts to resolve the conflict through dialogue, has not yielded the desired results because the right mediation approach has not been adopted.

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Mr. Austin Gamey, CEO of  Gamey and Gamey ADR Institute  after a lecture on Professional Mediation to 2018 Professional Executive Master in ADR participants last Saturday told  ADR Daily that the crisis in Dagbon has persisted not because the country does not have the capacity to handle it but that the appropriate mechanism has not been properly employed towards resolving the conflict.

“It’s not so much about not being able to do it, it’s about the approach,” Mr. Gamey said.


The feuding parties; the Abudu and Andani Royal Gates, he emphasized were suspicious of government that has been appointing mediators for the conflict hence the need to move away from that approach.

Touching on how the conflict could be resolved, the ADR expert urged the government to be bold to appreciate and withdraw  those appointed to mediate in the conflict and   make a fresh start by putting up a list of a number of mediators for the parties to choose whom they want to mediate in the matter.

“This is professional practice; the disputing parties have the sole right to decide on whom they would want to mediate their conflict. The best government can do is provide a list of mediators to both parties to select the persons they will like to seat on their case so as to give them ownership of the entire process and hence the result that will ensue,” he said.

He advised the government to take an impartial posture while providing the resources for whichever mediator the feuding parties would choose themselves to carry on with the mediation process.

He expressed optimism that if the process was followed through, the unending Dagbon Conflict could be brought to finality for the country to focus on developing the area.

The Dagbon Chieftaincy disputes dates back to colonial days as a result of an extended intra-ethnic lineage-based succession crisis in the Kingdom.

But the worst occurred on March 27th, 2002 when the overlord of Dagbon himself, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and forty of his subjects were brutally murdered.

Subsequently attempts to get his successor degenerated into conflict among the two Royal Gates as both claim to have the right to install an heir.

A roadmap to peace in Dagbon has suffered several breaches from both sides, and although the place is relatively calm now, the conflict has not been resolved fully as there is evidence of high suspicion among the parties.

The current government has initiated re-conciliatory procedures in an attempt to resolve the chieftaincy stalemate in Dagbon and Nanung traditional areas.

The National Security, Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministers, on Wednesday March 1, 2017, jointly paid a working visit to the Yendi Municipality where they met with leaders of the two chieftaincy divides in the Dagbon State.

The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi and National Security Minister, Mr. Kan Dapaa assured the two gates of government’s commitment towards ensuring peace in the area.

By Francis Tandoh/

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ADR Daily is a specialized news portal with a focus on providing authentic news, information and research analysis on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations Management (IRM) in Ghana and beyond. This platform serves as an information resource base for the progress of the ADR, HRM and IRM industries, and seeks to promote professionalism in ADR practice by supporting a network of ADR professionals within and across nations and continents. ADR Daily keenly encourages the mass adoption of ADR mechanisms, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration for the resolution of disputes in all spheres, through the publication of industry news and information, as well as by deploying innovative awareness creation engagements.