9 Dead in Bole over ‘galamsey’
Investigation conducted by DAILY GUIDE has revealed that there have been fresh clashes between two ethnic groups from Tuntumba and Kabilma in the Bole Bamboi District of the Northern Region, over who has the right to a mining concession in the area. Nine persons are reported to have died so far.
According to Citi fm report, the enskinment of Kilblima-Wura Suale Mahama by the overlord of the Gonjaland Traditional Area is said to have triggered the bloody conflicts, which started on Wednesday.
The residents of the community had reportedly rejected Kiblima-Wura Suale Mahama and enskinned their preferred chief.
The deceased were yet to be identified as at press time yesterday because they were described by the locals as suspected mercenaries from the Lamashegu and Nakpanzoo communities in the Tamale Metropolitan area, an opinion leader told the radio station.
Some residents had started fleeing the community for fear of being caught in the crossfire, claiming that gunshots were heard all over the place.
Information indicated that Kabilma had a chief but the community had a problem with him and so they decided to enskin another person after the enskinment of the Kabilma chief.
He then decided to enskin a chief for the Tuntumba community.
According to our source, the old Kabilma chief allegedly organized some warriors to the Tutumba community to fight whoever came to take over the land which resulted in severe injuries and the reported deaths of the warriors.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, the Public Relations Officer of the Gonja Youth Association, Mahama Haruna, said Tutumba is a village where mining activities take place and so whoever is in control of Kabilma controls Tuntumba, where galamsey (illegal mining) activities take place.
The old Kabilma chief, therefore, has his sub-chiefs in the villages.
According to reports, the old chief of Kabilma enskinned his own son as the chief of Tuntumba and that the communities wanted to enskin new chiefs in all the communities, but the old chiefs disagreed with them.
Reports indicate that some warriors from some other parts of the Gonja land are moving into the community to support a particular group to fight and take over the land in the area.
When DAILY GUIDE contacted the District Chief Executive for Bole, James Jaaga, he indicated that he just returned from a trip and that the District Security Council was in a meeting and so he could not confirm the deaths as reported.
According to him, the Council was yet to brief him on the incident.
The District Police Commander, ASP David Azumah, declined to comment on the matter when the paper contacted him.