Through the work of many organisations and groups there was an extended period of calm in NE Ghana. Up to last week. This calm has been brutally disturbed by a very violent episode in Bimbilla, in the Northern Region. The death toll is still climbing – as we write it stands at 19, with 20 people receiving treatment for various injuries after sustaining gunshot wounds. It has been documented that a number of houses were torched in the area and that children are among the wounded.
Residents are living in fear of a possible reprisal, after fresh shootings have been heard. According to reports, Bimbilla is now deserted, with frightened residents fleeing to the regional capital Tamale. Schools have been abandoned, commercial activities halted and the curfew has been reviewed to curtail human movement after 4pm..
The conflict is not inter-tribal, nor even between clans. The conflict was triggered by the refusal of some butchers to send meat to the regent of the town as a mark of allegiance - which is an age-long convention. A faction of the butchers, which does not recognise the regent, declined to carry out the convention. The Regent of Nanum or Bimbilla, Nyeligolilana Yakubu Dawuni, in reaction, barred butchers in the town from going to the abattoir.
The Police are holding nine suspects for questioning - one of them the Registrar of the Nanumba Traditional Council.
Please pray with us for this devastating situation. Pray for all who have perpetrated this violence, and all those people and families who are suffering. Pray alsofor our colleagues who live in Bimbilla and the CHIPS team who live in the next town, Nakpayili.