Govt imposes curfew on Bole

Government has imposed curfew on Bole and its environment in the Northern Region following the outbreak of violence in the town arising from chieftaincy dispute.

The renewed chieftaincy dispute has led to the death of two persons with several others injured from gun wounds.

The fighting is between supporters of two individuals of the same royal family who have laid competing claims over the Bole skin. It sparked Monday morning after an attempted parallel enskinment by both factions.

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Tensions began to gather on Friday night as the funeral rites of the late Bolewura was being performed. There were reports of a mass arrival of armed men (warriors) from Damongo and Busunu. Shortly after their arrival, the report said, several gunshots were heard from the directions of the rival chiefs.

A statement signed by the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery announcing the curfew said the decision was taken on the advice of the Northern Regional Security Council and that it takes effect 6:00pm to 6 am effective, Monday 10 December, 2018.

Calling on the Chiefs, Elders, Opinion Leaders, Youth and people of the area to exercise restraint in the face of the challenges confronting them as well as to use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace, the statement added “there is a total ban on all persons in the afore-mentioned communities and its environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapon and any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted.”

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Tensions have been simmering in Bole for months now after a symbolic ruling by a judicial council of the Regional House of chiefs on the prolonged chieftaincy misunderstanding in Mandari, an important nearby community within the Traditional Area, where chiefs automatically ascend to the Bole Skin upon vacancy.

Two royal individuals, who are all members of the Safope gate, laid claims to the Mandari skin and confusion broke in June last year over the rightful candidate of the Bole skin, after the chief, Bolewura Awuladese Pontomprong Mahama (II) died.

There were reports of violent lockdown and escalating squabbles among supporters of Abdalai Issahaku Kant and his rival brother, Abubakari Abutu, forcing a deployment of armed forces to the district capital.

The latter had been allegedly appointed by the late chief of Bole as the rightful candidate for the Mandari skin, but the Yagbonwura, overlord of the entire traditional area, allegedly refused to give his blessing and rather settled on the former, which sparked the dispute.

The tensions last month forced the Northern Regional Security Council to place an injunction on all traditional activities in the area including the funeral of the late Bolewura.

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