Kandiga-Doba Conflict: Government Must Call Bias & Murderous Soldiers To Order

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The armed conflict resulting from a protracted land dispute between the neighboring towns of Kandiga and Doba in the Kassena Nankana District in the upper east region has escaped once again with armed soldiers supposedly sent there as peacekeepers turning themselves into corrupted and murderous soldiers of one side of the conflict.

At about 11:30am on December 12 2021, so-called peace keeping soldiers shot multiple times from the back and killed an unarmed and defenseless man from Kandiga, age 40, whose name was given as Cletus Azoomah at his home while trying to put out fire set to it by attackers from Doba.

Earlier in the day, soldiers deployed to maintain peace and order during renewed clashes between Kandiga and Doba sat by and watched as marauding attackers from Doba bypassed and crossed cover military barricades to burn houses in Kandiga.
The excuse of the spectator soldiers was that they didn’t have any “orders from above” to intervene in the renewed violence although their mandate is to maintain peace between the two warring communities.

It therefore came as a surprise when the same soldiers suddenly received “orders from above” to shoot and kill the deceased whose house was set ablaze by the Doba people and his only crime was to put off the fire that was burning his house.

Burnt Compound

The killing of the 40 year old from Atosale , a suburb of Kandiga by soldiers is not the first time “peacekeeping” soldiers have taken bizarre steps to cause anger among the people by taking sides in an armed conflict in which corrupt military commanders led by Lt. Col. Mintah Agyeman and Maj. Emmanuel Asiamah are allegedly taking bribes of cash and bulls from one side of the conflict to compromise the peace and security of the area.

At the same time last year, the same military commanders were accused of allowing the needless open shooting and killing of several armless young and old people from the same community with the backing of some political actors such as Emmanuel Andema the former MCE of Navrongo who has been severally accused of bribing soldiers to escalate the conflict rather than keep the peace.

It is believed by the affected people that these military commanders on the ground who hail from Southern Ghana do not care about the peace and security of the areas in conflict but their personal parochial interests and corrupt appetites for money and loot from the highest bidding faction of the conflict.

What is shocking to neutral onlookers and observers like us is that the government represented by the Regional and district security councils continue to keep the same corrupt military commanders in charge of peace keeping in the area despite several media reports and ample evidence to show that these soldiers are anything but peace keepers.

Meanwhile, one of the major complaints against the military is that instead of stationing the peace keeping troops at the boarder of the two warring communities to prevent either side from attacking the other , they have chosen a camp on the Kandiga side, far away from the boarder, something the people consider a statement of bias from the military high command.

It is obvious that without a real and neutral peacekeeping force on the ground, the armed conflict between Kandiga and Doba will only continue to escalate as peace of the area is of no material benefit to corrupt soldiers and military commanders who feast on the blood of innocent unarmed civilians.

Burnt Compound in Kandiga

Story By Ambrose Awuni

Bolgatanga, UER
December 12 2021