Ethnic Clash Over Yam Festival

Two ethnic groups in Keri, a farming community in the Nkwanta South District of the Oti Region have clashed over the performing of ritual rites to herald their yam festival for this year, 2019. 

The groups from Akyode and the
Challa who live side by side with a road separating them in the town starting
fighting each other on June 17, 2019.

The situation led to schools
closing down and some properties destroyed but the security agencies have since
intervened to restore calm.

In the ensuing melee, three persons
reportedly sustained cutlass wounds and the police/military officers were able
to arrest 20 people including the injured. 

A reporter based in Nkwanta South
said the two groups had agreed to celebrate this year’s yam festival together
and had decide to do all activities including rituals together in order to
avoid a similar clash last year.

However, the Challas allegedly
decided to go and perform the rituals for the festival last Monday instead of
the agreement to do it at the same time.

The Akyodes on whose land the
shrine for the rituals is believed to be situated decided to stop the Challas
from performing the rituals. 

This led to a disagreement between
them which later degenerated into a violent clash.

Reports say both sides were wielding
offensive weapons like guns and cutlasses and the police/military team sent
there had to disarm the feuding factions.

A lot of the youth after the security
officers entered the town have also fled, making the place a ghost town
according to reports.

The Public Relations Officer of the
Volta Regional Police Command, Prince Dogbatse confirmed the incident to Daily
Guide and said the “situation is under control and calm has returned to the
area.”

He added that three injured suspects have been cautioned and granted police enquiry bail to seek medical attention.

From Fred Duodu, Ho (k.duodu@yahoo.com)



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