Heavily armed men on motorbikes on Saturday evening launched a brutal
tit-for-tat attack in Lukula, a farming village in the North Gonja
district of the Savanna region.

They burnt down dozens of houses and chased residents into the bush, the local assembly member for the area, Alhaji Sar confirmed to JoyNews. 

RELATED STORY: 3 houses burnt down in renewed clashes in Savannah Region

Some burnt cooking utensils

Communal violence erupted on Thursday evening between two groups after a misunderstanding over the building of a mosque, which resulted in the killing of two members of the group opposing the construction, police in the region had also confirmed. 

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Three members of this same group sustained injuries and were treated at a health centre in the area, according to official sources at the facility. 

House burnt

Angered by the incident and subsequent police inaction,  the faction
also attacked Saturday morning and burned down at least three houses of
their rivals who fled the village following the Thursday attack. 

Hours later, more than 25 gunmen then raided isolated village with a counter-attack and set on fire more than 30 houses amidst sporadic gunshots.

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Confirming to JoyNews, Assemblyman of the Lukula electoral area, Alhaji Sar said the gunmen launched a rash of arson attack on houses of the villagers leaving a thick smoke billowing into the sky from the village. 

“Unfortunately, this afternoon, I just
raised my head and look at Lukula side and they are a lot of smoke as I
speak… Currently, they are burning houses at Lukula; I can see a lot of
smoke in Lukula,” Alhaji Sar spoke to JoyNews from a hideout in a nearby
village. 

An eyewitness in the village who saw the gunmen before the attack
said they came from Daboya and were on 25 motorbikes and using
sophisticated weapons. 

The source said the surprise raid started at about 4 pm and lasted for almost 20 minutes uninterruptedly or without any form of resistance from the villagers.

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“They burnt 28 houses and rode their bikes away but they did not get
anyone to kill and nobody has been injured, for now, the source told
JoyNews immediately after the attack ended, adding that, ” they fired
warning shots upon reaching villages on the road when they were going
after the going”. 

Lukula

The Savannah Regional minister and a team of joint security officers
arrived in the community late Saturday night after the attack, his aide,
and public relations officer Mufti Borejinkpr Habi has told JoyNews. 

He said the village has been deserted by its residents and that armed
police and military personnel have taken control Sunday morning to
deescalate the situation and to prevent further reprisals. 

Residents of this village have been shapely divided after the creation of the Savannah and North East Regions. 

Originally under the North Gonja district of the Savannah Region,
some residents of Lukula and several others in the area, including
Mankarigu, have been protesting to join the West Mamprusi municipal in
the North East Region. 

Over 40 communities more, all inhabited by minority tribes including the Tamplumas, are in this protest to be added to the North East Region. 

Tensions have escalated in recent months between the Gonjas in Daboya and Mamprusis in the Sor Traditional area in Walewale after the chief of Daboya attempted to install chiefs in some of the communities already occupied by Mamprusi chiefs.  

It became a full-blown boundary dispute between the Yagbonwura and
Naayiri two months ago after a meeting with a Gonja delegation at the
Naayiri’s palace in Nalerigu ended inconclusively. 

Residents who are protesting to join the North East Region cite
social, political and economic deprivations but the Gonjas maintain the
land belongs to them and would not accept any breakaway.



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