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500 displaced in Chereponi clashes

At least 500 people have been rendered homeless following a renewed clashes between Chakosi and Bimoaba ethnic groups at Bumburiga in Chereponi on Friday dawn.

The fighting has left two persons with gunshots wounds and many houses destroyed by fire.

Starr News sources in the hard-to-reach area said the violence begun at about 4am in Laaritanga where many Bimoabas were severely beaten in a fight last year over fishing in the Kpempi river, a water head of the Oti river.

A teacher in one of the communities said the  Bimoabas raided houses of the Chokosis with guns, spears and sharpened sticks and set them on fire whiles they were still asleep amidst sporadic shooting.

The Bimobas allegedly extended the ambush to about five communities including Jagbanga, Jawari and Zanzori forcing all the chokosi residents to flee to Tosori and Kwabenakaposo near Wenchike.

The attackers have also fled crossing the Oti river to neighboring Togo.

Women and children were seen walking several miles fleeing the violence to unknown destinations.

“We are just moving from the place. We may go to wenchike palace but for now we are just going to where we will have peace and think about our lives”, a female victim told Starr News in a local dialect.

Police and soldiers from Yendi, the divisional command, have been deployed  and investigators were working to determine cause of the violence.

Two persons were butchered in February last year when Bimobas allegedly attempted to prevent the Chakosis from fishing in the kpempi river.

ASP Henry Amankwah, Chereponi District Police Commander confirmed the violence saying the two tribes have been living in fragile relationship following a protracted misunderstanding over land.

He said police in the area engaged members of the rival tribes in peace talks two months ago after picking intelligence of possible conflict.

ASP Henry said some Bimobas laid claim to the land and were violently preventing the chokosis from farming and fishing.

No arrest yet and security have taken over all the six communities despite reports that many have deserted the area.

The Chereponi District,  a known hotspot in the region has very few police personnel and anytime there is trouble security forces  have had to travel many hours on a very  bad road to maintain calm.


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