Member of Parliament for Mpraeso and the Chairman for the Interior and Defence Committee, Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, has hinted that the Committee will soon release its report on the clashes between some nomadic herdsmen (Fulani herdsmen) and crop farmers in some parts of the country to the plenary.
He indicated that the committee has almost finished the report and will finally forward it to the Speaker of Parliament, for his direction, since he is the head of the Parliamentary service.
Mr. Acheampong added that the delay in the committee’s report is due to extension of the committee’s sitting for more information, and detailed investigation into other areas of the issue.
Speaking to ghanajustice.com in an interview in Parliament, Mr. Acheampong stated that the nomadic herdsmen-crop farmers clashes are the major issues at hand, which are very sensitive.
On the issue of other works and findings of the Interior and Defence Committee, Mr. Acheampong disclosed that most of the committee’s works and findings are not put out due to their sensitive nature.
“Not all our reports come out. Our meetings are held in camera and must be done in that respect because of the sensitive nature of matters we discuss. Not all of our reports are allowed to come to the mainstream media. Some of our reports are quite classified and I will let it remain so”, he revealed.
Agogo Fulani herdsmen-farmers confrontations and other affected areas
The herdsmen-farmers clashes in Agogo, Kwahu, Kintampo and Berekum, in the Ashanti, Eastern and Bono Ahafo regions respectively, had led to several fatalities including the shooting of some three military men this year, who were in Agogo to forestall peace.
More than forty people have been killed and several others injured in the ensuing confrontations. Some nomadic herdsmen have also fallen victim to the clashes.
These clashes started when the Paramount chief of Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Akuoko Sarpong entered into an agreement to lease lands on the Agogo portion of the Afram Plains to some four cattle owners on May 27, 2006, and January 15, 2008, respectively. The Chief again released some lands to other herdsmen in the latter part of 2008.
According to some farmers of Agogo, the herdsmen release their cattle to destroy their farms, and pollute water bodies during the dry season.
Court ruling: Agogo crop farmers versus Fulani herdsmen
Some of the affected farmers and some natives of Agogo in the Asante-Akyem District took the matter to court for an injunction on the operations of the Fulani herdsmen.
A Kumasi High Court on January 20, 2012, in a mandatory injunction, directed the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to take immediate, decisive, efficacious and efficient action to flush out all cattle in the villages and localities in the Agogo Traditional Area.
According to the High Court ruling, the only exceptions are cattle that have been properly confined in the permitted locality.
The period between 2014 and 2016, however, has been bloody in Agogo over the Regional Security Council’s failure to enforce the 2012 ruling by the Kumasi High Court.
Other confrontations in the Bono-Ahafo and Eastern Regions
On Tuesday February 9, 2016, a herd of 80 cattle belonging to nomadic Fulani herdsmen at Dumso, a community in the Kintampo South District of the Brong Ahafo region, were killed in tensions between cattle herders and locals of the community.
On August 20, 2017, some Fulani herdsmen allegedly attacked nurses working at Dwerebease Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound in the Kwahu East District of the Eastern region.
On September 19, 2017 a total of 13 people were killed in violent clashes, between Fulani herdsmen and Konkonba settler farmers in the Kintampo North municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region.
The deaths occurred during attacks and reprisal attacks over the alleged destruction of farms by cattle, belonging to the herdsmen.
On October 30, 2017 nine Fulani herdsmen and two brothers from Kwahu were killed at Dwerebease, Aboyan and Mpeamu in the Kwahu East District of the Eastern Region following clashes between the two factions in the bush.
On November 16, 2017, nine mud houses at Asumesu Number 2, a small village in the Kwahu East District of the Eastern Region, were burnt allegedly by some nomadic herdsmen.