More villages under attack as residents mass up at Oti River

The ongoing tribal violence between Konkombas and Chokosis has cut off transportation to the Chereponi district from the rest of the Northern Region, causing several residents to flee downstream to banks of the Oti River, waiting to cross to Togo.

More Chokosi villages are currently under attack as the Konkombas are burning their way towards the district capital, former DCE for Chereponi and now President of Anufors Association, Hajia Mary Nakobu, told Starr News as the violence enters day three of uninterrupted exchanges.

People have stopped traveling to the district after the Chokosis claimed that Konkombas were waiting at Wapuli planning to stop vehicles and target Chokosi passengers.

Vehicles from Yendi to Chereponi are refusing to carry passengers and fighting ongoing on the road from Saboba to the area.

The only option left for people in troubled villages, especially Chokosis is to risk crossing the Oti River to Mongo in Togo. People from the district capital are not able to travel out and those from Tamale are extending their stay while others are getting closer but stopping at Yendi to monitor the violence.

Schools, including the newly commissioned Wapuli Day School, are affected and several villages in the conflict area are without power.

Police say over 150 houses, about 14 motorbikes, 4 corn mills, 17 bicycles, a tractor machine and large quantity of foodstuffs are damaged completely in the ongoing conflagration.

The two tribes are currently engaged in deadly reprisals, burning down houses and food materials, with the escalation spreading to more villages.

Police confirmed tribesmen of both clans have made inroads from Togo to join in the communal conflagration.

The violence is believed to be spreading from the Chokosis dominated Chereponi district to neighboring Saboba, the traditional home of the Konkombas.

The clashes started on Tuesday dawn at Nadoni and by Wednesday it had spilled over to Nambire and Napak, where Konkombas mistakenly fired at two of their tribesmen. An attack on a Chokosi man on that day sparked this latest violence, though renewed land tension last year has plunged relationship between these two groups to new depths.

There have not been reports of human casualties by the police but locals are giving figures and saying police might not find dead bodies where they are patrolling because the warring factions have taken the exchanges out of the villages into the bush.

The Yendi Divisional Police Commander, C/Supt. Peter A.K. Ayirezang in discharged twenty men made up of FPU, Divisional Headquarters personnel and officers from Saboaba and Cheriponi and one Mavri and a UN Peace Goer supported by armed soldiers.

Bad road and communication network are hampering the flow of intelligence gathering and many residents accusing the security of avoiding troubled communities.

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