Konkomba-Dagomba Deadly Clash; Reactions and Possible Causes of Recurring Tribal Conflicts

At least two people have been confirmed dead following the Konkomba-Dagomba clash which rocked the Agbobgloshie Yam market in Accra on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

The clash between the Konkombas and Dagombas which left scores injured was said to have erupted following an allegation of a mobile phone theft by a member of one of the factions. According to reports, it started out as an argument on Monday night, after which it escalated to something bloody the next day. The violent altercation according to the police, left many injured, with several properties, including motorbikes destroyed in the process.

See: How Court Penalized 13 Delta Force Escapees

The Public Relations Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, ASP Afia Tenge who interacted with the press, said the clash escalated to a point where the police had to swiftly intervene to prevent further damage. The Police she said, had to resort to the use of tear gas and subsequently water cannons to restore order in the area.

According to ASP Tenge, calm has been restores, and injured persons sent to hospitals for medical assistance. Moreover, some joint military and police team have been deployed to the scene to forestall any further in the area. ASP Afia says the Police together with a contingent of the Ghana Army have succeeded in stabilizing the situation, and have put in place measures to ensure that the tranquility is maintained. Authorities have also hinted on ordering a curfew in the area for the purpose of keeping the peace.

Stakeholders React to Tribal Clash

The Konkomba-Dagomba clash which came as a surprise has attracted reactions from security analysts as well as other political stakeholders. Wing Commander Patrick Nene Sogbodzor, a security analyst has attempted to wade into the issue which he says might become a huge security threat if not tackled in time.

The analyst has proposed the relocation of the residents of the Agbogbloshie in Accra which has been the site of ethnic clashes over the years. He explained that if the settlers of such a slum-like area are relocated to different parts of the city, it would significantly reduce certain factors that have incited the attacks.

Speaking on Joy News’ Current Affairs Programme, he also apportioned part of the blame on the Police, saying they could have done better on intelligence gathering. For this reason, he called for the adequate allocation of resources to security forces to enable them to avert such violent conflicts at early stages, before they escalate to fatal clashes.

Other stakeholders like the Odododoido MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye have also spoken on the issue. The MP says the series of clashes between the two tribes can be curbed if influential personalities who hail from the three regions of the North significantly intervene. According to him, the likes of former President John Mahama, the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and other political bigwigs who hail from the region have the ability to put an end to the conflicts.

Konkomba-Dagomba Long lasting Rivalry

Clashes between the two tribes, Konkomba and Dagomba of the Northern region, date back to the time of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah. However, there have been no significant trace or links regarding the actual cause of the recurring clashes; although analysts have regarded it as ethnic and chieftaincy related.

Many have attributed the beef to an old political and ethnic rivalry between members of the two tribes. The most recent clash at the Agbobgloshie Yam market happens to be one out of very many incidents over the years.

In April 2015, there were clashes between Dagombas and Zabarima traders which left four people including a police officer injured. There was also a clash in November 2014, which left two people dead.

While historians continue to search for the actual motive behind these clashes, stakeholders have urged the government to be more active in the fight against intertribal violence in the country.