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Upper West: Group to demonstrate on 13 July over serial killings

This group, known as “Labadi camp,” is particularly agitated by the perceived inaction and silence of the security services regarding these murders, which have left residents living in fear

A youth group in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region has announced plans to stage a demonstration against the sluggish pace of investigations into a series of killings in the area.

This group, known as “Labadi camp,” is particularly agitated by the perceived inaction and silence of the security services regarding these murders, which have left residents living in fear.

Speaking with Asaase News on Sunday, 7 July 2024, the group elder and former assembly member for the Kambali electoral area, Peter Salia, expressed their frustration with the response from the police. He stated that the demonstration aims to urge the police service to adopt a more proactive approach in identifying and apprehending the perpetrators behind these heinous crimes.

According to Peter Salia, the police have granted preliminary approval for the demonstration, pending final discussions with the police hierarchy, indicating that “We have been engaging with various stakeholders, including the police, the Chief Imam, the overlord of the Waala Traditional Council, and other opinion leaders in the region, Our primary objective is to foster a peaceful society where people can move about freely to work and provide for their families without fear.”

“We are urging every young person to participate in the demonstration. We have agreed to conduct it peacefully, with participants wearing red and black to signify our sorrow and protest against the serial killings.”

“The killing of our watchmen is deeply troubling, and the youth see it as necessary to express our displeasure through a peaceful demonstration. We hope this will also compel the killers to sympathise with us and cease their actions,” he added.

The Wa Municipality has witnessed over a dozen murders, with some victims found with body parts removed, others slaughtered, and some buried in shallow graves. This alarming situation prompted a visit from the Inspector General of Police in 2023, following a rise in these cases. In response, over 300 police personnel were deployed to the region in an effort to curb the violence.

Despite these measures, the issue remains unresolved. Former Minister of Interior Ambrose Dery informed Parliament on 2 March 2023, that 27 suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings. However, there has been no further information about these suspects, and no prosecutions have taken place. Disturbingly, the murders have continued, with two more people recently killed.

The ongoing violence and lack of progress in the investigations have left the community in a state of perpetual fear and insecurity. The planned demonstration by the youth group is a reflection of the growing frustration and demand for justice among the residents.

“Our demonstration is not just a protest; it is a plea for safety and justice, We want to live in a community where we do not have to constantly look over our shoulders, where our watchmen can perform their duties without fear of being killed. We want the police to take concrete steps to resolve these cases and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Peter Salia said.

He also called on the broader community to support their efforts, emphasising that the demonstration is intended to be peaceful and constructive.

“We are not looking to cause any disruptions. Our goal is to make our voices heard and to push for the safety and security that every resident of Wa Municipality deserves.”

Reporting by Alhassan Tajudeen in the Upper West Region

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