Government to investigate clashes

The Ghanaian government is to set up a commission to investigate last week's clashes between members of the Mamprusi and Kusasi ethnic groups in Bawku, northeastern Ghana, in which 50 people died. Some 150 people were injured and up to 5,000 displaced during the three-day fighting.

Defence Minister Kwame Addo Kufuor announced the decision on Tuesday when he led a government delegation to Bawku to assess the extent of the damage, and persuade people to use dialogue rather than violence in solving their problems, news organisations reported.

He said that until an appropriate political solution was found, the military would continue to be in Bawku for "as long as it was necessary", Ghana News Agency (GNA) reported.

"The government of Ghana is strong enough to defend all the people of Ghana," the PanAfrican News Agency (PANA) also reported him as saying. He also urged those still in possession of arms to surrender them, PANA added.

Three other ministers, a deputy minister, the army commander, and the inspector general of police visited the area. The delegation met leaders of the two communities, separately.

The clashes erupted during an argument over lottery sales, a kiosk belonging to a Mamprusi man was burnt down, police told IRIN last week. "A shade belonging to a Kusasi man was in retaliation burnt down, sparking off the clashes," police had said.