Eight people have been confirmed dead, while others, including a police officer, have been injured in Monday’s reported shootings at the Nkwanta Central Market in the Nkwanta South Municipality.
The Oti Regional Minister, Mr. Joshua Makubu, gave the update in a media interview on Tuesday evening.
To restore security to the area, the Minister of the Interior has imposed a curfew in Nkwanta Town, effective Tuesday, November 21, to run from 1700 hours to 0600 hours.
This was on the advice of the Oti Regional Security Council, a press release signed by Mr. Ambrose Dery, the Minister, has announced.
The release appealed to all to exercise restraint and use the established mechanisms to resolve all their conflicts and disputes.
“Meanwhile, the statement added that the government would like to reiterate that there is a ban on all persons in Nkwanta Township and its environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons, and any person found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted.”
It is unclear what triggered the bloody clash on Monday morning, but the victims are currently receiving treatment at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and the Municipal Hospital. The Catholic Hospital is currently treating five people who sustained gunshot wounds.
Unconfirmed reports revealed that some houses were raided and torched, with some occupants shot on Monday night.
The source, however, indicated that it may be a reprisal attack following the long-standing conflicts involving the Adeles, Challahs and Akyodes tribes over land ownership.
A recent attempt by the Akyodes to celebrate the traditional festival at Nkwanta Junior High School kicked off the conflict.
Some people who were shot during the incident sustained serious injuries.
Reports say many residents had fled their homes, while others were indoors for fear of being killed.
Mr. Bright Lenwah, Municipal Chief Executive and Head of the Municipal Security Council, said there was an uneasy calm and appealed to the people to give peace a chance.
Security had since been beefed up with 24-hour joint military police patrols and the visibility of security presence at vantage points in the municipality.