The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe, numbering between 20 and 25 million people in total, are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region.
A Medical doctor at the Kwahu Government Hospital, Dr. Akoto Ampaw, has lamented the number of gunshot cases and subsequent deaths the hospital has been attending to in recent times, following clashes between local residents and some nomadic herdsmen in the area.
About eight people lost their lives with several others sustaining injuries in separate reprisal attacks at Dwibease and Wheewhee communities about a fortnight ago.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast show on Friday, Dr. Ampaw, who described the situation as very worrying, added that the doctors are usually recalled to the hospital even during their off-days to attend to such cases.
“The situation is very worrying because as medical practitioners we are called to attend to people who have been shot and sometimes people have been attacked with other implements. I can confirm that most of the bodies have been deposited at the hospital. Quite a number of them, I can recall just in the immediate past week, I have had the opportunity to attend to three gunshot injuries in the area.”
“When you see a gunshot injury, you have to be worried to find out whether it is from a miscreant or some other kind of persons. So when we verify that with the police, then we get to know that it is as a result of the clash that is happening in the area. I can remember attending to a local who was shot. Yesterday [Thursday], I even attended to a Fulani who was also shot.”
7 bodies deposited at morgue, more are Fulanis
He said in the recent incidents, most of the casualties reported at the hospital are mostly the Fulanis, adding that, seven bodies have so far been deposited at the Kwahu Government Hospital’s morgue.
“With regards to the bodies, I think the bigger casualty is from the Fulani side. I can count without any contradiction at least seven bodies that have been deposited in our morgue; and if you see the extent of injury that has been done to the body, even for myself as a medical officer, it is very worrying,” Dr. Ampaw added.
Reason for clash
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, in a Citi News interview said some have blamed the reprisal attacks on alleged destruction of farmlands by the cattle belonging to the Fulani herdsmen.
“Reasons for the killings are yet to be known, but with the history between Fulani and residents in Kwahu, it can be linked to the destruction of farmlands by cattle.”
Scores flee communities
In a related development, there are reports that some residents have fled the communities because of the attacks.
E/Region: Operation cow leg returning to fight Fulani menace
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Security Council is considering a revival of ‘Operation Cow Leg’ to address conflicts between mostly local farmers and nomadic Fulani herdsmen.
As part of the operation, Police and Military will be deployed to patrol the Kwahu enclave to avert clashes.
This approach to fighting the menace in the era of then President Kufuor, has been criticized as not being effective.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana