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TikTok Fueling Ghana's Ignored 'Bawku Civil War' As Some Still 'Allege' Vice President Bawumia of Supplying Weapons

The conflict journalists aren't allowed to write about in Ghana

By IwriteMywrongsPublished 4 months ago 9 min read
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Tuesday, 19 December 2023

By; TB Obwoge

BAWKU, Ghana - 2023 saw renewed fighting in the Bawku area of Ghana, here I've put together some information, along with an hour long video of TikTok's where threats are being traded.

Some Ghanian journalists have said they were harassed or detained for attempting to write about the 'tribal conflict' in Northern Ghana. This is what a civil war looks like as two tribes claim rights to the same area of land.

The country that for some reason, was once named the most peaceful country in West Africa. Despite this decades long fighting in the Upper Eastern area of Ghana.

Ghana, dropped to 4th in West Africa, behind Sierra Leone, which took their place as most peaceful country of West Africa.

Ghana's government wants you to come invest in them so they can continue to be one of the most corrupted countries in the world. Taking money to fatten the pockets of some of the wealthiest political leaders and develop only certain sections of their country.

civ·il war - /ˌsivil ˈwôr/ noun

A war between citizens of the same country.

There is said to be over 200 deaths in the civil war from 2021 to 2023, which is being called a 'conflict' it's a war, a long standing war that has been taking place in Ghana for decades.

Here I will try my best to explain the deep divide of the land of Bawku, Ghana.

At the heart of the Kusasi-Mamprusi conflict is an agglomeration of issues about litigations over allodial rights and chieftaincy. Both the Kusasi and the Mamprusi claim allodial ownership of Bawku, claims which are shrouded in their narrative histories of origin and derived from claims of autochthony.

The Alhassan Committee which investigated land ownership in Northern Ghana in 1978 identified first-comership as one of the bases to claim of land ownership. In Bawku, answers to the question of the first settlers are inconclusive and highly controversial. For one to dissect the question of the first settlers of Bawku,

Source: Research.Net

The Alhassan Committee which investigated land ownership in Northern Ghana in 1978 identified first-comership as one of the bases to claim of land ownership. In Bawku, answers to the question of the first settlers are inconclusive and highly controversial. For one to dissect the question of the first settlers of Bawku, it is imperative to discuss the migration-and-settlement histories of the Mamprusi and the Kusasi.

The Mamprusi claimed descent from Na Gbewaa, and traced their origins to Tanga, an area located east of Lake Chad, from where they settled at Pusiga near Bawku. Na Gbewaa became chief over the indigenous Gurma and some Kusasi. Upon his death, his three sons—Tohugo, Sitobu and Mantambu—migrated and founded Mamprugu, Dagbon, and Nanun respectively.

Mamprusi accounts date their presence in Bawku to the seventeenth century, and link it to military assistance they offered the Kusasi during the reign of Na Atabia as Nayiri (1690-1741).

Incessant incursions of Bissa into Kusasi territory compelled them to seek the military intervention of the Nayiri of the Mamprusi.


Here is some information about the two tribes involved and to let you know their origins, this is to help you identifying the people in this area of Northern Ghana.

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Kusasi / Kusaal / Kusale / Koussasse

The Kusasi people (var. Kusaasi) are an ethnic group in northern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso. They speak Kusaal, a Gur language.

Several other denominations are used for the Kusasi: ‘’Kusaal’’, ‘’Kusale’’, or "Koussasse."

They form the majority of the population in Ghana and speak Kusaal. This is part of the Gur language that is also dominant in northern Ghana. The Kusasi population in Ghana is estimated to be around 646,000.

Neighbors are the better known Mamprusi in the south and Moba in the east. This region, however, exhibits a highly diversified ethnic mix, even in the core areas of the individual peoples, and local migration is frequent.

The Kusasi people are farmers. Their staple foods are rice and yams, mostly when they are in season. The Kusasi also utilize Hausa and Moore languages for trading; however, they have a great affiliation towards their native language. It is even used to teach in schools and local churches.

The dominant religion in the area that the Kusasi occupy is Christianity. Churches have done various community empowerment works in the area.

The Kusasi are considered as being autochthonous; they adhere to the typical animistic beliefs of West Africa, including ancestor worship; the influence of Islam is still minor.


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Mamprusi Tribe;

Mamprusi, a people who inhabit the area between the White Volta and Nasia rivers in northern Ghana. The Mamprusi speak different dialects of More-Gurma (Mõõre-Gurma) of the Gur (Voltaic) branch of the Niger-Congo language family. A few Mamprusi also live in northern Togo.

The Mamprusi differ from some other peoples of northern Ghana in their traditional organization as a centralized state with four subdivisions and a king. They, like all the peoples of northern Ghana, believe in a supreme being. The earth is viewed in both its practical aspect and spiritually, and the “earth cult” maintains shrines at sacred places. The importance of ancestors for the Mamprusi is manifested in shrines and rituals devoted to them. Many Mamprusi have now adopted Islam, but traditional religious practices persist. In the early 21st century Mamprusi speakers numbered about 220,000.

Source Britannica

From what you can learn just from TikTok videos alone about the Kusasi & Mamprusi tribes is that they're both very serious about their culture. These cultural practices continue to thrive no matter what.

The Mamprusi are often on social media telling the Kusasi people to go back to Burkina Faso. While the Mamprusi are said to also be in Togo, which is also where the connection with Ghana's Ewe tribe comes in.

The Ewe are tied with those from Togo because of a shared language and cultural practices, their home land is also connected as they're next door neighbors. There is currently a bridge which connects Ghana's Volta Region to the rest of mainland Ghana. While the Volta is an area of land connected to Togo.

There is also another conflict in Ghana, to which there are people that want to break from Ghana and Togo, to create their own country named 'Togoland', however that's a story for another day.

Frankly speaking the Volta Region is one of the better, most beautiful and usually cleanest parts of Ghana. Their people the Ewe are normally kind, hard workers and better at providing service then the. rest of Ghanians. Which is why in most places in Ghana, where you find an Ewe employed, their service and treatment of you is usually much nicer and kinder than any other tribe.

This has been my case in 2 years and every place in Ghana I've encountered the best customer service, or friendliest person. Often an Ewe doesn't try to scam you, they'll also make sure you are made to feel right at home.

In the cover photo, the Vice President of Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia, in several of the TikTok videos is being accused on fueling conflict between the Mamprusi and the Gonjas people.

History has it that the Gonjas appeared in modern Ghana very early in the 16th Century. Currently, their language is spoken by an estimated 300,000 people, almost all of whom are of the Gonja ethnic group of northern Ghana. Ghana's former President, John Dramani Mahama, is a Gonja.

The Gonjas belong to the larger Guan ethnic group (also known as ‘Kwa’), with the oldest written historical records. Also called ‘Ghanjawiyyu’ and ‘Ngbanye’ (the latter means ‘Brave Men’), the Gonjas derived their name from a corrupted Hausa phrase, ‘Kada Goro-Jaa’ (meaning land of Red Cola).

The Gonjas had their history recorded by Arab Muslims and Islamic scholars who accompanied them to this part of the world. According to Arabic manuscript and oral tradition, the Gonjas, who were originally Mandingo (also known as Mandinka), migrated from the country of Mande, that is, from the Mali Empire, many years before the Hejra Year 1000. They travelled through Segu in Southern Mali, and then approached the Bole area through La Cote d’Ivoire, the Sissala area, and Wa in modern Upper West Region.

Although Gonja is related to Guan languages in the south of Ghana, the Gonjas are mainly located in the Northern Region, southern Ghana, west central Ghana, the upper branches of the Volta Lake area, and from the Black Volta River to the White Volta area (both sides). Gonja is spoken by about a third of the population in the Northern Region.

Source: MoleNationalpark

Sissala area is Tumu, which is the immediate border town to Burkina Faso, some of which appear to be tied with those tribes from Burkina Faso.

Authors Photo taken in Tumu, Ghana Upper East

Now here are where things get very complicated the former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama and the current Vice President of Ghana Mahamudu Bawumia are both running for president of Ghana in the upcoming 2024 elections.

Bawumia who is from Northern Ghana, was born in Tamale, Kpariga Traditional Area, where his father was chief.

I've spoken to some people from the Bwaku area, they've accused, these are only alledgeded accusations, they've claimed that the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, is supplying weapons to one side of those fighting. There are Ghanian solders, who are stationed in this area, as well because of the civil war.

Sending items in Ghana are simple, buses from Accra, regularly take the trip to most parts of Ghana. Someone can simply send even a letter by going to a bus company, paying a fee, the letter or package, large or small will be placed on a bus, and delivered.

There are no items checked or scanned, they're simply placed in the luggage area of the vehicle, once I've seen them placed on the bus where I was seated. This is how items move from rural areas of Ghana to cities.

It is very possible to send weapons this way, I am in no way claiming that this has happened, I'm not accusing, I am simply stating what was told to me and how it might be possible in such an underdeveloped country and system where any type of items can be sent. I've even seen goats placed on the bottom of a bus I was riding on from Tumu, Ghana.

Here I've collected over an hour long video, all from TikTok, where several tribes trade threats of violence, some even claiming they've taken someone's photo and that they would deal with them. The young people of Bawku are trading threats and this conflict doesn't appear to be coming to an end anytime soon.

In the video from Twitter X, the claim was that this civil war would be ended in 2023, it hasn't. However the current vice president of Ghana has asked for peace, during this time of his political campaign.

As we've just entered in 2024, there is no sign of truce so far, I'll continue to update this situation.

Thank you for reading 🙏🏽 Please consider buying a coffee for Lacey’s House efforts in Gender Equality & Children’s Rights as it tries to move international.

©️TB Obwoge 2024 All Rights Reserved

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About the Creator


I'm the president of a nonprofit. I've lived in 3 countries, I love to travel, take photos and help children and women around the world! One day I pray an end to Child Marriages, Rape and a start to equal Education for ALL children 🙏🏽

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