Commercial bus vandalised as another ethnic riot rocks boarding school in Upper East Region

The Upper East has recorded its fifth riot in May.

A bus dispatched on Monday to rescue endangered boarding students from a riot scene at Sirigu Integrated Senior High School, a public institution in the Upper East Region, left the school’s premises in a hurry with its body smashed and taking only a few students along.

Police authorities in the Kassena-Nankana West District, where the school is located, told Media Without Borders the riot resulted from a conflict involving students from two ethnic groups, Frafra and Kusasi.

The school was established in January, 2000.

It all began Monday afternoon after a boarder from one of the two ethnic groups was beaten by a schoolmate from the other group. The assault resulted in students from either side throwing stones at each other.

As stones continued to fly outdoors, the school’s authorities held an emergency meeting indoors. The authorities feared the row might be more devastating if they left the feuding students to spend the next night together in the same dormitories. So, the meeting contemplated closing down the school temporarily.

The Upper East Regional Peace Council (UERPC) once inaugurated a peace club at the school to deter riots.

While the authorities were weighing up options in the meeting, a commercial bus arrived on the school’s premises. It was reportedly hired by some natives of Bawku to take Kusasi students out from the troubled campus. But the rescue move was disrupted with stones after some students had managed to get onto the bus.

Caught under a heavy hail of stones, the driver was forced to abandon those who failed to get on board early. The bus left the scene damaged, with almost all its screens gone.

One of the school’s buildings.

“They destroyed the whole bus,” the Kassena-Nankana West District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Charles Ahiamale, told Media Without Borders. “They smashed the bus, everything. The driver had to drive the bus away like that.”

A frightened student, begging for any means to leave the campus on Monday night, claimed: “They are just shooting guns and throwing stones. There are no teachers on the campus. All the teachers ran home.”

The map of the Upper East Region. Credit:

Before the Monday’s riot, an ethnic unrest had broken out on Sunday night at Sandema Senior High School in the Builsa North Municipality among students from the Builsa and the Frafra ethnic groups.

And about a week earlier, a conflict involving students from the Frafra and the Kusasi ethnic groupings had escalated into an all-out riot at Zamse Senior High/Technical School in the region’s capital, Bolgatanga.

On 13 May 2023, a demonstration erupted at St. Bernadettes’s Technical Institute in Navrongo after the school’s management strictly begged to be excused from a proposal tabled by its students to organise an inter-ethnic football tourney among themselves on campus. The riot left a police commander with a fractured leg and three other police officers injured and hospitalised.

On 22 May 2023, a rare student protest went bang at a usually quiet Our Ladies of Lourdes Girls Senior High School over the quality and quantity of food served on campus.

The Upper East Regional Peace Council (UERPC) told Media Without Borders on Monday that it intended presenting a proposal to the government on Tuesday in relation to the wave of disturbances at second-cycle institutions in the region.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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