Ethnic tension as fresh riots break out in more schools in Upper East Region

Police officers stationed at the rioting two schools.

The Upper East Region has recorded a fourth student riot in just one month since the first violent protest saw a police commander and three other policemen injured and admitted to hospital.

The unrest broke out Sunday night at Sandema Senior High School in the Builsa North Municipality.

Authorities at the school told Media Without Borders the riot stemmed from a row among students from two ethnic groups, Builsa and Frafra.

“I called the police commander,” said the headmaster, Robert Yelioni. “He has moved there. But I have not had any report yet from him as to the extent of the fight.”

Headmaster of Sandema Senior High School, Robert Yelioni.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area, Vida Anaab, told Media Without Borders on Monday there was “a lit bit of calm” at the school.

“We are handling it. Last night, we called for reinforcement from Navrongo. They are there helping. There is a lit bit of calm.

“I learn they were burning student mattresses. But I have not been there to check. So, I don’t have that evidence,” she said.

The latest demonstration comes about a week after Zamse Senior High/Technical School was rocked in the region’s capital, Bolgatanga, by an ethnic-related conflict among some Frafra and Kusasi students.

Police officers are currently stationed at the school to maintain calm. Despite the presence of the law enforcement officers at the school, some students are apprehensive.

“The boys are saying they are only waiting for the police to leave so they can continue with the fight,” a female boarding student told Media Without Borders at the weekend with a tone of worry.

Zamse Senior High/Technical School.

The first riot erupted on 13 May 2023 at St. Bernadettes’s Technical Institute in Navrongo after the school’s management declined a proposal from students to play an inter-ethnic football match on campus.

The Kassena-Nankana Municipal Police Commander, ASP Kingsley Kanda, who led a police team to the school to quell the unrest, limped heavily out of the scene with a fracture. Three of his men, injured at the scene by the rioting students, also left and joined him at the War Memorial Hospital in Navrongo for treatment.

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

Our Ladies of Lourdes Girls Senior High School

“The girls are very calm and disciplined. It is a disciplined school. So, if there is a reason for the girls to cry and to make noise, then, it means there is an issue.

“I was on the campus on the 14th on a school visit. Interacting with the students as I usually do on such occasions, they complained about the food situation, the quality and that it’s inadequate,” the chairman of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Jonathan Balobah, told Media Without Borders on 25 May 2023.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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