The Bissa Development Association (BDA) is demanding justice following the alleged killing of seven Ghanaians in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
It is reported that the seven individuals from the Bawku belt of the Upper East Region were arrested by Burkinabe security in separate incidents and allegedly executed based on suspicion that they were linked with Jihadist groups.
The first incident reportedly occurred around 10th October 2023 when 2 young men, Lukuman Karim and Bashiru Nuhu from Mognori Central, crossed into Burkina Faso.
“Reports are that they were arrested by Burkinabe security forces and executed instantly based on suspicion that they may have trading links with Jihadist groups.”
Alhaji Abdul Malik Bansi, who disclosed this during a press conference held in Bawku on behalf of the Bissa Development Association (BDA), explained that the second incident occurred when 2 nomadic herdsmen, who were originally Burkinabe citizens but lived in Baribari within the Bissa belt in Bawku, crossed with their cattle to Korlela along the White Volta in Burkina Faso in October 2023 to graze.
He added that the 2 herdsmen were allegedly arrested by Burkinabe security forces and executed on suspicion of being informants to Jihadist groups operating in the area.
He said the cattle belonging to the herdsmen were sent to a public location in Burkina Faso for owners to come for identification and collection.
“On 13th October 2023, 6 men, 5 of whom are owners of some of the cattle, and the 6th person being Mahmudu Bani, father of the two herdsmen executed days earlier, all of whom are from the Bissa belt, crossed the border from Ghana into Burkina Faso to identify and retrieve their missing cattle that were sent to the identification and collection centre after the two herdsmen were executed.”
The press statement read that the group who went for identification of their cattle first went to meet the Assemblyman for Kanyire, one Adams, who asked them to proceed to the location of the cattle as he would call the commander of the security forces in Burkina Faso to alert him about their mission.
“According to sources, the 5 Ghanaian Bissas and their Fulani herdsman, Bani Mahmudu, were allegedly arrested by security forces in Burkina Faso and summarily executed. Sources allege that Bani Mahmudu, who led the 5 cattle owners, was already on a wanted list of the security forces for some alleged links to Jihadist groups.”
The second batch of the killing of the 5 Ghanaian Bissas included Jibril Ibrahim, 39 years; Abdullah Bagare, 62 years; Mumuni Seidu, 31 years; Abdul Kadril, 52 years; and Issaka, 40 years.
On behalf of the Bissa Development Association (BDA), Alhaji Bansi could not fathom why the security forces in Burkina Faso did not attempt to investigate the innocence or otherwise of the 5 Ghanaians who were there to identify and retrieve their missing cattle.
With deep concern, the Bissa Development Association (BDA) says the silence of the government of Ghana over the issue is a worry that has led to some families of these missing persons performing their funerals as all hopes were lost. While condemning the act, the group calls on the government to thoroughly investigate the incident to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“While we appreciate the Burkinabe government’s effort to combat terrorism on its territory, we cannot accept the alleged summary execution of our brothers who cross into Burkina Faso for one reason or the other. The BDA further condemns the deafening silence by the government of Ghana in addressing the reports of the missing 7. It has been three long months of trauma, grief, and extreme pain for the families and loved ones of the missing persons,” the group added.
The Bissa people are an ethnic group primarily found in West Africa, with significant populations in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Togo. In Ghana, the Bissa people are located in the Upper East Region in areas around Bawku, Garu, and Tempane.