Nine people were killed when armed men attacked a bus in northern Ghana, a region grappling with ethnic violence and violence linked to Islamist militants in neighboring Burkina Faso, a local official said Friday (September 22nd). The bus attacked on Thursday morning was carrying mostly women on its way to the market, and was under police escort due to tensions in Pusiga district, near the highly volatile Bawku area in the North-East region.
The Bawku region is weakened by a conflict between community chiefdoms that often degenerates into violence, in addition to being threatened by an extension of jihadist abuses that bloody neighboring Burkina. Pusiga district chief Zubeiru Abdulai told AFP that nine people were shot dead when their bus was ambushed near a forest on the border with Togo. "The police are currently investigating and it would be difficult for me to provide the reason for this attack," he added. Police did not immediately respond to requests for information.
In April, Ghana sent a thousand troops to the area to try to maintain calm. Ghana and its West African neighbors such as Togo, Benin and Côte d'Ivoire are closely followed by the United States and other Western countries that intend to support them against the jihadists, who have taken control of nearly 40% of neighboring Burkina Faso. So far, Ghana has been spared direct violence blamed on jihadists, unlike Togo, Benin or Côte d'Ivoire.