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Ghana: Conflict between the Konkomba and Nanumba tribes and the government response to the conflict (1994-September 2000)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 26 September 2000
Citation / Document Symbol GHA35249.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ghana: Conflict between the Konkomba and Nanumba tribes and the government response to the conflict (1994-September 2000), 26 September 2000, GHA35249.E, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Information contained in this Response was provided by the Centre for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) Website:

Violence broke out in 1994 over a minor trade dispute. It exploded into large-scale violence which left at least 1000 and probably 2000 people dead, 150,000 displaced, and several hundred villages and farms destroyed. Tensions eased in 1995, though the underlying causes of the dispute--access to land and local political representation--remain.

Groups other than the Konkomba and Dagomba were involved in the dispute, but their status in the region is unclear. The Mossi did not appear to be involved at all. Though the north is less prosperous than the south, the dispute was not really about this inequality.

The Rawlings government appeared to handle the conflict effectively, and abuses by the armed forces were rarely reported. His government made several attempts at peace and reconciliation and as of the end of 1995, the conflict was well under control if not fully resolved. Rawlings urged the combatants to work for the prosperity of the region and country and tried to convince them that internal conflict would only cause larger problems in the long run.

Fighting between the Konkomba people and Nchumurus almost broke out in 1997 over land disputes. Luckily President Rawlings was able to quell the situation before it got out of hand (June 1999).

At the request of the government of Ghana, Ghana, Togo and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) held a meeting aimed at seeking assistance for the voluntary repatriation of refugees who fled to Togo during the 1994 conflict between the Nanumba, Dagomba and Konkomba (RIN) 16-22 Oct. 1999). According to IRIN, most refugees preferred to remain in Togo (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Centre for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM). June 1999. [Accessed: 25 Sept. 2000]

United Nations, Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN). 16-22 October 1999. "Tripartite Discussions on Ghanaian Refugees in Togo." [Accessed: 25 Sept. 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London].

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford].

Amnesty International. 1999. Amnesty International Report 1999. New York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1999.2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge].


Resource Centre. Country File. Ghana.

Search engines including,

Africa News



Internet sites including,

Africa News

Daily Graphic. [Accessed 25 Sept. 2000]

European Centre for Conflict Prevention. n.d. Emmy Toonen. "Ghana: Mediating a Way Out of Complex Ethnic Conflicts." [Accessed: 25 Sept. 2000]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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