The heightened tensions between the Kokombas and the Bassres in the Tatale township in the Northern Region have forced public sector workers, including teachers and staff of non-governmental institutions to flee the town.
According to a report by the Daily Graphic, most of the public servants at the district assembly had left their offices, while workers of NGOs based in the town had also left.
The military unit from Yendi that had been initially withdrawn from the township during the earliest sign of tensions, has been re-deployed to the area following the escalating situation.
On Thursday, January 19, a demonstration against the paramount chief of the area by some Bassare youth was staged, for his alleged role in influencing the government’s decision to choose a Kokomba as the new District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area.
This action heightened fears that some Kokombas may incite violence and counterattacks. Following such fears, a joint military and police team from Yendi was deployed to the district capital,Tatale, to maintain law and order.
According to an anonymous source, although the GES had not given any directive for the closure of schools in the town, both students and teachers were leaving the schools by choice.
The source further said that since it was not the GES that authorized the closure of the schools, it could not tell when the teachers and the students would return.
“We cannot tell when they will come because they left the schools by themselves, but some of the teachers are around.” the source said.
Due to the tribal tensions in Tatale, the only senior high school in the town, the Evangelical Presbyterian Senior Technical School (EP-SHTS), was closed down on Monday, January 23, 2017.