Muslim youth clash with land owners at Old Tafo; curfew imposed


A curfew has been imposed in Old Tafo in the Ashanti region after clashes between Muslim youth and traditional authorities over a piece of land.

It runs from 6pm to 6am and was imposed by the Regional Security Council and confirmed to Joy News by the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) boss Kojo Bonsu.

One person has been confirmed dead and several others injured in the violent clashes between Muslim youth and some youths in the town who are backing the traditional authorities.

A 30-year-old man Suleman was shot by a security man and was rushed to Tafo government hospital. He was later transferred to KATH where he died.

Gunshots reverberated through the troubled streets of Old Tafo in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi following the explosion in violence Wednesday afternoon.

Wielding machetes,clubs,knives and hammers,irate Muslim youth who claimed to be fighting a jihad, violently and indiscriminately assaulted anyone they could find on the streets.

The vandalism and destruction was triggered by disagreements over a piece of land at the Old Tafo Cemetry.

The Assembly Man for the area Albert Twum told Joy News, tensions began last Saturday when a chief walked over to ask the youths hold on to construction of a fence on the land.

“Last Saturday, the chiefs went there when they were trying to fence it, they slapped the chief and the people brought back the chief to the palace”, he said.

An opinion leader at Old Tafo explained, a portion of the land at the Old Tafo cemetery was demarcated and given to Muslims over 80 years ago when the Muslims settled in the area.

The Muslims have since lived in peace for decades until some of their youths began pushing the boundary, claiming additional territory. The Muslims there claimed they had bought the land.

The traditional authorities demanded that the Muslims produce proof before going ahead to fence their section of the cemetery. But for more than a year, the Muslim community there has not been able to provide proof, he said.

Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor explained on Joy FM, some Muslim youths were angered by an order by the chief to demolish the fence wall and physically attacked one of them.

“When the chiefs talked about it, you slap a chief of the Otumfuo?” a resident fumed on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday.

The attack on the chief reportedly infuriated some Akan youths at Old Tafo who vowed not to allow the Muslim youths to continue with the wall.

The two groups clashed Wednesday afternoon.

A whole battalion of soldiers has been parading the streets to stamp a sense of order in the town. The regional police command has also moved to Tafo.

The Regional Security Council is expected to meet and decide if the curfew is to be extended beyond Thursday.


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