Claim: A video of gunfire on air in a dark sky is emanating from Bawku conflict
The video shows clashes in Iraq 2020 and not from the Bawku conflict.
Following a renewed recurrent chieftaincy conflict between the Kusasis and Mamprusis in Bawku of the Upper East Region, the Minister of Interior imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the area. In addition, there is a ban on wearing smocks, a traditional and preferred wear of the people by the Upper East Regional Security Council, in a bid to prevent people from concealing weapons for potential attacks. Tensions have further resulted in the shut down of schools within the conflict zones as parents fear their wards may be attacked.
Following these ongoing issues, a video has been found making the rounds on WhatsApp groups and on YouTube with 428 views by Architecture Design TV, and viewed by 1.3K people on Twitter in a post by Johnystixs on 23rd, 24th, and 25th November, 2021 respectively. All these posts suggested that the video in question is from the ongoing Bawku conflict.
Background of the Bawku Conflict
The conflict is a chieftaincy dispute between the Kusasis who are said to be the first settlers and the Mamprusis who were sent as soldiers during the reign of Naa- Gbewaa from the Northern Region to help the Kusassis defeat the Busangas, an ethnic group which came from Burkina Faso and wanted to take the land of the Kusasis at the time.
The Mamprusi settled after the war, being the minority ethnic group among the Kusasis, Morshis and the Busangas as the major tribe’s settlers in Bawku. The conflicting interest is chieftaincy paramountcy between the two. The first phase of the conflict occurred in 1982- 1985, second phase in 2000- 2001, third phase in 2007- 2013 and finally the current happenings which are said to have been restored according to a Ghana News Agency report.
In the 2000- 2001 conflict alone, the Ghana News Agency reported that 60 people were confirmed dead, 2,500 people displaced, and 190 houses in and around Bawku got burnt.
To ascertain the truth behind the video, Dubawa conducted a Google reverse image search and found that the video was first published in Arabic by a Russian State Media RT website on Facebook on July 28th, 2020 entitled “Violent confrontation with weapons between two Iraqi Clans.”
Further checks revealed that the same video was posted by an Instagram user on 21th April, 2021 with the claim that it was filmed at the presidential palace in Chad on the evening that President Idriss Déby’s death was announced but this claim was fact- checked by AFP to be that of the clash in Iraq 2020.
The same video was again posted by a Twitter user on 21 July, 2021 and captioned “There is a big war going on in Chad, next is Nigeria, Get ready” and was fact-checked by France24.com to be that of the clash in Iraq 2020 while making reference to the multiple times the video has surfaced on the internet with different claims.
The video shows clashes in Iraq 2020 between the Al-Bu Ali and Al-Nawafil tribes in the area of Al-Kahla in southern Iraq and not from the Bawku conflict.
This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking.