A peace process in a deadlock: Critical assessment of the peace processes of the Dagbon intra-chieftaincy conflict in the Northern Region of Ghana

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Ateng, Mathias Awonnatey
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The peace processes initiated in 2003 to bring lasting peace to the Dagbon intra-chieftaincy conflict hit a deadlock when the first Roadmap (2006-2018) signed by the Abudu Gate and Andani Gate was not successfully implemented. This study examined the conditions that undermined the implementation of the first Dagbon Roadmap to Peace. The study addressed three main objectives: how the actions of third parties and political parties contributed to the failure of the Roadmap, how the management of the peace processes accounted for the failure of the Roadmap, and how the context conditions influenced the failure of the Dagbon Roadmap. The study adopted a qualitative research approach grounded on the post-positivist paradigm and critical ethnographic-case study and was conducted in the Dagbon Kingdom of the Northern Region of Ghana. A total of 63 participants were selected using purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Primary data was collected through in-depth interviews with 23 participants and five focus group discussions with 40 participants. Secondary data was obtained through the analysis of news articles. The data was analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. The findings of the study show that the motivation to continue the conflict, the exclusion of some segments of the society, the content of the Roadmap, and the absence of an implementation strategy contributed to the failure of the Roadmap. Also, the absence of political and security guarantees, the absence of internal leadership, socio-psychological barriers, and the culture and traditions of Dagbon undermined the success of the Roadmap. The analysis of the findings suggests that the failure of the first Dagbon Roadmap to peace was not a result of a single condition , but due to the interaction of many conditions that created an environment characterized by mistrust, fear, lack of confidence in the processes, the unwillingness to compromise and the weak implementation of the Roadmap. Consequently, conflict contexts have to be analysed to identify the conditions that can derail the initiation and implementation of peace processes before such endeavors are initiated. Likewise, appropriate structures must be identified and instituted to address these conditions in the initiation and implementation of peace processes.
Peace process, Conflict, Intra-chieftaincy conflict