The role of politics in attempts to resolve the Manya-Yilo conflict in Ghana
Conflict over a natural resource deposit is commonplace in many resourcerich African countries. Such is the case at Odugblase in the Eastern Region of Ghana where the Manya Krobo and the Yilo Krobo traditional councils are in a protracted conflict pertaining to their claims of sovereignty over
land-sites where limestone is mined – each vying for a greater portion of the mineral royalties set aside for local authorities. This article studies the
attempts by the government and the mining company (Ghana Cement Limited) to resolve the Manya-Yilo conflict, in order to understand why
none of them was successful. This study finds that the government’s committee of enquiry to resolve the Manya-Yilo conflict was unsuccessful
as the investigation process did not adequately involve the traditional councils and there is no political will to enforce the recommendation of the
committee. Similarly, a mediation attempt by Ghana Cement Limited was unsuccessful due to the limited involvement of the opponents. The complex political structure, the inadequate regulations for distributing mineral royalties, and weak municipal assemblies are major factors protracting the Manya-Yilo conflict. The traditional councils need to negotiate with each other so that they and their respective municipal assemblies receive the limestone royalties and use the funds to develop the mining community.
Keywords: natural resource conflict, revenues claimed, adjudication, mediation, politics, Ghana