Intra-Sectarian Tensions in the Muslim Community in Nandom in the Upper West Region of Ghana: Dynamics and Actors

Chrispin Mwinkyogtaa Kuupiel, Linus D. Nangwele


This paper explored the dynamics and actors in the Imamship conflict in Nandom Zongo community. The study was approached qualitatively using a case study design. The researchers interacted with ten (10) participants. Data was drawn through in-depth interviews and observation and analyzed using thematic template analysis. The study unearthed that the ill-health of the Imam and his vice which created a vacancy of the office of Imam is the remote cause of the conflict. The conflict degenerated into fierce struggle over the Imamship and disagreement over a choice of replacement. A ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ rhetoric was introduced into the Imamship contest among the orthodox Muslims in the Nandom Zongo community. The study revealed that the conflict has strong socio-political, economic, security and religious implications on the Zongo community. Apart from the primary conflict parties, there were state actors, traditional actors, group actors and independent actors in the conflict. The dynamics of the conflict were informed by the grievances of the conflict parties, actor interaction and conflict parties’ commitment to the conflict. The study contributes to the understanding of conflict dynamics and actor interaction in conflict processes.

Keywords: Conflict Dynamics, Actors, Nandom Zongo, Imamship, Upper West Region, Ghana

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/55-06

Publication date:November 31st 2022

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