COGINTA-GHANA launches programme on preventing electoral violence

Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region have common features relating to governance issues, identity division, structural violence, exploitation and access to natural resources and land, and so on (Photo: Gallo Images/Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
(Photo: Gallo Images/Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), COGINTA-GHANA, has launched a programme to build institutional capacities to promote good and inclusive governance geared towards achieving sustainable peace in the country.

The programme, dubbed: “Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC)” is a three-year initiative being implemented in the Northern, North East, Upper East, Upper West and Savannah regions with funding support from the European Union (EU).

The NORPREVSEC seeks to enhance peace-building and violence prevention mechanisms in the implementing regions, including building the resilience of residents along the country’s border regions against violent extremism and related issues.

Mr Clement Aapengnuo, the Team Leader COGINTA –GHANA, speaking at the launch of the programme, in Tamale, said it would among other activities equip key government and non-government actors with strategic plans to implement coordinated efforts to sustain peace among residents in the operational areas.

He said, “It will also implement interventions aimed at preventing pre-and post-electoral violence, against women and girls.”

Mr Aapengnuo indicated that as part of the programme there would be capacity building for stakeholders to enhance their skills in early warning, conflict resolution, countering terrorism and fighting against transnational organised crime concerning rule of law and human rights.

He called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to support the programme by actively contributing towards peace-building and preventing violent extremism in the country.

Madam Anna Lixi, Team Leader of Governance Section at the European Union Delegation to Ghana, stated that violent extremism was often nurtured by local conflicts and disputes and remained a global problem.

She mentioned that issues of conflicts and other disputes had become threats to the Gulf of Guinea, including Ghana, adding that, efforts were being made to develop partnerships for effective response measures to such issues.

She said the European Union would be providing the necessary support to the security agencies, especially to the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service to boost their work effectively to prevent violence in the country.

Madam Lixi said, “NORPREVSEC progamme is to bring the law enforcement agencies closer to the communities and to build mutual trust among the people and security service as a better response to the emerging security threats.”

Mr Herve Gonsolin, the Technical Adviser and also Senior Programme Manager at COGINTA-GHANA, called on stakeholders to continue to create more awareness on the risk of political and inter-communal violence including pre and post-electoral conflict.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, called on CSOs to strengthen their partnership with the government to build a peaceful country to enhance development.

COGINTA-GHANA is an NGO working in area of judicial and security governance, social cohesion, conflict management and prevention, resilience and community development.

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