The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), with support from the Government of Denmark, is organizing a two-day Regional Security Stakeholders Meeting in Banjul, Gambia, from Monday 21st June to Tuesday 22nd June.
A statement issued by the KAIPTC and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the meeting would examine ways to prevent atrocities at the state level.
It said the event would provide a platform to discuss critical policy issues impacting atrocity
prevention efforts in West Africa.
The statement said the meeting would deliberate on national experiences and best practices in atrocity prevention.
It will also discuss appropriate structures and mechanisms for preventing and responding to atrocity crimes in West Africa.
It will create a networking opportunity for relevant state officials, civil society actors and other practitioners to facilitate a community of practice for atrocity prevention.
It said a total of 45 participants from five participating countries namely Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Liberia and The Gambia, would converge in Banjul for the event.
Other participants would include experienced practitioners and policy level officials from ECOWAS, national human rights commissions, state security agencies, civil society organizations, and other international organizations.
It said the event would leverage both in-person and virtual platforms to facilitate interaction among a wide network of critical stakeholders.
It said the Danish Government was supporting the KAIPTC to implement strategic projects in areas such as: Women Peace and Security (WPS), Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and Conflict Prevention. The project is on the theme: “Promoting Peace and Security in West Africa”.
The statement said the activities to be conducted as part of the project comprise research, training, and awareness creation, with the research findings feeding into training courses, policy dialogues, and other events for stakeholder representatives at all levels (from UN General Assembly participants and ECOWAS and AU officials to community-level leaders).
It said following a surge in atrocity crimes in the West African sub-region over the years, there had been a pressing need for the adoption of renewed strategies to combat the canker in compliance with the principles of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.
The statement said in West Africa, there were numerous recorded cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity in countries such as Mali, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and The Gambia; where identity-based violence were also pronounced.
“Recent cases of atrocity crimes in West Africa have further pushed the atrocity prevention agenda to the fore of policy discourses,” it said.
“Whereas some progress has been made since 2005 when the R2P was adopted, it is becoming increasingly apparent that implementation at the country level has been slow and in some cases worsening. For instance, accountability for atrocity crimes has been mostly lacking, encouraging a culture of impunity in many spaces,” the statement added.