Mrs Janet Sarney-Kuma, Director of Capacity Development and Outreach at the National Peace Council, has emphasised the need to strengthen the modus oparandi and respective roles of security services and humanitarian actors in protecting civilian rights.
She called for vibrant collaboration between civilians and security services to device mechanisms to enhance effective protection in communities.
Mrs Sarney-Kuma made the call at a capacity building and sensitisation workshop under the Prevention of Violent Extremism Through Social Accountability (PoVETSA) Project for security services on their roles and responsibilities to protect citizens at the regional level, in Tamale.
The workshop, organised by Catholic Relief Services in collaboration with National Peace Council and Centre for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies, was to strategically narrow the gap between security forces and the reality faced by populations at risk of violent extremism and terrorism, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
It was also to increase security forces’ sense of responsibility to civilians and strengthen collaboration among security agencies.
Mrs Sarney-Kuma advised the participants to prioritise identifying protection challenges and innovations at the local level to better understand the reality on the ground.
She urged the participants to use the knowledge gained to work towards strengthening collaboration between security services and civilians towards the prevention of violent extremism in the country.
Mrs Alisa Afusah Mogre, Programme Manager of Youth and Peacebuilding Programme at Catholic Relief Services said, a socially accountable civilian community and security service is a critical factor in not only combatting violent extremism but also reinforcing a strong foundation for Ghana’s civic participation.”
Mrs Mogre said the project, sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy, was to translate a learning process into a trust-building mechanism for Ghanaian national peacebuilding institutions, civil society organisations, security services, and civilians.
She said the project was also building on the gains of the Sahel Peace Initiative, which CRS had been implementing since 2019 to promote peace and social cohesion in Ghana and the Sahel.
Reverend Father Clement Aapengnuo, Team Leader at CoGINTA-GHANA, urged civilians and stakeholders in peacebuilding to work together to support government to prevent terrorism and violent acts in the country.