Peace Council educates stakeholders on early warning , response

Social Council Training
Social Council Training

The Northern Regional Peace Council (NRPC) has trained various actors and stakeholders in the Saboba District, to empower them to identify, analyse conflict trends and risks, inform decision-making, and initiate timely responses to prevent violent conflicts.

It was also to strengthen the capacity of individuals at risk, and other local key actors to receive, analyse and act on incoming warnings of conflicts, as well as enhance and complement existing early warning systems with local data and feedback.

The two-day training was attended by the youth, women, traditional authority, religious leaders, and Assembly Members.

The NRPC training was as part of the “Preventing Violent Extremism Atlantic Corridor project,” funded by the Government of Denmark through the United Nations Development Programme.

The project seeks to prevent and address the immediate localised drivers of radicalisation leading to violent extremism in target communities, while providing support to strengthening the “Infrastructure for Peace” such as mechanisms for early warning, and early response at local level.

Participants were taken through topics including; impact of violent extremism, early warning, and response, achieving effective early response, types of response, setting up early warning and response systems, whole-community approach to preventing violent extremism, and strategies to building trust.

They also engaged in group discussions on practical risks in the Saboba area, identification of practical risks in the area, impact of violent extremism amongst others.

Dr Fatima Iddrisu Abu, a Senior Lecturer at the Tamale Technical University, and Council Member of the NRPC, who was the key facilitator during the training, urged participants to put into practice lessons learned to protect the citizenry and ensure a peaceful country.

The Saboba District was selected for the training based on its location as a border community with so many unapproved routes, which violent extremists could take advantage of to enter the area to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

Moreover, conflicts emanating from land and chieftaincy disputes are common in the area, which pose major hindrances to the development of the district.

Dr Abu said there was the need for all to understand that “the peace we are experiencing is not to be taken for granted if we take it for granted” adding “We have signs of internal conflicts; religious, political, and even our family ones; chieftaincy and land conflicts.

And once we have these conflicts within, the external ones can take advantage of our internal conflicts and infiltrate if we do not create the awareness so that we solve our problem internally before any violent extremist can take advantage of it and come here, especially along our border towns,” he said.

Pastor Niipaak Laar, who was a participant, said the training had increased his knowledge and skills in conflict resolution and how to approach issues in the community, which would help mitigate such incidences in communities within the area.

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