Tamale, Sept. 21, GNA- The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Ghana) has appealed to the African Community of Civil Society Organizations, the African Union and ECOWAS to advocate for peace and justice in Ghana, West Africa and Africa at large as the world marks the international day of peace which falls on 21st September every year.
WANEP says the symbolism of the International Day of Peace provides a unique platform to highlight the work of justice and peace in collective efforts to build a democratic and non violence culture in West Africa where the respect for basic human rights, social justice, peace, freedom and prosperity will sustain peaceful coexistence in our communities and in our Nations.
It noted that throughout the past two decades, the West African sub-region had suffered from destructive violent conflicts that had produced profound human tragedies requiring massive humanitarian and peacekeeping interventions.
“WANEP is convinced that more than ever before, we must be working towards the prevention of the escalation of violence and destruction rather than reacting to outbreaks of such violence”, WANEP said in a statement.
It was issued in Tamale and signed by Mr. Justine Bayor, National Network Coordinator of the WANEP-Ghana and made available to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday.
The statement called for a concerted effort to ensure peace especially as the electioneering grievances and discontent with the management and distribution of state resources and all forms of grumbles in the sub-region came closer and regretted the negative incidence which could results in violence and demanded efforts to ensure an end to them.
WANEP said preventing violent conflicts requires addressing underlying issues and conditions that created the ground for such violence to fester and in the immediate measure, urgent actions were required to minimize mistrust and build confidence towards the electoral processes, participatory democracy and management of state resources.
The statement observed that beyond the numerous appeals for peace and various peace campaigns, was the need to restoring public confidence that the pursuance of justice shall be firm and fair to all with professionalism and impartiality to give the public unbiased mind.
“On this International Day of Peace, WANEP also re-echoes and fully shares in the message of the African Union – Make Peace Happen and the commitment of our leaders when they declared “"We are determined to deal once and for all with the scourge of conflict and violence on our continent acknowledging our shortcomings and errors ,committing our resources and our best people and missing no opportunity to push forward the agenda of conflict prevention, peace-making, peace-keeping and post-conflict reconstruction. We, as leaders, simply cannot bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans", the statement added.
WANEP therefore called on all citizens of the sub region who express their grievances through act of violent extremism in a form of religious fanaticism, ideological orientation, secessionist bid, among others to embrace dialogue and joint problem solving as a means of articulating their concerns and ensuring the stability of the state.
“Those involved in all acts of ethnic, chieftaincy, land, communal and other forms of intra-state conflicts to ceasefire and bring their concerns to a negotiation table and urge the concern states to provide the environment that will ensure such pondering and meditative actions”, the statement said.
It called on all security agencies to be vigilant in monitoring the country's borders to deter, arrest and retrieve illegal arms in the possession of civilian populations. We also ask the security agencies and road safety campaign teams to intensify their road safety campaigns. We particularly commend the Ghana Police for planning to hold inter-party peace marches throughout the country on this day.