Members of the Greater Accra Peace Council have attended a training programme in Accra to enhance their capacities. They also discussed ways to best address conflicts in the region.
The 13-member council, which was inaugurated in November last year, is mandated to advise the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) on matters relating to conflict prevention, management and resolution and building sustainable peace in the region.
Its membership includes the representatives of various institutions, such as the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, the RCC, the Regional House of Chiefs and practitioners of African traditional religion.
The acting Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council (NPC), Mr George Amoh, said the training was to enable the council to identify the hot spots in the region and provide early warning to elicit appropriate responses.
“This is the first Regional Peace Council to be established and so it is in line that we enhance its capacity to better address conflict issues that come to its attention,” he said.
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Mr Amoh added that the training was also to help the members distinguish between the functions of the National and the Regional Peace councils.
Touching on conflicts, he said the Greater Accra Region was one of the hottest spots for conflicts and mentioned among others the pending Bortianor chieftaincy issue, the Ga State chieftaincy issue and the recent violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election which he noted was least expected.
He said in view of that, the Greater Accra Peace Council was considering an update on the hot spots that had already been identified and also factor in violence in tertiary institutions.
On ensuring peace during the 2020 general election, Mr Amoh said the council had begun meetings with the relevant institutions and was yet to visit the Electoral Commission.
The Chairman of the Greater Accra Peace Council, Rev. Samuel Kofi Osabutey, in his remarks, said a document: “The National Peace Council Mapping Conflicts in Ghana, Greater Accra Region”, had been provided to guide the work of the council.
He said the expectation was that through the training, the members of the council would gain more insight to guide their work.
Turning attention to the NPC, Rev. Osabutey said two emergency meetings were held on May 6, which opened up discussions on how to cooperate with the Regional House of Chiefs to ensure a peaceful period during the ban on noise-making in the Ga State.
A member of the Governing Board of the NPC, Rev. Dr Nii Amoo Darku, expressed joy over the idea of the various regions having peace councils, saying that would help actively deal with conflicts in the regions.
He said because peace councils were yet to be inaugurated for the new regions, the regions from which they were created would take charge in that respect in the interim.
On progress made in discussions towards the ban on political vigilantism, Rev Dr Darku said no concrete decisions had been reached yet.
“What we have done is to again schedule another meeting for May 27 and 28 to discuss what ought to be done,” he said.
He urged the media to collaborate more with the peace councils to promote peace and stability, while prioritising the welfare of the people.