The US Agency for International Developmemt (USAID) in partnership with the National Peace Council, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has officially launched the Regional Election Early Warning and Response Group (REEWARG) in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The group which will be hosted by the Northern Regional Peace Council will discuss, develop and recommend strategies to mitigate threats to the peaceful conduct of the 2016 elections at the regional level.
The system according to the Representative of USAID Nana Serwah Amoako is in response to a pledge by the US President Barack Obama during the 2014 US African Leadership Summit to work with West African Governments to strengthen election warning and response systems throughout Africa.
She said “through WANEP’s extensive network of civil society organization and appointed community monitors across the country, the group will be better placed to identify potential risks of election violence”.
If monitoring in a given area reveals a heightened risk of violence at any point in the election cycle, WANEP will develop recommendations on how to it can be prevented and will channel recommendations to members of the Regional Election Early Warning and Response Group.
In his address, the Northern Regional Chairman of the Peace Council, Most Rev Philip Naameh said the 2016 elections presents Ghanaians with yet another opportunity to test our maturity in conducting elections, our political tolerance and oneness as people despite being in yet one of the most competitive elections in the history of the country.
He however added, “the current trends indicate there is pressure on the various electoral bodies due to high perception of mistrust and lack of confidence in the very institutions meant to oversee the successful conduct of our elections and ensure peaceful electoral outcomes. The rising numbers of litigation and reactions can both serve as fertile grounds for Peace or violence”.
By Zubaida Ismail/TV3/Ghana