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‘Collective efforts key to preventing conflicts, preserving peace’

The Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga has charged major stakeholders in the North East Region to work collectively to preserve the peace in the area before, during and after the 2024 general election.

There had been relative peace and harmony in the area for some time despite a few disturbances in recent times and it was therefore urgent for stakeholders to support the security services to maintain law and order, especially in the run up to the election.

Dr Joseph Bangu, the Director of Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO), a development wing of the Diocese, made the call at a regional level stakeholder forum on conflict prevention and peacebuilding at Nalerigu in the North East Region.

The forum formed part of the Integrated Peacebuilding for Improved Food and Nutrition Support project, funded by MISEREOR, a German Catholic Church Organisation, aimed at contributing to building peace structures at the communit
y, district and regional levels in the Upper East and North East regions.

It was to afford the stakeholders the opportunity to build network and brainstorm strategies to improve regional security, prevent conflict in election 2024 and threats from the Sahel region to promote peace and protect livelihoods.

It brought together representatives from the National Peace Council, security agencies, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and traditional and religious leaders, among others.

Dr Bangu explained that apart from the threats of terrorism, land and chieftaincy disputes that posed significant threat to the peace of the country, the 2024 election was predicted to be keenly contested and could breed conflicts in certain areas.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders to view peacebuilding and conflict prevention as a collective responsibility and work towards its promotion to sustain development.

‘The main strategy to peacebuilding is information sharing and building trust, we should be able to trust on
e another that when one gets information and brings it forward it would be acknowledged because networks are important sources of information,’ he added.

Dr Bangu said NABOCADO had been working in the last seven years building community and district level structures to contribute to conflict prevention and that the regional level engagement would help consolidate the gains made.

Mr Haruna Ibrahim, the Executive Secretary, North East Regional Peace Council, said the Council had already identified some hotspots in the region and efforts would be intensified to nip any violent activity in the bud before the elections.

Mr Wilberforce Zangina, the North East Regional Director, NCCE, noted that education and awareness creation was key to promoting social cohesion and urged the traditional and religious leaders to use their influence to support the peacebuilding process.

Naba Haruna Nasinmong Laar II, Chief of Gbankon, said utterances by politicians were major causes of conflict during electioneering and advised
them to be measured in their campaign to preserve the peace.

Mr Yidana Zakaria, the North East Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, commended NABOCADO for contributing to maintaining the relative peace in the region and urged the stakeholders to work together to cement the successes chalked.

Source: Ghana News Agency