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‘Ghana must address internal threats to peace ahead of 2024 elections’

Discussants at a forum in Bolgatanga have underscored the urgent need for Ghana to address internal threats to the prevailing peace ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Chieftaincy and land disputes, unemployment, unequal development, discrimination and marginalisation among others were identified as internal factors that could destabilise the country’s peace, particularly during electioneering years, if not addressed properly.

The discussants drawn from the National Peace Council, security agencies, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), traditional and religious leaders, among others were at a regional level stakeholder engagement on peacebuilding.

It was organised by the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO), as part of the Integrated Peacebuilding for Improved Food and Nutrition Support (INPEACE) project, funded by MISEREOR, aimed at contributing to building peace structures at the community, district and regional levels in the Upper East and North East Regi

The forum was to afford the stakeholders 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.

Mr Mawuli Agbenu, the Upper East Regional Director of the NCCE, indicated that Ghana needed to take lessons from factors that triggered the instabilities in some countries in the Sahel region and work to address such issues to prevent any unforeseen conflict.

‘We carried out research and we have found out that those factors present in the Sahelian countries that have given rise to violent extremism are equally present here in Ghana. We are talking about social, economic, political, religious and ethnic problems and all these things have been with us all these years,’ he said.

He attributed the challenges to uneven development pattern, high rate unemployment and neglect among others in the country and called for inclusive policies that would ensure participation and rec

Mr Ali Anankpieng, the Executive Secretary of the Upper East Regional Peace Council, indicated that serious attention needed to be paid towards resolving the Bawku Chieftaincy conflict in order to prevent unscrupulous people from taking advantage of the situation to promote violence in this election year.

Apart from the need for stakeholders to work to increase tolerance and social cohesion, the Executive Secretary underscored the urgent need for improved steps to check the proliferation of arms in the country.

Naba Yelzoya Kosom Asaga II, Paramount Chief of the Nangodi Traditional Area, said those seeking political positions had critical role to play in preventing violence during election periods, adding that politicians needed to be decorous in their utterances to promote peaceful atmosphere.

Dr Joseph Bangu, the Director of Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate, NABOCADO, explained that NABOCADO had been working in the last seven years, building community and district level structure
s to help prevent conflict, adding that the regional level engagement would help consolidate the gains made so far.

He indicated that there was the need for stakeholders to intensify education to calm nerves among the citizens and promote internal peace, particularly before, during and after the 2024 elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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