The Coalition of Civil Societies Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV), made up of 48 CSOs, has called for an end to the use of party militias in Ghana by reflecting on the consequences of violence as Rwanda marks 25 years since approximately 1,000,000 of its citizens were slaughtered.
“We, therefore, add our voices to the call for the immediate disbandment of all vigilante groups across the length and breadth of the country,” Chairman of the CCSAPV, Mr Mensah Thompson, said in a statement on Monday, 8 April 2019.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has already tasked the leadership of the two main political parties in Ghana to meet and find solutions to the political thuggery conundrum.
The Coalition further requested the National Peace Council, tasked to mediate the talks, to include civil society organisations in the process “so that we can do effective monitoring of the compliance level of these political parties”.
The Coalition commended Rwandans for the successes they have been able to achieve after the devastating consequences of the genocide.
Commemorations have begun in Rwanda to mark the 25th anniversary of the genocide that killed about a tenth of the population. The country will mourn for 100 days, the time it took in 1994 for the Rwandans to be massacred. Most were minority Tutsis killed by ethnic Hutu extremists.
President Paul Kagame, who led the rebel force that ended the genocide, lit a remembrance flame at the memorial in the capital, Kigali on Sunday.
“We pray that Rwanda will continue to inspire hope to the people of Africa and continue to be a shining star on the continent and never return to the dark days,” the Coalition noted in commemoration of the event.
Below is the full statement:
COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETIES AGAINST POLITICAL VIGILANTISM-CCSAPV
ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE, CCSAPV WARNS GHANA TO BE CAUTIOUS AND LEARN FROM THE RWANDAN EXPERIENCE
The Coalition of Civil Societies Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV) is a network of well-meaning Civil Society Groups, Advocacy Groups, Pressure Groups, Youth Groups and well-meaning Ghanaians coming together to form a Coalition to pursue an Agenda for Peace and execute a Public Campaign against Political Vigilantism and its accompanying electoral violence before, during and after the 2020 elections.
The Coalition is made up of over 50 CSOs and many more joining by the day.
This month as Rwanda commemorates 25 years of the Civil war that slaughtered over 1 million predominant Tutsis (an ethnic group in Rwanda), it is a cautious reminder of how volatile Africa and the sub-region has been in the recent past and how much we need to do to keep the relative stability we have enjoyed in the sub-region in the last few years.
For us as Ghanaians, this must be a cautious reminder of things we never want to happen in our Country.
For such an atrocious act against humanity to be sparked and sustained with the media, this is even scarier and for us as Ghanaians, it exposes the dire vulnerabilities of our dear Country in recent times.
We as a Coalition would, therefore, use this opportunity to admonish the Media, to be circumspect and be ever mindful of the role they play in ensuring Peace and National cohesion and never to abuse those powers.
We also call on the Political Parties to be mindful of their actions as the people are direct beneficiaries of their actions whether good or bad.
We, therefore, add our voices to the call for the immediate disbandment of all Vigilante Groups across the length and breadth of the country.
In resolving the issue of vigilantism, we, therefore, ask the Peace Council, respectfully for a representation of civil societies in brokering the peace deal between the major political parties so that we can do effective monitoring of the compliance level of these political parties.
We also call on the Presidency to, as a matter of urgency, make the Short Commission Report Public so that CSOs can study the recommendations and contribute in various capacities to its effective implementation.
We also call on Ghanaians to learn from the Rwanda experience and to cherish the peace and stability we enjoy as a country and to protect it with all our might because this is the only country we have.
To the Rwandans, we want to say we are proud of their quick healing and subsequent successes in the development and creating endless opportunities for its citizens.
We pray that Rwanda will continue to inspire hope to the people of Africa and continue to be a shining star on the continent and never return to the dark days!!!
May God bless the people of Rwanda, may God bless Ghana as well.
List of Members of CCSAPV
1. iWatch Africa.
4.Muslim Family Counselling Services
6.Federation of Youth Clubs
8. Empowered Youth Foundation
9. Community Empowerment Systems (CEMS-Ghana)
10.Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute
11.People's Democratic Movement
12.Avert Youth Foundation
14.Ru Care Foundation
15.Seed for Economic Empowerment of the Vulnerable -SEEV Ghana
17.Citizens for Truth and Accountability Ghana, CiTAG
21.Center for Economic and Business Research-CEBR
22.Misthy Cee Development Centre (MCDC)
23.Humanitarian Reachout Foundation
24.African Compassion Network
25.Network of Disaster Volunteers
26.Caucus For Democratic Governance -CDG
27.Premier Youth Network
28.Africa Center for Women in Politics-ACWP
29.Democratic Credentials Network-DCN
30. Upper West Regional Youth Parliament
31. Y-PES GHANA
32. United Force for Development-Tamale, Northern region
33. ReachOut World Mission
34.Educate Ghana Summit
36.Youth Alliance for Development, Ghana
37.Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme
38.Renel Ghana Foundation
39.Resource Link Foundation
40.Upper West Youth Parliament
41.Leadership Empowerment Initiative(i-LEAD)
42.West Africa Centre
for Counter Extremism
46.Youth Harvest Foundation
47.United Nations Association-Ghana
48.Ghana Federation of the Disabled