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CDD, Peace Council train peace mediators in 6 regions ahead of 2020 elections

Election 20201 Ghana will go to the polls come December 7, 2020

Wed, 30 Sep 2020 Source: thefinderonline.com

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with the National Peace Council (NPC), has held a two-day training workshop for a group of 40 participants who would serve as peace mediators during and after the 2020 general elections.

Drawn from eight districts in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Bono East, Upper East and Oti regions, the mediators are expected to identify conflict signals within their operational districts and report to CDD-Ghana and the NPC for further action.

The four-month exercise is aimed at reducing recorded violence during and after the 2020 elections.

The training is the first of two zonal workshops for 80 participants across the country.

The participants were equipped with knowledge in areas such as the concept of mediation, early warning signals and indicators for tracking conflict triggers, community monitoring and environment, and how to conduct peace education, among others.

Four of the five people drawn from each of the districts will serve as peace mediators while the fifth person will serve as their coordinator.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the workshop, Senior Programmes Officer at CDD-Ghana and team lead for Security Sector Governance, Nana Abrampah Mensah said the districts were carefully selected based on constituencies that were identified as hotspots.

“We based our hotspot identification on constituencies, and one of the criteria is constituencies that have had repeated violence during elections, constituencies that have recorded vigilante activities, constituencies that have lingering and unresolved violence – chieftaincy, land litigation, criminal violence, [etc.]. Some of these violence also escalate during elections,” he explained.

He said the individual participants were taken through an interview process and selected based on requirements such as non-partisanship, independence, not having held a political position before, and statesmanship.

Explaining the role of the Peace Council in the exercise, the Executive Secretary of the NPC in the Northern Region, Reverend Father Thaddeus Kuusah said the collaboration fits into the mandate of the council.

“These peace committees that are being set up within this short time of four months, they will be working directly with the Peace Council, and one of the things that they will be doing is reporting to us in terms of the signs that they will be picking in the various districts. We will now use that to make a response strategy, and that is what fits into the Regional Election Response Group that we are forming for the whole of the northern sector,” he stated.

Rev Fr. Kuusah further explained that aside from issues of misunderstanding between and within political parties, the mediators would also be looking out for issues of chieftaincy and social conflicts that are likely to feed into the election period.

He added that the peace initiatives being implemented in the Northern Region are yielding results as the region continues to witness a decline in election-related violence.

The districts that were selected for the exercise include Chereponi, Damango, Navrongo, Techiman South, Bimbilla, Wulensi, Bawku Central and Nkwanta South.

Source: thefinderonline.com
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