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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GHANEP raises alarm over security threats


The Ghana Network for Peacebuilding (GHANEP), the local wing of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, (WANEP) is cautioning against certain issues it says pose a threat to national security.

GHANEP said numerous chieftaincy disputes, increasing politically motivated youth violence, heightened negative activities by Fulani herdsmen as well as a rise in political intolerance on radio are matters that must be addressed urgently as they pose serious threats to human security across the country.

In a press release as part of its quarterly security briefs resulting from its National Early Warning System, GHANEP challenged Ghanaian politicians to be bold to condemn the actions of their followers when they go wrong and allow them to face the full rigours of the law.

Further, GHANEP also challenged politicians to have constant interaction with the youth in their areas so as to identify their talents and explore avenues of developing these talents, and urged the youth to eschew violence and not allow themselves to be used by others to achieve their selfish interests.

Below is the full statement by GHANEP

This security brief forms part of the regular quarterly security briefs that GHANEP (WANEP Ghana) issues, as a direct consequence of the National Early Warning System which GHANEP operates.

On Monday, July 5, 2010, Parliament discussed the issue of the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the country, adding their voice to past discussions by civil society and the media. Much as GHANEP is thankful to the country’s Law making body for initiating concrete debates on the matter, we enjoin all stakeholders to follow suit by broadening the discussion in order to solicit further inputs.

Again, the negative activities of unsettled Fulani herdsmen highlighted by GHANEP in past security briefs is receiving tremendous feedback from the general public and various stakeholders including government representatives and agencies, NGOs, the media and Fulani Associations. On July 7, 2010, the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Moses Mabengba added his voice to the issue when he blamed Fulani herdsmen for committing highway robberies in the region. He said the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) had of late noted with concern highway robberies by some Fulani on the Tamale-Salaga, Fufulso Junction-Sawla, Buipe-Kintampo, Savelugu-Diare and Wa-Bamboi roads and had instituted measures to deal with the situation. (ghanaweb, July 7, 2010). GHANEP considers these developments as healthy for resolving the unsettled Fulani issue.

Between April and June 2010, GHANEP, through its Early Warning System, wishes to draw the attention of the general public to threats posed by the following to human security across the nation;
  1. Numerous chieftaincy disputes and the related violence in the country.
  2. Increasing politically motivated youth violence in the country.
  3. Heightened negative activities by Fulani herdsmen.
  4. Rising political intolerance on radio.

In the light of the issues raised above, GHANEP as a body specifically wishes to:
  • Petition the National/Regional Houses of Chiefs to, as a matter of urgency, seek for ways to resolve the numerous chieftaincy disputes currently with them. They should also undertake comprehensive research into stool/skin lands for gazette.
  • Exhort Parliament to continue the discussion on the numerous chieftaincy disputes and that the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Chieftaincy and Culture should be tasked to deal with the issues holistically.
  • Challenge our politicians to develop the clout to condemn the actions of their followers (the youth) when they go wrong and allow them to face the full rigours of the law. We are challenging them to have constant interaction with the youth in their areas so as to identify their talents and explore avenues of developing these talents.
  • Urge the youth to eschew violence and not allow themselves to be used by others to achieve their selfish interests.
  • Appeal to Parliament to discuss the issue of the Fulanis so as to quickly look at instituting a national law on regulating the negative activities of Fulani herdsmen in the country. We particularly implore the Constitutional Review Committee to consider, through the ongoing regional fora, discussing the negative activities of the Fulani as a way of incorporating the issue into our constitution.
  • Entreat the National Media Commission to enforce regulations and laws regarding broadcasting in Ghana and plead that panelists, hosts, radio program managers etc should be circumspect in the way and manner in which they discuss and run their radio programs.
  • Renew its previous call to Government, International Institutions and Civil Society groups to help increase the manpower and logistical capacity of the security services, to enable them respond to violence, nationally.

The Ghana Network for Peacebuilding (GHANEP), also called WANEP Ghana is a non-profit civil society organisation established to help prevent, resolve, and transform violent conflicts through collective and coordinated efforts of non-governmental institutions, organizations and individuals actively engaged in peacebuilding practice in Ghana.

Through the Department for International Development (DFID) and Christian Aid, GHANEP has been implementing a project known as Ghana Alert Project (GAP). A major component of this project is an Early Warning Centre (EWC) which is designed to gather and disseminate information on conflict signals for early response.

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