Accra, Aug. 8, GNA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the National Peace Council, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), officially launched the “Regional Election Early Warning and Response Group” (REEWARG) on Monday, August 8, 2016 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi.
A press release signed by Joyce Asiedu, Press Attache at the United States Embassy in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the primary objective of the Group is to discuss, develop and recommend strategies to mitigate threats to the peaceful conduct of the 2016 elections at the regional level.
At the launch, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr John Alexander Ackon, the Chair of the National Peace Council, The Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, and the USAID representative, Ms. Nana Serwah Amoako, expressed commitment to support the Group’s efforts to strengthen early response to threats around the elections and reduce the potential for conflict.
In a speech, Nana Serwah Amoako , the USAID representative, lauded Ghana’s strong democratic credentials. “Ghana has been applauded for holding successful elections for many years; however, we must not be complacent, but remain vigilant of the risks of instability in the upcoming elections.”
According to the release, the Group will convene stakeholders from around the region, including representatives from the Ashanti Regional Peace Council and prominent persons from relevant state and non-state institutions, to complement government efforts in the prevention and mitigation of election-related violence.
“Through WANEP’S extensive network of civil society organizations and appointed community monitors across the country, the group will be better placed to identify potential risks of election violence. If monitoring in a given area reveals a heightened risk of violence at any point in the election cycle, WANEP will develop recommendations on how it can be prevented, and will channel these recommendations to members of the REEWARG for immediate deliberation and action”, it stated.
The eminent members of the Group will use their years of experience and influence to facilitate early response to conflict and early warning issues before they escalate into violence.
Members of the Group will also ensure that electoral conflict threats at the grassroots level receive immediate attention and response at the regional level. They will also provide direct input into the National Peace Council’s activities.