Wa, March 21, GNA – The Savannah Area Development Policy Think-Tank has observed that over sensationalism on conflicts in the North by some sections of the media was detrimental to efforts aimed at restoring peace to the area.
“The media plays a very critical role in national development and Journalists ought to be very responsible when reporting on conflicts especially issues that border on the sensibilities of the people”, said the Think-Tank.
A statement signed and issued by Mr Abu Kabiebata Kansangbata, the Acting Executive Director of the organisation and copied the Ghana News Agency in Wa said the organisation was convinced that avoiding media sensationalism on the frequent conflicts in the north could help solve the problem.
It therefore pleaded with the media to act as agents of change in conflict prevention and peace management, observing that “Persistent stereotyping of northerners as violent people to others and to themselves is responsible for the recurring nature of conflicts in the north”.
While calling on the media to avoid sensationalism on conflicts in the area, the statement also urged government and the combatants to resort to dialogue in order to find lasting solutions to the hostilities.
It also condemned the habitual violent attacks on individuals and state institutions whenever there was change of government.
“Even as political vigilantism may be said to have assumed a major national character, the major actors are in the north and those that are carried out elsewhere in the country are also perpetuated by people of northern extraction”, the statement alleged.
“This is a sad commentary on our existence as a people which need to be addressed if we should break the cycle of poverty which is the biggest challenge we face”, it stressed.
The statement said efforts geared towards eradicating poverty, food insecurity, high illiteracy rate, malnutrition, high morbidity rates and migration could be an exercise in futility if the conflict situation was unresolved.
The Savannah Development Policy Think-Tank is a socio-economic, justice and advocacy organisation based in Tamale.
Its prime objective is to focus on government’s development agenda for the three regions of the north.