News Releases

“Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa” LAUNCHED

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As part of its contribution to the mitigation of electoral disputes in Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) launched on Tuesday 14th February, 2011 a book titled “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa’’ in Accra, Ghana.

Elections in the recent past have triggered outbreaks of violence in many West African countries. Long and unaddressed grievances over bad governance and political exclusion are now finding popular expression in the demand for the conduct of transparent elections that are free, fair and credible. The development of the Practice Guide was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). This will serve as an important resource for the conduct of credible, peace and transparent local and national elections. This strategic document focuses on the prevention, mitigation and resolution of electoral disputes. It will therefore serve as a Guide that will support our efforts in election disputes management and violence prevention in the West Africa sub-region and by extension the African continent.

The Keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She indicated that “the electoral management process must be owned by the people of the host country. Therefore, all stakeholders, including the political parties, business communities, religious communities, the media, civil society and the population at large must actively play their part in ensuring that the principles and values of the constitution of the country are protected.”

The Executive Governor of the Niger state of Nigeria – A.K.A Chief Servant, who was a special guest of Honour in his contribution emphasized that “each nation gives meaning to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own historical circumstances and political culture, even though the key to stable democracy remains free, fair and credible elections, which of necessity determines those who will be entrusted with the sovereignty of the people”….. As peaceful, fair and credible elections often determine the legitimacy of the leaders such elections throw up

A synopsis of the practice guide was provided by Professor Isaac Albert (Lead Consultant on the development of the guide and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies) while the presentation and official launch was done by Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana and Chair of the National Peace Council (NPC). The NPC Chair commended WANEP for coming out with a timely and relevant tool to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts especially at a period when over 40 African countries are in the process of political transition and elections.

Follow link for keynote address “Managing Peaceful Elections in West Africa” delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone and the Speech of the Special Guest, Governor of Niger State, Nigeria.

WANEP Launches “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa”

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As part of its contribution to the mitigation of electoral disputes in Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) will be launching a book titled “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa’’ on 14th February 2012 at the Grand Mensvic Hotel, East Legon, Accra, Ghana at 9:00am.

Elections in the recent past have triggered outbreaks of violence in many West African countries. Long and unaddressed grievances over bad governance and political exclusion are now finding popular expression in the demand for the conduct of transparent elections that are free, fair and credible. Against this background, WANEP with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) developed the Election Dispute Management Practice Guide to serve as an important resource for local, national and continental actionable response to the conduct of credible and peaceful elections. It focuses on the prevention, mitigation and resolution of electoral disputes.

The Keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone while the review and presentation of the practice guide will be done by Professor Isaac Albert (Lead Consultant on the development of the guide and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies) and the Hon. Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Ghana respectively.

Also expected at the launching to deliver a speech on “Peaceful Elections and Democratic Stability” is the Executive Governor of Niger State, Nigeria

Press Release - Insecurity in Nigeria - A Call for Urgent Collaborative Effort

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Insecurity in Nigeria – A Call for Urgent Collaborative Effort

PRESS RELEASE

Time of Release: Immediate

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding on behalf of its 500 member organisations spread across the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expresses deepest concern and apprehension at the growing insecurity in Nigeria that is heightened by the current terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

We have monitored an escalation of acts of terrorist attacks carried out by Boko Haram with new targets bringing to the fore a new dimension through its shift of attacks from security operatives and government institutions/facilities to the bombing and attack on places of worships, banks, businesses in the Northern part of Nigeria. Boko Haram has also spread its operations beyond the North Eastern axis to the North Central and North Western zones of Nigeria. Since the beginning of December, the group has exponentially increased its attacks and terrorism operations beyond Borno and Bauchi to Adamawa, Yobe, Niger and Gombe States with reported casualty figures of over a hundred persons dead and more than three hundred persons injured surpassing the number of recorded casualties in these areas between January and November of 2011. Understandably, this has raised a new level of anxiety and panic among Nigerians given the new wave of boldness and violence perpetuated by this sect in these areas with threats of spreading to other states in the North and the southern parts of Nigeria.

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Press Release: 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE “WAR DON DON” IN SIERRA LEONE

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10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE “WAR DON DON” IN SIERRA LEONE

PRESS RELEASE

Time of Release: Immediate

Today, 18th January 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘war don don’ (end of war) in Sierra Leone. It is to be recalled that, former President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabba officially declared the end of the bloody civil war on this day thereby ushering in an era of post-conflict reconstruction and development while mechanisms were put in place to deal with the atrocities committed during the war. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court of Sierra Leone were established to address human rights violations and end impunity in a bid to reconcile the nation.

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Head of EU Delegation in Ghana visits WANEP-Regional

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His Excellency Ambassador Maerten at the Peace Monitoring Centre

The Head of the European Union’s Delegation in Ghana, Ambassador Claude Maerten paid a working visit to WANEP’s Regional office on 7th of December, 2011. Primarily, his visit was to acquaint himself at first hand with the work of WANEP particularly in Ghana in the framework of the upcoming Elections in 2012.

During the meeting with staff, Ambassador Maerten explained the role of the Delegation and the EU in general and its interest’s one of which was the strengthening of Democratic institutions and norms. In linking Democracy to Peace as espoused under the WANEP programme Peacebuilding and Democratic Governance, the Executive Director of WANEP, Emmanuel Bombande, in welcoming Ambassador Maerten spoke about WANEP’s resolve to seek and promote peace across the sub-region through its support for democracy. Building on the WANEP success story in the 2008 elections, the Executive Director highlighted the current challenges to peace and security in Ghana with reference to the 2012 Elections and how WANEP seeks to intervene to ensure its peaceful and democratic outcome.

Ambassador Maerten was later given a tour of WANEP’s upgraded Peace Monitoring Centre (PMC) to witness how daily alerts are tracked and monitored across the sub-region. The PMC is the situation monitoring and analysis division of WANEP’s West Africa Early Warning Network (WARN) through which WANEP Regional Secretariat and its fifteen (15) national networks support the ECOWAS early warning mechanism as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding the two institutions entered into since 2002. His Excellency Ambassador Maerten said he was impressed at the volume of work being done at the PMC and the detail of monitoring events even at the community level in order to get policy makers well informed on response mechanisms and options.