News Releases

Quarterly Highlights: April - June, 2011

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Highlights of Peace and Security in West Africa

Like the first quarter of 2011, the second quarter was marked by election-related issues. In Nigeria, the general presidential and gubernatorial elections were organized. The elections were regarded as one of the most credible elections in the political annals of the country despite uncertainties about the credibility of the elections. However, the announcement of the presidential elections was marred by an outbreak of violence mainly in the northern part of the country.

The quarter also witnessed an increase in the activities of the Boko Haram group with bombings of government institutions and killings of government security operatives as well as civilians especially in Borno and Bauchi State. The peace process in Jos also suffered a setback with renewed violence. There were reported cases of agro-pastoral conflicts between Fulani cattle herdsmen and indigenous farmers at Guma Local Government Council of Benue State where 40 persons were reported dead and farmlands/crops destroyed.

In Cote d’ivoire, the political stalemate finally ended with the capture of Laurant Gbagbo after a violent confrontation that left score of people dead. The internationally recognized winner of the Ivorian elections, Allassan Dramane Ouattara was finally sworn into office marking the end of a civil war that threatened to engulf the West African region......

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September 2011: - WANEP – ECOWAS Biannual Coordination Meeting Begins in Abuja Nigeria

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In its capacity as the official implementing partner of ECOWARN, WANEP Focal Points from the 15 ECOWAS member states, its Zonal Coordinators and regional staff started a biannual meeting with the Early Warning Directorate and Government Focal Point of the ECOWAS Early Warning System – ECOWARN.

The meeting provides opportunity for the stakeholders in ECOWARN to learn from the challenges from the field and improve on the system as well as the skills and technical know-how of the field monitors in order to improve the regional early warning system, ECOWARN. In addition, the Coordination Meeting is a moment to meet physically new field monitors from Government and CSOs and share experiences aimed at making the system more responsive to the communities and institutions it is meant to serve.

In his opening remarks on behalf of the Executive Director of WANEP, Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze – Program Director, observed that in an attempt to increase both the volume and quality of early warning data at community level through to the national, WANEP has put in place a National Early Warning System (NEWS) in each of its national network. NEWS which is at its launching stage and would be full operation in all its national networks by the first quarter of 2012 will be an added value to the ECOWARN. He further stated that after the full operationalization of the NEWS at every national network, WANEP and ECOWAS will discuss modalities and technicalities on streamlining data of the NEWS into ECOWARN. This initiative he stated, will take the contribution of WANEP as the official implementing partner of ECOWARN into another level of improving and institutionalizing the ECOWAS regional early warning system which so far has been serving as reference point and a working model of CSO and inter-governmental institution partnership in the prevention and mitigation of violent conflict across the globe.

Download file to read the full address of the Program Director of WANEP
 

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Press Release: International Day of Peace -21st September 2011

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International Day of Peace -21st September 2011

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Peace – a day of peacemaking in which millions of people across the world resolve to put their differences aside to promote peace after war, civil conflicts, social strife, and political upheavals. All over the world, people are urged to commemorate the International Day of Peace through education for peace and by raising public awareness on active non-violence through the strengthening of the ideals of peace both within and among all nations. This call to commitment has been reaffirmed by the current UN Boss as thus "On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are in whatever way we can, to make every day, a day of peace." (UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, International Day of Peace, 21 September, 2007)

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Press Release: WANEP Nigeria’s Position on Peace and Security Threat in Nigeria

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WANEP Nigeria’s Position on Peace and Security Threat in Nigeria

As the world celebrates The International Day of Peace observed each year on 21 September, there is expedient need for Nigeria to reflect on human security issues in the country because of the current threat to lives and livelihoods through the conflagration of violent conflicts and terrorisms across the country. The insecurity has raised a concerted concern about the need to enhance collective participation to peace and security by indigenous State and non State actors.

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September 2011: WANEP and CMI launch a joint project on “Addressing gender-based violence in peace processes in West Africa"

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The West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) in partnership with Crises Management Initiative (CMI), headquartered in Finland, launched a project on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Accra, Ghana.

In attendance were Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, the Director of Gender, Youth/Sports,Civil Society, Employment and Drug Control of the ECOWAS Commission, a representative from UNMIL in Liberia and the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Gender, Liberia, the UNDP office in Ghana as well as women representing civil society from Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Ghana.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday September 15, 2011 in Accra, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director of WANEP underscored the important role of women. He noted:
“The role and active participation of women in peacebuilding is always important. The voices of women and girls who are vulnerable groups in conflict environments must be integral to peacebuilding efforts. It is important that women are not just categorized as victims of violent conflicts which only serve to reinforce the stereotypes that undermine their professional role. Those of us in Peacebuilding Practice must act to ensure their full participation in peacebuilding processes and the overall advancement of society. “
Mr. Bombande added:
“It is for these reasons that the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) program of WANEP was conceived in 2002 to enhance the capacity of women in peacebuilding. We are happy that today, not only we have increased the number of women in peacebuilding through the WIPNET program but we have also facilitated women’s expertise in contributing to national and regional structures in peacebuilding processes. Our pioneering role in this area has informed other institutions to establish peace and security programs for women.”

Mrs Tuija Talvitie, Executive Director of CMI noted that women constituted half of the world population, hence the need for them to contribute towards the building of inclusive, resilient and peaceful societies that can manage shocks and conflict.

She observed that CMI recognises the important roles women play as agents’ of social and political change through its active participation in peace processes since the last 10 years.
“Yet, more often, across the globe, we witness how the potential of women is not embraced or even allowed; how the rights of women are abused and how violence against women prevails,” she opined.

The joint project is aimed at increasing the capacity of local and regional mediators in West Africa to address gender-based violence (GBV) more effectively in peace mediation processes. This project is expected to offer technical direction and support to existing structures and processes of peace building and mediation in the sub-region.

Click on this link to view pictures of the Launch

The event as was reported in Ghana's media

-          Business Ghana:

http://www.businessghana.com/portal/news/index.php?op=getNews&id=152495

-          Africa Focus:

http://www.africafocus.net/?p=140835

-          Ghana business News:

http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2011/09/16/wanep-to-combat-gender-based-violence-in-west-africa/

-          Ghana Broadcasting Corporation:

http://gbcghana.com/index.php?id=1.358607.1.566315

-          Modern Ghana:

http://www.modernghana.com/news/350940/1/wanep-to-combat-gender-based-violence-in-west-afri.html