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WAPI 2011 opens at KAIPTC

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The West Africa Peacebuilding Institute Course (WAPI, 2011) has started at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana.

The Institute is designed to increase regional capacity in Peacebuilding, Human security and Conflict Prevention particularly due to the recent conflicts in West Africa which has accounted for developmental setbacks, human misery, and continued poverty.

The Commandant of the KAIPTC, AVM Dovlo in his welcome statement reiterated the core mandate of KAIPTC which is to build regional capacity in Peace Support Operations through research and training. He added that capacity development, promotion of good governance, and protection of human rights must be critical policy priorities for stability in Africa. AVM Dovlo mentioned however that stability in Africa is challenged by inadequate resource capacity and lack of expertise. “It is therefore imperative that we develop strong human and institutional capacities to meet these challenges, as well as sustain advocacy in the peacebuilding process,” he said.

The Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mr. Emmanuel Bombande, who gave a welcome address, said the government and people of West Africa have been confronted over the years with violent conflicts and its associated consequences. He added that during conflicts, there is a vicious cycle of hatred and distrust at various levels and he was therefore happy that WANEP had over the years collaborated with the KAIPTC and GIZ to undertake the training programme.

The keynote address at the ceremony was delivered by the Minister for Interior, Hon. Benjamin Kumbuor. The Honorable Minister, who also opened WAPI 2011, indicated that peace and security is a developmental issue and should not be used for economic gains. He added that because the foremost cause of violent conflict is the inequitable distribution of resources, attention must be paid to beneficiaries of conflicts and not just the victims. “Exposure of such beneficiaries will go a long way to shame those who profit from these conflicts,” he said.
WAPI is an annual Peacebuilding training institute organized by WANEP and KAIPTC in collaboration with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and held at the KAIPTC with participants not only from the West African sub-region but other parts of the African continent, Europe, and America. The three week intensive training will end on September 23, 2011.

Click on this link to view pictures of the Opening of WAPI 2011

The 2011 West Africa Peacebuilding Institute Begins in Accra - Ghana

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The West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI) was set up to provide specialized, intensive and cultural sensitive training in conflict transformation and peacebuilding to civil society organisations, government and intergovernmental agencies, business community and other stakeholders across West Africa and beyond.

Since its inception a decade ago, WAPI has provided the space and platform for the actualization of WANEP’s vision for the development of capacities at the various levels of African communities for the resolution of conflicts in Africa by Africans. It is also the learning centre at WANEP for the exchange of best practices and research in peacebuilding in West Africa. This year, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center( KAIPTC) in collaboration with German International Cooperation (GIZ) will host over 40 participants from from Sudan, Canada, USA , Ethiopia, , Angola and all the other countries in West Africa from the 5th to 23rd of September 2011. They represent diverse sectors in those countries such as the government, civil society organisations, peace movements, religious organisations, women’s organisations and the youth.

The visibility and credibility of WAPI over the years is testimonial to the increasing numbers of participants it is attracting. In attendance to this year’s WAPI are personalities like Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa L. Correia Sacko of Angola, United Nations Development Program in Sudan as well as representatives of the African Union and ECOWAS. The Peace and Security Department of the African Union in an official letter from its Director, commends WANEP for its peacebuilding initiatives in West African through WAPI and offered AU’s willingness to continue to partner with WANEP in search of Peace and sustainable development in the continent.

The Director’s letter in part reads “Permit me to commend you for the excellent job that WANEP has been doing in harnessing civil society peacebuilding in West Africa as well as your exemplary commitment to complementing efforts of Governments and inter-governmental organisations such as ECOWAS and the AU in the area of peace and security.”

July 2011: - WANEP Advocates for more Emphasis on a Preventive Approach to the Principles of R2P

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On 12 July 2011, the UN General Assembly convened its 3rd annual informal interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which focused on the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in implementing the Responsibility to Protect.

The Executive Director of WANEP– Mr Emmanuel Bombande who was part of the first panellists at this meeting while providing an overview of the experience of West Africa and the region’s commitment to RtoP recognised that the norm resonates with the region’s history, and underscored the importance of and need for prevention.

In discussing preventive measures, such as early warning mechanisms, Mr. Bombande emphasized the importance of the ECOWAS early warning system, ECOWARN, which draws its inspiration from RtoP. Mr. Bombande highlighted the role of regional organizations in responding to crisis situations, as evidenced by several preventive diplomacy efforts at various levels including Heads of State, the deployment of an ECOWAS monitoring group in Liberia and Sierra Leone and the measures taken recently by ECOWAS following the 2010 political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.

Although acknowledging the importance of the response pillar, Mr. Bombande expressed concern for the potential problems that can arise as a result of reactive measures. Prevention from mass atrocities, he emphasized, is therefore crucial for the populations residing within a state, and for the norm of the Responsibility to Protect.

July 2011: - WANEP Starts a dialogue and reconciliation project in Cote d’Ivoire

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WANEP-Cote d’Ivoire with technical and financial support from WANEP Regional and IBIS respectively launched a project that seeks to promote dialogue and reconciliation in the aftermath of the post-election violence that paralysed the country; resulting in the loss of lives of thousands of people, destroying property and displacing a large segment of the Ivoirian populace. After the launch, a two-day capacity building workshop was held at the Manhattan Suite Hotel in Abidjan on July 28th -29th, 2011 for seventeen (17) leaders of civil society organisations selected from communities that were mostly affected by the crisis and who have started working on the process of reconciliation in their various communities.

This project is to contribute to the call for national reconciliation process against the backdrop of the creation of a Commission on Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation (CDTR) by the Government of President Alassane Ouattara.

A communiqué was released with concrete recommendations addressed to the Government, the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, CSOs, the Media and Ivoirians in general to move the reconciliation process forward.

WANEP also visited the President of the CDTR, his Excellency Charles Konan Banny to outline the various programmes and projects of WANEP aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire. The meeting, which lasted for about an hour discussed how the work of WANEP will be aligned to support the Commission’s mandate so as to ensure sustainability after its two-year timeframe elapses.

The President of the CDTR welcomed the initiative of WANEP stating that the project will go a long way in complementing the work of the Commission to reconcile the Ivorian people and establish trust so as to create an enabling environment for socio-economic development.

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Following the Liberia report of the West Africa Conflict Assessment (WACA) organized in September, 2010 by The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) under the aegis of the Early Warning and Response Design Support (EWARDS) project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which flagged the 2011 elections in Liberia as a potentially decisive moment that could either consolidate or undermine its fragile peace, WANEP organized a 2 day National Consultative Meeting of critical stakeholders involved in the electoral process to identify potential threats and challenges towards the organization of a credible and peaceful elections.
Stakeholders at the conference were drawn from the civil society organizations, major political parties, the Liberian government including the members of parliament and security agencies, development partners, the youths and women groups etc.

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