News Releases

April 2011: Short Report on the Civil Society Dialogue Meeting in the Netherlands

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The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

Short Report on the Civil Society Dialogue Meeting in the Netherlands on the theme: Local Civil Society in Peacebuilding: No Watch Dogs but Guiding Dogs

On Wednesday the 6th April, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in collaboration with IKV Pax Christi and the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) organised a Civil Society Dialogue Network (CSDN) Member States Meeting in The Hague, the Netherlands on the topic of “Peacebuilding, Statebuilding and Situations of Fragility". The meeting was opened by the Minister for Development Cooperation and European Affairs of the Netherlands, Ben Knapen and Emmanuel Bombande, GPPAC Chair.

Minister Knapen, amongst other things, stated that in crisis situations national responses to conflict, for example through the deployment of armed forces, will be much faster than those from the European level. He further commented that the EU is better at giving a unified response when focusing on “soft power”, in a phase when violence can still be prevented. “That is where the added value of the EU lies.” He underlined the importance of a greater engagement of the EU in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as the EU is still “punching below its weight”.

Subsequently, Emmanuel Bombande emphasized the overall objective of GPPAC to move from reaction to prevention in responding to armed conflicts. As exemplified by recent experiences in Libya and Cote D´Ivoire, clearly any response to a conflict where violence has already erupted is in essence too late. Learning from these experiences, the international community should be able to establish a more clear threshold for intervention, to prevent armed conflict and violations of universal human rights principles.

Around 100 people attended the meeting, including Reverend Ramadan Chan Liol, General Secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches, a member of GPPAC. In his contribution the Reverend stressed that a new war between North and South Sudan has been prevented in the last year and a half, amongst other things because of timely pressure from the international community – EU, AU and UN – on the leaders in Khartoum. Pressure which resulted from many, especially local civil society organizations like his own Sudanese Council of Churches, ringing the alarm for potential new violence.

Koen Davidse, Director of the Peacebuilding and Stabilization Unit of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed the many lessons learned from other regions and countries that should be taken into account when supporting places like South Sudan in its quest to become an independent nation without renewed violence erupting. Something that Reverend Ramadan wholeheartedly agreed to, in particular the need for local civil society to be capacitated to take on this key role in peacebuilding. “We do not want to be watch dogs” he said, “We need to become guiding dogs.”

GPPAC is a worldwide network of civil society for building a new international consensus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. It works on strengthening civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action and by an effective engagement with governments, the UN system, and regional intergovernmental organizations. GPPAC is structured through 15 regional networks worldwide with its Global Secretariat based in The Hague, The Netherlands. WANEP is the West Africa regional representative for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC)

April 2011: Regional Consultative meeting on the Ivorian Political Crisis

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WANEP in collaboration with AWANIch and support from Urgent Action Fund (UAF) Africa and the Swedish  International Development Agency (SIDA) organized a 2-day regional consultative meeting for Women groups across West Africa to deliberate and strategize on the crisis in CI. The theme of the meeting was ‘Stop Killing Women’. The meeting sought to analyze the crisis and the role of women in addressing the post-conflict issues. Lessons learnt from the actions and interventions of WIPNET and MARWOPNET helped tremendously to map out action plans in the short, medium and long term. At the end of the meeting, a Statement was presented through the good offices of Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, to ECOWAS and AU.

Click on this link to see confab in pictures

Download file to read full statement: "West Africa Women’s Statement on the Ivorian Political Crisis"

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Download this file (pr_wa_women_ci_crisis_7_april_2011.pdf)pr_wa_women_ci_crisis_7_april_2011.pdfWest Africa Women’s Statement on the Ivorian Political Crisis 347 Kb
Download this file (pr_wa_women_ci_crisis_7_april_2011_fr.pdf)pr_wa_women_ci_crisis_7_april_2011_fr.pdfRapport des femmes d'Afrique de l'Ouest sur la crise politique ivoirienne336 Kb

March 2011: -- ECOWAS-WANEP Partnership

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On March 11, 2011 the regional secretariat of WANEP and its national network in Nigeria held a debriefing session with the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate (EWD) at the headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. The two institutions had extensive discussions on the peace and security situation in the sub-region with particular emphasis on the ongoing political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire and the contribution of civil society organizations towards an appropriate resolution of the crisis.

The debriefing session was held within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ECOWAS Commission and WANEP in the operationalisation of a sub-regional early warning and response system in West Africa. The historic partnership of ECOWAS-WANEP, which dates back eight years, serves as an important medium for civil society’s interfacing with the intergovernmental body.

"We continue to appreciate the availability of WANEP in this very unique partnership and hope that they will do all within its powers to resuscitate the position of the Liaison Officer which helps to make the relationship even tighter"
Mrs. Florence Iheme – Ag. Director EDW

Regional Action on the target of Women in the Ivorian Political Stalemate

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Fighting continued in Côte d'Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa producer, on December 16, 2010, women were detained for having planned a peaceful march for the liberation of the RTI (meaning in full). Since 28th November 2010 the political stalemate deepened following the run-off elections and Côte d'Ivoire has descended from its position as a beacon of socio-economic stability in Africa to being one of the continent's most intransigent crises. The political and social climate is dangerously polarized and characterized by intolerance, xenophobia and suspicion. The issues at the heart of the Ivorian conflict-the refusal of the incumbent President Gbagbo to cede his position following declaration of the presidential round off where Allassane Ouattara was declared the winner of the elections -continue unabated.

Download file to read full concept paper

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March 2011 - Press Release [Urgent Call on ECOWAS, AU and UN to Act NOW]

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Accra, 24th March 2011 - The deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Cote d’Ivoire calls for urgent action from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the International Community under the leadership of the United Nations to stop the killings of innocent civilians especially women and children and the massive displacements of the population. As the Heads of State of ECOWAS meet in Abuja on 23rd and 24th March 2011, there is an urgent need for collective action and a unified position on the resolution of the Ivorian crisis and the protection of the civilian population. .........

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