News Releases

February 2011: - Agriculture and Pastoralist Conflicts in West Africa Sahel

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The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) organized a 2-day consultative workshop on Agriculture and Pastoralist Conflicts in West Africa Sahel, bringing together participants from 8 countries in the West Africa Sub-region on February 22-23, 2011 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The principal goal of the workshop was to collectively identify and examine the factors contributing to agro-pastoralists conflicts, and discuss issues and priorities for preventive peacebuilding prospect in the West Africa Sahel.

The outcome of the consultative workshop revealed that farmers and herders have been living and plying their trades in a peaceful environment for centuries. Thus, the problem does not stem from ethnicity but as a result of changes in climatic conditions, boundary demarcation, sharp increase in demands for lands, weak regulatory system, and inadequate national and cross-border policy to deal with the issue amongst others.

At the end of the 2-day consultative workshop, participants issued a communiqué highlighting principal points of discussions and the various proposed strategies dealing with this age-long conflict.

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Policy Brief: --- Negotiating a Peaceful Settlement in the Complexity of the Ivorian Political Crisis: Which way forward?

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In the evolving political crisis of Cote d’Ivoire, significant preventive diplomatic efforts have been deployed both at the level of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to end the crisis. As the political stalemate deepened following the run-off elections on 28th November 2010, the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS meeting in an Extraordinary Session on 7th December in the Nigerian capital Abuja, endorsed the results of the Ivorian second round elections as declared by the Independent Electoral Commission and certified by the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

This policy brief examines the possible outcomes of the engagement of the AU High Panel in search of a peaceful end to the Ivorian political crisis. The policy brief further explores the complexity of the mediation process in Cote d’Ivoire where the underlining assumption of a peaceful settlement obliges compliance on the part of the incumbent President Laurent Gbabgo to cede power to Mr. Alassane Ouattara, the recognized winner and President Elect as declared by the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS. How must the AU-ECOWAS intervention facilitate a transition of political power in a peaceful manner when the key actor; the incumbent President refuses to step down or accepts the decision of ECOWAS and the Africa Union leaders backed by the United Nations? What could be the way forward in such a complicated negotiation process? Are there policy options available that can be pursued to respond to the current stalemate while at the same time recognizing that the preferred response option must deal ........

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January 2011 - WANEP General Assembly Opening Ceremony

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The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) held its 11th General Assembly on Tuesday, January 2011 at 09:00am in Accra, Ghana. In attendance at the opening ceremony were the Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), representative of USAID, the Chief of Party of EWARDS, the Executive Director of IBIS, Executive Director of Abantu for Development, Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Armed Conflict (GPPAC) headquartered in the Hague, representatives of Christian Aid, delegates from the 15 National Networks from each Member States of ECOWAS and personnel from the Regional Secretariat. In his opening address, the Executive Director of WANEP, Emmanuel Bombande spoke about the progress of the organization in its institutionalization and professionalization efforts. He recognized the remarkable work of some of the National Network members and accentuated the fact that rarely are these efforts acknowledged in public.

In absentia, His Excellency Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner of the Peace and Security Council at the African Union made a speech in recognition of the work and contributions of WANEP not only in West Africa but in Africa and beyond.

In his closing remarks, the chair person of the occasion, Professor Albert Isaac, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of WANEP Regional Secretariat emphasized: “we need to be innovative in our interventions. Conflict dynamics require innovation. Troublemakers are becoming more innovative in their planning and action hence the imperative for us to become more innovative through training and the use of intelligence to solve our sub-regional problems”.

The objectives of the 11th General Assembly are as follows:

  1. To reappraise institutional and governance systems in order to ensure that it sustains itself as a credible WA regional PB organization.
  2. To take stock of WANEP’s activities in the sub-region with a view to drawing lessons learned and inform its strategic plan
  3. To review the peace and security situation in the sub-region and harmonize the strategies to them
  4. To initiate the process of establishing National Early Warning Systems in WA.

Click on link to view pictures of the General Assembly

January 2011 - WPP-Africa Board Exchange with Asia Board Training 2011

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WPP-Africa Board Exchange with Asia Board Training 2011

WPP-Africa and the Asia Desk of the IFOR Women Peacemakers Program met in Manila, Philippines from January 16th to 22nd 2011 to embark on a session of sharing for a deeper awareness of Gender Sensitive Active Nonviolence as a way of life, as well as for a renewal and commitment to the fidelity of living out Active Nonviolence.

Some of the issues examined included Gender as a Social construct, and the system of values, norms and mechanisms put in place by Social Institution/forces, so as to maintain social control on gender roles that perpetuate unequal gender relations in society. It was reiterated that Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - as just and desirable ends, and as vehicles for the achievement of all the other goals...

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January 2011 - AU recognises the peacebuilding efforts of WANEP as the leading Civil Society Organisation in West Africa

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The African Union (AU) recognises the peacebuilding efforts of WANEP as the leading Civil Society Organisation in West Africa

“I am happy WANEP has been and remains a leading civil society actor that has a track record that speaks for itself. WANEP’s partnership for Conflict Prevention with ECOWAS entered into since 2002 is exemplary, unique and worth emulating by other CSOs. You have changed the perception of civil society in Africa. You have demonstrated that Africa belongs to all of us and that your role of complementing Governments is indispensable. The AU is aware of your success stories and we are proud that you have even groomed one of our staff who is proving his worth at the level of the Commission. That is WANEP’s legacy and contribution to African peace and stability. By focusing on National Early Warning Systems (NEWS), you have filled the gap that has always existed in building strategies for prevention. My wish is that through this initiative, Governments and national actors would take the issue of prevention of violent conflicts seriously. I need not say that prevention is better and cheaper than cure. Africa is losing millions to conflicts, money that would have been channelled to development efforts and creation of employment for the budding and growing youth population”, said the Special Guest, H.E. Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security, at the 2011 General Assembly of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Accra, Ghana on January 25, 2011.

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