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WANEP, INTERIOR MINISTRY GEAR UP FOR PEACEFUL POLLS IN GHANA - Minister Reiterates commitment to work with WANEP

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The Minister for Interior, Honorable Prosper Bani has commended the efforts and commitment of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP, to promote peace and reiterated his pledge to work with the organization and other relevant stakeholders to ensure credible and peaceful elections in Ghana. The Minister made the assertion during a call on him by a three-member delegation from WANEP on June 21, 2016. The meeting with the Minister sought to share perspectives from the WANEP National Early Warning System (NEWS) towards ensuring peaceful elections in the country.

The WANEP team comprising the Executive Director, Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze, Program Director, Mrs. Levinia Addae-Mensah and Ms Mfrekeobong Ukpanah, Program Officer, Early Warning provided insights on the progress of WANEP’s Election Situation Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation Project (EMAM), which was officially launched by the Minister on May 17, 2016. In his response, the Minister said outputs from the WANEP EMAM project will help to corroborate the security agencies’ intelligence as well as inform strategic measures for addressing potential peace and security challenges before, during and after the elections. He assured the team of his Ministry’s commitment to building public confidence on State Institutions and the gains of past elections as part of efforts to guarantee peaceful and credible polls.

On his part, WANEP Executive Director and leader of the delegation Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze, again appreciated the Minister for his role in the launching of the EMAM project and reiterated the recognition of the Ministry’s role as the critical government organ responsible for the maintenance of internal security. Mr. Eze informed the Minister of the progress made so far since the project launch which included the validation of 30 specific indicators for monitoring the electoral cycle and the commissioning of the validators on the NEWS online platform. He added that the existing and new monitors across the 10 regions of Ghana would be trained on the indicators while a detailed hotspot mapping is underway to identify priority areas of security threats. The mapping will further enhance the capacities of relevant stakeholders on Information Management and Dialogue and Mediation to ensure the prevention and mitigation of electoral violence.

The meeting ended on a positive note with the two institutions committing to regular debriefing sessions on emerging security threats.