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Press Release: 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE “WAR DON DON” IN SIERRA LEONE

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10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE “WAR DON DON” IN SIERRA LEONE

PRESS RELEASE

Time of Release: Immediate

Today, 18th January 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘war don don’ (end of war) in Sierra Leone. It is to be recalled that, former President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabba officially declared the end of the bloody civil war on this day thereby ushering in an era of post-conflict reconstruction and development while mechanisms were put in place to deal with the atrocities committed during the war. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court of Sierra Leone were established to address human rights violations and end impunity in a bid to reconcile the nation.

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Press Release - Insecurity in Nigeria - A Call for Urgent Collaborative Effort

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Insecurity in Nigeria – A Call for Urgent Collaborative Effort

PRESS RELEASE

Time of Release: Immediate

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding on behalf of its 500 member organisations spread across the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expresses deepest concern and apprehension at the growing insecurity in Nigeria that is heightened by the current terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

We have monitored an escalation of acts of terrorist attacks carried out by Boko Haram with new targets bringing to the fore a new dimension through its shift of attacks from security operatives and government institutions/facilities to the bombing and attack on places of worships, banks, businesses in the Northern part of Nigeria. Boko Haram has also spread its operations beyond the North Eastern axis to the North Central and North Western zones of Nigeria. Since the beginning of December, the group has exponentially increased its attacks and terrorism operations beyond Borno and Bauchi to Adamawa, Yobe, Niger and Gombe States with reported casualty figures of over a hundred persons dead and more than three hundred persons injured surpassing the number of recorded casualties in these areas between January and November of 2011. Understandably, this has raised a new level of anxiety and panic among Nigerians given the new wave of boldness and violence perpetuated by this sect in these areas with threats of spreading to other states in the North and the southern parts of Nigeria.

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WANEP Launches its Peace Monitoring Centre

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In continuous fulfillment of its mandate as the implementing partner of ECOWAS Early Warning Mechanism (ECOWARN), the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) recently upgraded and launched its Peace Monitoring Centre in Accra, Ghana.

The Peace Monitoring Centre is the situation monitoring and analysis division of WANEP’s West Africa Early Warning Network (WARN) through which WANEP Regional Secretariat and its 15 national networks support the ECOWAS early warning mechanism as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding the two institutions entered into since 2002.

The fragility of peace and stability in the West African region demands vigilance and close monitoring of the state of security. To ensure this close monitoring, WANEP in 2010, launched its National Early Warning Systems (NEWS) across the sub region.

NEWS is created to complement and reinforce the ECOWAS Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN). NEWS strives to respond to critical demands for pertinent information relating to human security and violent conflict especially at local community level.

The Visit of the Acting Director of ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate to WANEP’s PMCThe Visit of the Acting Director of ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate to WANEP’s PMC

The PMC in collaboration with the National Early Warning Systems will continue to produce;
Policy Briefs, Strategic Conflict and Peace Assessment (SCONPA), Weekly Highlight; Quarterly Report; Press Release; WARN Alert, Conflict Census, Daily Highlight (DHL), Country Risk Profile, Conflict System etc.

In an unofficial visit of the Acting Director for the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate on 16th, November, 2011 - Ms. Florence Iheme applauded the PMC initiative. The two institutions used the opportunity to brainstorm on ways of strengthening the ECOWARN system as well as the entire peace and security regime in the sub region
 

Head of EU Delegation in Ghana visits WANEP-Regional

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His Excellency Ambassador Maerten at the Peace Monitoring Centre

The Head of the European Union’s Delegation in Ghana, Ambassador Claude Maerten paid a working visit to WANEP’s Regional office on 7th of December, 2011. Primarily, his visit was to acquaint himself at first hand with the work of WANEP particularly in Ghana in the framework of the upcoming Elections in 2012.

During the meeting with staff, Ambassador Maerten explained the role of the Delegation and the EU in general and its interest’s one of which was the strengthening of Democratic institutions and norms. In linking Democracy to Peace as espoused under the WANEP programme Peacebuilding and Democratic Governance, the Executive Director of WANEP, Emmanuel Bombande, in welcoming Ambassador Maerten spoke about WANEP’s resolve to seek and promote peace across the sub-region through its support for democracy. Building on the WANEP success story in the 2008 elections, the Executive Director highlighted the current challenges to peace and security in Ghana with reference to the 2012 Elections and how WANEP seeks to intervene to ensure its peaceful and democratic outcome.

Ambassador Maerten was later given a tour of WANEP’s upgraded Peace Monitoring Centre (PMC) to witness how daily alerts are tracked and monitored across the sub-region. The PMC is the situation monitoring and analysis division of WANEP’s West Africa Early Warning Network (WARN) through which WANEP Regional Secretariat and its fifteen (15) national networks support the ECOWAS early warning mechanism as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding the two institutions entered into since 2002. His Excellency Ambassador Maerten said he was impressed at the volume of work being done at the PMC and the detail of monitoring events even at the community level in order to get policy makers well informed on response mechanisms and options.

The 7th Women in Peacebuilding Annual Lesson Learned Conference begins in Accra – Ghana

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The 7th Women in Peacebuilding Annual Lesson Learned Conference begins in Accra – Ghana

The 2011 WIPNET conference scheduled for the 17th and 18th of November 2011 started at the Mensvic Hotel in Accra – Ghana today (17- 11 -2001). This year’s conference brought together over 50 women peacebuilding practitioners including participants from southern, central and eastern Africa. The theme of this year’s conference is “West African Women in Post Conflict Situation – Realities and Ideal

The WIPNET Regional conference is an annual event that brings together representatives of women’s groups from across West Africa and beyond to deliberate on topical issues on women, peace and security and develop strategies that would place women at the centre of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The aim of the conference is to review the barriers to full participation of women in post conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding; examine the gaps that exist between governments’ policy and implementation and strategize through a regional action plan for the full participation and involving women in post conflict societies in West Africa.

In his welcome address; the Program Director of WANEP - Mr. Chukwuemeka B Eze, observed that even though there exists several international, continental and sub-regional instruments for ensuring women’s participation at all levels of peace processes, the issue of structural violence against women, particularly in light of post conflict reconstruction, has not been given the due attention and investment it deserves by international, regional and national power structures and other actors.

He urged women to ensure that violence and marginalization is eliminated from the vocabulary of women’s struggle and is replaced with women’s success and active participation in the political, social and economic spheres of society so that every young woman in this sub region shall embrace enlightenment instead of fear, and experience the infinite possibilities

Similarly, the keynote speaker; MS Tolulope Lewis Tamoka; UNDP Seconded Programme Manager to the Women Peace and Security Institute of KAIPTC, Ghana, acknowledged that progress in being made in the national implementation of UNSCR 1325 with 3 more countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire) adopting national action plans (NAPs) and, Ghana the Gambia and Nigeria in the process of developing NAPs but urged the women to consider the development of a regional Action Plan which should ensure that the plans have strong accountability mechanisms for their implementation and resources for proper implementation.

Click on this link to see the Conference in pictures