UER: Regional Minister welcomes initiatives to end conflicts
The Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Stephen Yakubu says any form of initiative from individuals, institutions or organisations to complement the efforts of government to end the conflicts in Bawku, Kandiga and Doba is welcome.
He said government had already initiated some processes through the National and Regional Peace Councils and the security services intervention which had restored some amount of peace in the conflict areas.“Right now, l am happy to tell you that some relative calm has returned to Doba and Kandiga. For a month or two, we did not hear anything from there, and Bawku has been calm for some days now. We are doing a lot, and so far so good,” he said.
Hon. Yakubu, who is the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), said this at a forum in Bolgatanga to launch a Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) project by the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), a Non-Governmental Organization in collaboration with the Catholic Church.
The Minister said the quest for development in the region was quite enormous and the conflicts immensely affected its development needs.
He reiterated the call for peace and appealed to residents in the conflict zones to ensure the region was peaceful in order to accelerate and propel development.
He described the SPI project as not only appropriate, but timely, considering the increasing number of communal conflicts in the sub- region and beyond.
Hon. Yakubu said the sub-region had been plunged into insecurity by Jihadits and other fundamentalist movements over the years, and therefore emphasized the need for peace initiatives in the region to help build resilience in communities.
The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), Most Rev. Philip Naameh, called on the political leaders to create the environment that would ensure the youth had job opportunities to reduce the temptations to be radicalized by Jihadits’ Groups.
He said there was the need for social cohesion in the country, and that could only be realized if the natural resources were not hijacked by a few individuals to the detriment of the masses, and the culture of promoting a particular ethnic group as superior over others.
He pledged the support of the GCBC and the Catholic Church to help promote and propagate the ideas of the SPI project to achieve its intended purpose.
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Mr. Daniel Mumuni, the Country Representative of CRS said the project sought to educate citizens in the northern belt, close to the Sahel Region to be weary of the insecurity in the neighbouring countries and the communal conflicts in the region.
He explained that the SPI project would mobilize churches and stakeholders, and use inter- religious strategies to help combat and protect Ghana from extremists’ tendencies.
He said activities lined-up to successfully achieve the SPI project included training and sensitization, developing early warning signs system, identify hotspots, mediation and provision of relief services to affected communities.