Accra, Oct. 06, GNA – The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), will continue to support efforts towards building sustainable peace on the African continent through pragmatic research, and capacity building programmes.
Major General Francis Ofori, Commandant, KAIPTC, said the Centre’s policy engagements and advocacy efforts continued to shape policy formulation and implementation on conflict prevention.
The Commandant made the remarks at a Regional Workshop on Building Infrastructures for Peace in West Africa in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The workshop is being organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with the support of the Government of Denmark and in partnership with the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Centre, and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone.
The policy workshop, which brought together participants from Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal, is aimed at sharing experiences on the implementation of peace infrastructure.
He noted that West Africa’s security situation had been characterised by disturbing developments in recent times with activities of violent extremist groups, unconstitutional changes in government, serious governance deficits and contentious electoral contestations.
The Commandant said there were also inter-ethnic tensions between nomadic farmers and pastoralists, maritime insecurity, as well as rapid population growth, which had had economic, social and political strains on West African countries.
Major General Ofori said in an attempt to respond to those challenges, ECOWAS had introduced a number of initiatives; stating that key among them was the adoption of the 1999 Protocol on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, and its 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
He said to further support the Mechanism, the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) was promulgated by the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) in January 2008, with a plan of action to drive the 15 components of the Framework, which was launched in January 2019.
The Commandant said subsequent to the adoption of the ECPF, several regional consultations were held to garner support for the creation of national infrastructures for peace (I4P) and that for example, in September 2013, a meeting was jointly organised by the ECOWAS Commission, the African Union Commission (AUC) and other partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the Government of Ghana.
He said the partners sought to explore the feasibility and modalities for establishing and strengthening national infrastructures for peace in West Africa.
Major General Ofori said the meeting culminated in the Accra Declaration of 10 September 2013 on “Strengthening National, Regional and Continental Co-ordination Towards Building National Peace Infrastructure for Conflict Prevention”.
That engagement called on ECOWAS member states to develop nationally owned and nationally-led infrastructure for peace (I4P) within three years.
He said eight years on, attempts at the establishment of national infrastructure for peace by member states had produced uneven results.
The Commandant commended the Government of Sierra Leone for its bold initiative in establishing the Peace Commission to drive efforts towards nationally-owned processes to conflict prevention and peacebuilding; saying, “It is an example worthy of emulation, and we are hopeful that other member states will follow suit in the near future”.
Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), said recent cases of coup d'état, as in Mali and Guinea, were troubling because they tended to win the support of many Malian and Guinean citizens.
He said public support for unconstitutional regime changes created serious dilemmas that complicated the enforcement of regional norms relating to democracy and good governance.
Dr Emmanuel Gaima, Governance Adviser to the Government of Sierra Leone, said his country was now among countries that had established an infrastructure for peace.
Mr Tom Nørring, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said the workshop offered a platform for sharing experiences and ideas in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.