The Director of Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution at the National Peace Council (NPC), George Amoh, has said that the lessons from the Talensi by-election should serve as warning signal for the management of political conflicts in the country.
He has therefore, urged members of the various Regional Peace Council (RPCs) to be guided by the fall-out of the Talensi by-election which resulted in violent scenes.
Mr. Amoh made the remarks when the NPC held a training programme for the Western Regional Peace Council (WRPC) in Takoradi recently.
It centered on conflict analysis and response, mediation planning and practice, negotiation, identification of issues to be negotiated, positions, interests and needs, dialogue versus debate, skills shuttle, updating the conflict map and the NPC strategic planning.
He indicated that, since 2014, the NPC had inaugurated RPCs, as part of efforts to work for peace in the country, explaining that, 2015 and 2016, would witness the harnessing of skills for peace building and promotion, conflict management and resolution.
“It is our mandate to develop our skills and move on with conflict management and resolution, especially, as the election approaches. Talensi and others are the task ahead of us and we should be able to manage them well,”Mr. Amoh added.
The Western Region, he noted, had become an industrial hub with the growing oil and gas industry becoming an attraction for people with various economic and social interests, having some implications for conflict management.
Speaking at the sidelines with journalists, Mr. Amoh noted that, the membership of the WRPC, which drew the expertise from the clergy, religious groups, education sector, traditional leaders and civil societies (CSOs) and the government was an indication to harness experiences in the promotion of peace, as spelt out by the NPC Act.
He said, “So you can see that membership comes from a broad spectrum of society and all these skills and expertise can be harnessed especially in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).”
Rev. Fr. Thadeaus Kuusah, a representative of the Catholic Church, described the council as an agent of peace and believed that the workshop eke in carrying out their mandate.
The Chairman of the WRPC, Rev. Ernest Kwofie, said members have tried to build peace and counselling mechanisms in the region and prayed that “with more knowledge, we would forge ahead”.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi