The Western and Central regions’ Peace Councils have been inaugurated in Takoradi in the Western Region.
The objective of the councils is to give early warning signals on violence and see how best to resolve such cases as Ghana draws near to elections 2016.
The councils would ensure that people in known flash points in the regions, are educated on the need to maintain peace before, during and after the December polls.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, entreated members of the councils to use their experience in peace building to make this year’s general elections free of conflicts.
He said conflicts affected development because funds were spent on peace keeping in conflict zones.
Mr. Aidoo observed that conflicts brought untold hardships to the vulnerable, especially, women, children and the aged.
The Regional Minister said government was gratified by the work of the Peace Council, and appealed to members to put in more efforts to maintain peace.
The chairman of the Western Region Peace Council, the Reverend John E. Kwofie, said with the elections close, there was the need to deploy strategies to ensure free, fair and transparent elections devoid of conflict.
He said the council had engaged traditional and religious leaders, the youth, women, community-based organisations and other identifiable groups to promote peace.
Rev. Kwofie noted that it was the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian to preach peace.
He commended the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for promoting peace in the country.
Mr. Emmanuel Hackman, official of the USAID, said the US government was was glad to associate itself with the peace councils.
Mr. Dominic Sam, personnel of the UNDP, also appealed to the councils to work effectively to preserve peace in the country.
From Peter Gbambila, Takoradi