The Western Regional Chairman of the Peace Council, Bishop Emmanuel Botwey, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to create peaceful environment towards sustainable socioeconomic development.
“Though the region is relatively peaceful compared to other regions, pockets of violence, mostly from chieftaincy disputes, land litigation and resource conflicts occur.
The phenomenon did not only affect peaceful co-existence but total development in the affected communities,” he cautioned.
Bishop Botwey noted that as political heads, MMDCEs ought to ensure there was peace, unity, harmony and cohesion in their communities to engender the needed progress, growth and development.
He was addressing a two-day capacity building workshop on conflict management and reporting for MMDCEs, with support and assistance from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), among other issues, sought to build capacity of MMDCEs to manage and report on conflicts.
It was also to equip the participants with knowledge and skills to analyse conflicts, identify peace connectors, early warning signs and initiate responses to them and
were taken through topics such as ‘Concepts of Conflicts and Peace and their Implications for Development’, ‘Tools for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation’, ‘Conflicts, Early Warning and Response Mechanisms’, ‘Managing and Resolving Conflicts in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs)’, ‘Vigilantism, and Related Offences’, and ‘Integrating Peace in Development and Planning’.
Bishop Botwey underscored the importance of training, Saying that, equipping MMDCEs with conflict resolution tools, knowledge and skills was necessary to ensure effective and efficient management and resolution of conflicts within their jurisdictions.
“It will also help you create peaceful environment for sustainable development in partnership with Assemblies to build capacities of members of justice and security committees to assist and support you in your work, and the Peace Council will avail itself to assist and support Assemblies in dealing with conflicts that arise,” he said.
Dr Patrick Osei-Kuffour, a Research Fellow at the Department of Peace Studies, School for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, educated and sensitised participants on the link between peace, development, and violence and reminded them who were agents of development at the local level to consider human aspects of development through socioeconomic growth was equally important.
He asked them to endeavour to identify peace connectors in their communities, work with them to keep and sustain cohesion, harmony and peace of their communities and
admonished them not to rush into resolving conflicts, rather analyse drivers of conflicts and design appropriate remedies to address them.
Kwabena Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, noted that vast land and natural resources in the region was recipe for conflicts, and mentioned causes of conflicts to include chieftaincy disputes, land litigation, unemployment and mining.
He was hopeful the training would broaden the understanding of MMDCEs to be able to resolve such issues in their jurisdictions, however, expressed worry about numerous disputes and litigation, numbering 60, depicting energy with which people would compete to gain control over resources.
“There cannot be development without peace and you must work towards protecting and operating in an environment devoid of conflicts,” Mr Darko-Mensah said. -GNA