Dr Chambas condemns countries that celebrate military takeover

Former United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has condemned countries whose citizens celebrated military takeovers on the African continent.

He explained that the overthrow of elected leaders as seen in the Gambia, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)was a threat to the continent’s democratic governance as such development crippled the foundation, hence the call for citizens to fight against such negative emergence.

“Eight of the fourteen national elections conducted in the region between January 2020 and March 2022 ended with contested outcomes that led to violence in countries such as Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, and Togo.

The growing unrest around electoral processes certainly raised concerns about future elections in the region, however, elections such as the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Gambia gives us hope of the possibility of peaceful elections” he said.

Dr Chambas said this yesterday in Accra on Tuesday at a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on the implementation of the Electoral Violence Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (ENAM) project.

The project covered 17 electoral processes and important lessons which was carried out in five countries (Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Mali and Guinea). It was later extended to five additional countries (Niger, Burkina-Faso, Benin, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire).

Participants were representatives from UN, African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), among others.

It was organised by West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP)to dialogue and share experience on achievements, good practices, opportunities and challenges of the project, and as well facilitate similar initiatives with a view to contributing to peaceful elections in the Region.

Dr Chambas said research had shown that Africa was one of the “most socially and economically unequal regions,” with the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few people.

He said the growing population of unemployed youth prepared the ground for citizen mobilisation and that could turn violent, stressing that this dissatisfaction and frustration were particularly felt by the vulnerable and marginalised population, especially women and the youth.

The Executive Director of WANEP, Dr Chukwuemeka Eze, said the contemporary challenges to elections and democratic governance escalated by election disputes continued to threaten the foundation of democracies.

He said already the African region was compounded by myriads of insecurity which needed the collective efforts of leaders to address.

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Abrose Dery, in a speech read for him, said Ghana had been implementing a National Security Strategy to address threats that were potentially imminent.


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