External arbitrators must lead vigilantism dialogue – Akwetey

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), has affirmed that an external mediator must lead discussions during the vigilantism dialogue between the two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He stressed that the only way the dialogue will yield positive results is for the two parties to realise their efforts would only be consolidated by an arbitrator insisting that dialogue needed a facilitator and a mediator and questioned the point of contention.

“Why does one side needs a straight bilateral conversation? And why does the other side say let other parties come in? Eventually, it is going to be an agreement which will say let us trust ourselves first.

“Maybe a lower level or middle level, who are the people who trust each other, can be part of this conversation as interlocutors however, other stakeholders must come in  depending on the issues that are raised because this is going to eat into various sectors,” Dr Akwetey cautioned.

A letter by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the President, requested for a third party such as the National Peace Council and other civil society groups to mediate the dialogue. However, the President, among other things, expressed dismay over the conditions the NDC listed for possible dialogue with the NPP to help end political violence and vigilantism.

The National Peace Council in a statement expressed readiness to assist the two political parties to “hold fruitful talks in their quest to nip the activities of militia groups in the bud through requisite support”. It also stated that it stands prepared to provide the necessary assistance and facilitation should the parties agree to the call.

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the Chairman of the NDC subsequently replied the President, who responded to his earlier letter on processes for the disbandment of vigilante groups by calling for broader stakeholder consultation saying “we note also the problems we face exist in many other countries, our attempt at a solution that goes beyond the legal process will be of interest to institutions involved in ensuring peaceful development across Africa.

“They include ECOWAS, AU and various UN agencies. Not a surrender of our sovereignty or declaration of lack of faith in our own abilities rather an act of responsible regional, international citizenship and transparency,” he indicated. -citinewsroom.com

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