The National Peace Council (NPC) in Upper West Region has requested to be included in the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for better collaboration to improve security coordination and resolution of emerging conflicts.
They said the current arrangement, where it was required to give occasional report to REGSEC was not helping to address many of the evolving tensions and disputes in the region, and called for a representation in the Security Council.
Chairman of the Regional Peace Council (RPC), Rev Dr Aloysius Nuolabong, made the requests to the Regional Coordinating Council during a training session for council members in Wa to build their capacity on improved ways of handling tensions and conflicts for peaceful coexistence.
The members were taken through several topics including; understanding conflict, identification of hotspots and the way forward as well as conflict mediation and linkages between and among RPC, NPC and REGSEC.
Rv Nuolabong highlighted the need for better cooperation with security agencies through a representation of the RPC on REGSEC for regular update of its strategic activities on resolving conflicts and dousing tensions.
“In that way, we will be coordinating and not be doing independent things, there will be partnership and teamwork to resolve issues,” he added: “It is good that members of the peace council are represented in the REGSEC”.
Though, he said, the RPC had resource constraints in terms of staffing, logistics and funding, members have been able to defuse several high tension disputes that could have escalated into violent conflicts since it was inaugurated.
He cited peaceful resolution of the Wa chieftaincy disputes as one of the most important achievements chalked out by the RPC in its efforts to preventing unnecessary high tensions and violent conflicts in the region.
Following the RPC’s intervention in the Wa chieftaincy disputes through continuous dialogue and engagements with stakeholders, the factions finally smoked the peace pipe and agreed to forge together in unity for the development of the region and for the common good of the citizens.
Rev Nuolabong called on the Municipal and district assemblies to support the RPC to effectively address the many chieftaincy, land and religious disputes as well as clashes between residents and police in the region.
The Executive Secretary of the RPC, Mr Emmanuel Danyomah enumerated many successes achieved by the council despite some constraints like lack of office space and personnel.
He said the council was able to tackle high tension chieftaincy, religious and land issues in various parts of the region including; the resolution of the Wa chieftaincy disputes.
He also mentioned the peaceful resolution of the Dondoli-Jujeidiyiri land dispute in the Wa Municipality, which nearly escalated into a religious conflict.
Again, the RPC was able to douse rising tensions over rosewood between two clans at Funsi in the Wa West District and thereby bringing peace to the people of the area.
The Council said it was still engaging the parties to resolve the matter completely and guarantee lasting peace.
A conflict desk study conducted by the RPC in 2018 identified high 20 hotspots in five municipal and district assemblies, but the number is expected to rise this year following emerging tensions surrounding land, chieftaincy and religious disputes as well as pockets of clashes.
The Council will therefore require additional resources including; personnel, logistics and funding to be able to handle the evolving tensions more effectively.