Yunyoo (NER), Jan 29, GNA – Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been urged to prioritise and invest in peacebuilding to prevent violent conflicts and instability and promote sustainable development.
Participants at a forum said apart from mainstreaming ‘peace-building and promotion’ into the Medium-Term Development Plans of Municipal and District Assemblies, it was imperative for the Assemblies to make budgetary allocations towards strategic implementation of the programmes.
This, they said, would help the Assemblies to carry out activities to educate and sensitise the public especially youth of conflict prone communities, to appreciate the need to employ non-violence approaches to settling disputes.
The forum was organised by the Good Governance, Justice and Peace of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO) at Yunyoo in the Yunyoo-Nasuan District of the North East Region, as part of the implementation of the Integrated Peacebuilding for Improved Food and Nutrition Supply (IN-PEACE) project sponsored by MISEREOR.
The goal of the project was to support the district assemblies to mainstream peacebuilding into their Medium-Term Development Plans as well as implement them, to prevent conflict from occurring.
The project being implemented in 16 communities in Bawku Municipal in the Upper East Region, and Yunyoo-Nasuan and Bunkpurugu-Nakpanduri Districts in the North East Region was to strengthen local structures at the grassroots level to carry out peacebuilding activities through non-violent approaches.
Mr Joseph Bangu, the Director of Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate, NABOCADO, explained that apart from the loss of lives and property and the halt in productivity and economic activities that occured during violent conflicts, the quantity of money the government through the assemblies spend on security agencies to ensure law and order was huge.
“For instance, at the Bunkpurugu area, when the conflict started it was difficult for people to go to their farms or do businesses and it became difficult for them to feed,” he said.
He noted that it would be wise on the part of the assemblies to spend less in carrying out conflict preventive activities to enable communities and individuals to use dialogue, mediation and other nonviolent approaches to resolve conflict than spending developmental resources to maintain peace.
Mr David Issaka, an Evaluation and Monitoring Expert, noted that the assemblies needed to collaborate with the traditional authorities to carry out inter-communal, inter-ethnic and inter-clan youth activities such as sports that would bring the youth together and added that it would help foster unity and peaceful coexistence.
Assistant Superintendent of Immigration, Mr Elvis Sarfo, Second in Command at the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo Command, urged the assembly to provide income generating activities that would enable the youth to engage in meaningful ventures.
Mr Konlan Bitian, the District Chief Executive for the area, lauded NABOCADO for their support over the years and noted that the Assembly had mainstreamed peacebuilding into their Medium-Term Development Plan and provision had been made to train selected youth on peacebuilding.