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Political parties alone can’t end vigilantism – Akwetey

General News of Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Emmanuel AkweteynewExecutive Director of IDEG, Emmanuel Akwetey

The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey wants an external mediator to lead discussions during the vigilantism dialogue between the two main political parties.

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.

The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey wants an external mediator to lead discussions during the vigilantism dialogue between the two main political parties.

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.

President Nana Akufo-Addo however, among other things, expressed dismay over the conditions the NDC listed for its possible dialogue with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to help end political violence and vigilantism in the country.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Akwetey said the only way the dialogue will yield positive results is for the two parties to realize that their efforts will only be consolidated by an arbitrator.

“This thing needs a facilitator and a mediator. What exactly is 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, at maybe a lower level or middle level, who are the people who trust each other, and 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,” he said.

We’re prepared to mediate vigilantism dialogue – Peace Council

Already, the National Peace Council has expressed readiness to assist the two main political parties to hold fruitful talks in their quest to nip the activities of militia groups in the bud.

The Council said it will give the requisite support needed to bring vigilantism to an end in the country.

“The National Peace Council wants to assure you that it stands prepared to provide the necessary assistance and facilitation should the parties agree to the call for the Council to facilitate mediation”, the council noted in a statement.

The Peace Council says it appreciates the recognition given it by the party as it falls in line with its role of resolving conflicts that have the tendency of destabilizing peace in the country.

Let’s seek UN, AU help to disband vigilante groups – Ofosu Ampofo to Akufo-Addo

The Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Samuel Ampofo subsequently replied President Nana Akufo-Addo, who responded to his earlier letter on processes for the disbandment of vigilante groups in the country.

According to the NDC, although the party is encouraged by the President’s desire to achieve a peaceful, constructive environment for politics free from all forms of political violence, there are still some lapses within his Government that needed urgent attention.

In his letter to the President and copied to the National Peace Council, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo called for broader stakeholder consultation in the disbandment of party militia and not just the two leading political parties and the National Peace Council.

“Your Excellency, we note also that the problems we face in Ghana exist to a greater or lesser degree in many other countries. Our attempt at a solution that goes beyond the legal process would be of interest to institutions involved in ensuring peaceful development across Africa. These include ECOWAS, the AU and various UN agencies.”

“Ghana is a member of these bodies and is entitled to call on their resources to assist in resolving critical problems. This is not in any way a surrender of our sovereignty or a declaration of a lack of faith in our own abilities. We see it rather as an act of responsible regional and international citizenship and transparency.”

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