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Border communities urged to guard against divisiveness

Prof. Samuel Marfo, a Professor in Conflict Resolution at the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), has urged border communities to foster unity among themselves and guard against divisiveness. Prof. Marfo w...


Prof. Samuel Marfo, a Professor in Conflict Resolution at the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), has urged border communities to foster unity among themselves and guard against divisiveness.

Prof. Marfo who is also a member of the Upper West Regional Peace Council noted that if communities continue to be divided, there was the tendency for any potential terrorist group to take advantage of their vulnerability.

Prof. Marfo who was speaking at a two-day capacity building programme on the Atlantic Corridor Project at Funsi in the Wa East District, noted that ‘once people are able to come together, they will see any external threat as a common enemy, and they will be able to withstand it’.

Titled, ‘Capacity Building Training in Wa East District on Early Warning and Early Response to Prevent Violent Extremism’, is an initiative under the Atlantic Corridor Project being implemented by the National Peace Council with funding support from the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Denmark in Ghana.

Prof. Marfo stated that conflict was normal but if not well handled, could create deep seated division among people, travel like destruction and undermine the social capital making the people vulnerable.

He said contemporary data indicated clearly that in Africa, Burkina Faso was one of the well-known terrorist’s destinations in the world, adding that there was the need to act by training people living in and around the border communities for them to be able to forecast and pre-empt any potential security threat in their communities.

He said this has been the major focus of the training to sharpen their skills, knowledge and understanding of conflict; the causes or major triggers of conflict and the several factors that turn to divide communities such as religion, and ethnicity.

Mr Emmanuel Danyomah, the Upper Regional Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, explained that the essence of the programme was to create the awareness and for peop
le to acquire the needed skills to deal with conflict in a more productive manner so that they could continue to co-exist in peace not withstanding their differences.

He further explained that it would also equip participants with initial response skills so that if they were taken unaware, they would be able to reduce the rate of victimization and mitigation.

‘Few months back, there were reports that Fulani people were adopting their own colleagues for ransom, which was an early warning, hence the need to quickly develop the capacity of the people on early warning and early response mechanisms,’ Mr Danyomah said.

According to him, the entire region was vulnerable because of its numerous border communities, which have all the drivers of conflict including youth unemployment, poor social amenities such as bad roads, hospitals, and youth camps.

He said they expect participants to return to their respective communities and be able to practice the knowledge they have acquired during the training on early warni
ng and initial response.

At the end of the programme, participants would develop action plans on two serious issues in their communities and how they planned to resolve it including a budget for support.

He expressed gratitude to the UNDP and the Embassy of Denmark in Ghana for the Atlantic Corridor Project, noting that the project had come to help them realize their objectives in the Wa East District.

Participants were drawn from the security agencies, opinion leaders, chiefs, religious leaders, Assembly members, youth camps, women group leaders, and leaders of the Fulbe communities across Kundugu, Yala, Buffiama, and Funsi.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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