Monday, December 29, 2008


Nana Obiri Boahen, the Minister of State of the Ministry of Interior, says it is in the interest of the government to oversee a smooth transition and hand over power to the next government.
Reiterating comments by government officials lately, he said the government was committed to handing over power to the party that wins the December 7, election without any hitches.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at a Specialisation course on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) in Accra today, Nana Obiri Boahen said it was in the interest of the government to do so and for the consolidation of democracy in the country.
However, he was of the view that all Ghanaians had a role to play in engaging in peaceful dialogue and actions to ensure that a peaceful transition was assured.
Nana Obiri Boahen was the keynote speaker at the International Training Programme on Peacebuilding and Good Governance for African Civilian Personnel under which the Specialisation course on DDR is being organised.
The training programme is a joint effort of the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA), the International Training Programme for Conflict Management of the SantAnna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, the Italian government and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
It brings together six female and 14 male-participants from Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Sierra Leone.
Participants will be taken through processes of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in post conflict areas in the region.
Addressing participants and guests, Nana Obiri Boahen, emphasised the need for nations to initiate excellent peace building programmes through good governance to ensure the eradication of poverty and the provision of equal opportunities for all citizens.
In situations of armed conflicts, however, there was the need to equip people to deal with the unexpected, he added.
He endorsed DDR as critical steps of a peace process that required well equipped people with the appropriate technical expertise, experience and knowledge to implement.
Nana Obiri Boahen, said women had a special relationship with DDR processes because as holders of knowledge of communities, members of communities that receive demobilised combatants and as former combatants themselves, they possessed particular insights and skills relevant in the process.
He said women were often engaged in grassroots disarmament before official DDR processes begun.
He suggested the that DDR programmes should not only focus on the social integration but also deal adequately with the phychosocial needs of ex-combatants.
In his remarks, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Fabrizio De Agostini, expressed his appreciation over the fact that international consensus to strengthen the capacity of Africa in peace and security efforts were bearing fruits.
He said a concept paper prepared by the SantAnna School of Advanced Studies on improving African peace and security architecture and identifying accountable and predictable financial resources for peace operations in Africa, had been accepted by the African Union Peace and Security Council as well as the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee.
What was now needed, he said, was a greater political and financial commitment by African states, with a greater capacity of the African Union Commission to plan and run the operations to fully absorb in a transparent way financial resources put at their disposal by donors.
The Director of the International Training Programme on Conflict Management, Prof Andrea de Guttry, in his submissions said reintegration efforts were only successful in situations were there was economic growth.
He told participants that it was important to evaluate each situation and be flexible and creative in using their capacities in areas they were deployed.
A Research Fellow of the LECIA, Dr Yao Gebe, said because of the international commitments of countries, such programmes were important, to promote peace and security in areas of conflict.

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