The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) on Tuesday kicked against military intervention in the Ivorian political power struggle and declared: “No war in Cote d’Ivoire, No forceful eviction of embattled President Laurent Gbagbo.”
“The option of military intervention is not a creditable measure as that would create a platform for a nationwide destruction of life and property,” Mr Emmanuel Bombande, WANEP Executive Director, stated at a five-day general assembly in Accra.
It is on the theme: “Developing National Capacities for Early Warning and Early Responds; An Effective Mechanism for Sustaining the Africa Year of Peace and Security.”
The assembly is being attended by 50 delegates and key stakeholders from 15 ECOWAS member countries.
Mr Bombande called for intensification of diplomatic pressure on President Gbagbo through sustaining the positions already taken by key actors in global politics such as the US, France, United Nations and the World Bank.
He said from the onset of the peace building process in Cote d’Ivoire it was expected that there would be difficulties with the elections.
However, the development was a surprise to many because the incumbent President was at the centre of the conflict and had denied his country a good opportunity to move into the league of West Africa’s democratic countries.
Mr Bombande said West Africa had made positive strides in the area of democratization, post-conflict recovery, peace-building and governance especially in countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“There are still deep concerns about the fragile nature of these modest achievements given the terrorist activities in the Sahel region; maritime insecurity in the delta region of Nigeria; weapons proliferation and the resurgence of undemocratic means to remain in power and unconstitutional changes of government as worrying signs,” he said.
Mr Bombande revealed that the most effective mechanism to deal with violent conflicts and humanitarian crisis in the sub-region was an effective multi-tiered, multi-national and multi-sectoral platform that would enhance human security, peace and development.
“Central to this mechanism is the need for an effective information-generating system that facilitates informed conflict prevention or mitigation interventions,” he said.
Professor Isaac O. Albert of Peace and Conflict Studies Programme, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria chaired the opening session.