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WANEP trains observers to detect early warning signs

ElectionsThe West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), has trained its election observers to detect early warning signs towards averting violence during the December 7 polls.

The 750 accredited observers, are expected to pick information during the opening of the polls, voting and counting of ballot and relay to the Election Situation Room (ESR) situated at the headquarters in Accra.

Mr Vincent Azumah, the Regional Coordinator for Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of WANEP said although the Centre already had community monitors on the grounds, there was the need to also engage the observers whose information to the headquarters would ensure violence-free election.

He said unlike other observers who were focusing on free, fair elections, WANEP and ESR were deploying personnel to “risk areas based on hot spot mappings”, to help prevent any conflict.

Mr Azumah said WANEP may engage in “quiet preventive diplomacy or political dialogue,” to address escalating tensions, especially following the declaration of results when necessary. 

He said the ESR was designed to “specifically monitor, report, analyse and facilitate responses to violent threats to the peaceful conduct of the polls”.

Mr Azumah said the “decision making room” was a high-profile chamber made up of the Chairman of the Peace Council and other prominent Ghanaians.

He expressed  confidence of event-free polls.

He said two satellite situation rooms located in Kumasi and Tamale would be divided into three operational sections made up of the “data gathering room”, “the analysis room” and the “decision room,” to support other regions.

Mr Azumah said data collated form the field would be sent to the situation room by SMS with additional information through a dedicated whatsapp or telephone lines.   

WANEP has presence in all ECOWAS countries and has monitored elections in Niger, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, the Gambia, among others.

Source: GNA

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