Security expert, Dr Kwesi Aning, has urged the government to tap into its vast resources and ensure that the peace process in Dagbon achieves lasting success.
The call by Director of the faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre comes as a heavy police and military forces are deployed to Yendi in the Northern Region ahead of Friday’s funerals of the late overloads of Dagbon.
The December 14 crucial event is the first of a peace roadmap reached between the two feuding chieftaincy factions and the Otumfuor Osei Tutu II-led mediation committee.
Friday’s ceremony is to enable the Abudu Royal Family to perform the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamudu Abudulai.
After that ceremony, there will be a one-week break after which the final funeral rites for Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II will also be performed from January 4 to 19, 2019.
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The two funeral rites for Yaa Naas will mark an important progress in the long-drawn-out peace process.
Bitter conflicts between the Abudus and Andanis, the two chieftaincy factions in Dagbon, have raged on for over 16, leading to the destruction of properties and countless deaths.
The two parties have been fighting over who becomes the Yaa Naa or paramount chief following the murder of a prominent paramount from the Andani family.
Commenting on the process on PM Express, Tuesday evening, Dr Aning said the state has a duty to secure the progress made by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs led by the Asantehene Otumfu Osei Tutu II.
“The security bit, so far so good. We need more proactive assessment of the situation of the potential threats that might happen…between now and Friday when they enter the Gbewa Palace for the final funeral rites, there will be detractors…there are people who have an incentive in destructing the peace process.
“The tools at the disposal of the state are so massive that the state of Ghana must demonstrate its willingness and capacity that they support the mediation committee to get this done once and for all,” he urged.
Dr Aning also said on the current affairs programme on MultiTV that the conflict in the Northern Region has implications for Ghana’s image internationally, calling it a “Ghanaian problem”.
“The police and the military have been there [for many years] and we’ve spent millions of cedis on that internal peacekeeping process and that is where that cost alone becomes a Ghanaian problem of diverting crucial national resources to keep the peace, which of course is very necessary,” he said.
Conflict resolution and peacebuilding expert, Emmanuel Bombande, who was also on the late night show lauded the Otumfuo-led peace process, commending it for de-politicising the efforts to bring peace to the Northern Region town.
He said: “It is unprecedented to see that Abudus and Andanis are now doing things together. So at the level of the people, a lot has happened and we must appreciate it.”
He has asked the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to ensure that at every step of the way, there are both “physical and distance contacts” between the committee and the parties.
“The ownership really of this process is in the two royal gates in Dagbon,” he said.
He wants the people of Dagbon to be proud of the progress made with the peace process because “they have brought Ghana out of what could have intractable internationally and Ghana continues to be seen as a very peace and stable state.”