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General News of Friday, 23 July 2010

Source: GNA

National Peace Council Bill before Cabinet

Sekondi, July 23, GNA - A National Peace Council Bill to give legal backing to the National Peace Council and Regional and District Peace Advisory Councils, is currently before Cabinet, Mr Martin Amidu, Interior Minister has said.

Addressing the Western Regional Peace Advisory Council at Sekondi on Thursday, he said the bill would make the councils independent bodies to enable them to be free from politics and security.

Mr Amidu, who was on a two-day working visit to the Region, said the councils have to be independent when performing their duties and their members must not be involved in active politics.

He said Regional and District Peace Advisory Councils are presently functioning administratively without any law legitimatizing their activities and existence.

Mr Amidu urged the people to lobby their Members of Parliament to support the bill when it gets to Parliament for approval.

He said the legislation would enable government to establish a national conflict resolution mechanism to make people to be part of conflict resolution and management.

Mr Amidu said this would make it possible to have permanent peace after conflict through cooperation and understanding of the people.

He said Peace Councils should conduct conflict resolution programmes for school children and students to equip them with skills to handle conflicts non-violently.

Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, the Regional Minister, said the Committee established to investigate the May 2, 2010 jail break at the Sekondi Central Prison had submitted its report.

He said the findings of the Committee would be made public after government had studied the report.

Mr Aidoo asked the Regional Peace Advisory Committee to involve traditional rulers, queen mothers and many religious bodies in its meetings and activities.

Mr Clever Nyathi, Senior Peace and Governance Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana said his outfit was supporting government in its peace building project because without peace there would not be development.

Mr Nyathi said it was necessary to sustain peace for the region to develop.

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