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Activista, ActionAid In’t hold peace building forum ahead of parliamentary elections

By Olimatou Coker

Activista the Gambia in partnership with ActionAid International Gambia has last week Wednesday held a day-long stakeholders’ engagement on peacebuilding in elections and electoral processes ahead of the National Assembly elections this month. This is part of the series of activities conducted by Activista in partnership with ActionAid International the Gambia through funding from WANEP Africa / EU.

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The forum was held at the Action Aid International office in Kanifing. 

The session was geared towards building an inclusive mechanism to promote peace and tolerance through awareness creation and dialogues. Stakeholders believe this will reflect on conflict indicators and device a holistic approach to minimize conflict at the pre, during, and post-election period.

The Project under implementation is focused on promoting peace and tolerance in our polity through awareness creation, training, and dialogues with various stakeholders to build a culture of democracy and active citizenry in the electoral process.

Over the weekend, a series of activities were held in the regions including the municipalities: Training of police officers, sensitization of local authorities and opinion leaders, regional dialogues, and key among the project activities is the national dialogue which targets government and non- governmental institutions and organizations.

The theme of the dialogue focuses on the “role of stakeholders in strengthening peace and tolerance in the election”.

Omar Danso, national coordinator of Activista the Gambia, said the dialogue is important because every individual is a stakeholder in maintaining peace at all times.

“There are series of activities that took place in the past week; one we are looking at stakeholders differently in making sure that they are addressing them at the same time, but at the end of the day, this convergence was supposed to bring all those stakeholders in a simple platform that is why we were able to train the police officers at regional level in all the regions,” he explained.

He noted that they can engage local authorities and opinion leaders within communities including governors, chiefs, alkalolu, women councilors, and youth councilors.

Baboucarr Nyang, finance officer, Activista the Gambia, said: “In the 7 administrative regions of the country, 45 police officers were trained on professionalism and also on police-civil relationship. The police-civil relationship is how will the police handle issues of conflict, how will the police handle things from the civilians to ensure that they have a very good relationship.”

Mam Kumba Ndow Ceesay, project manager of the global fund at ActionAid International the Gambia, said:

“We are here as different professionals in our defined roles to work collectively together to achieve peace.”

She said election is an important process that defines democracy.

“I think everyone in the room here has a duty in terms of that election monitoring, peacebuilding during elections process,” she added.