The Alliance of Rural Women, a civil society organisation, condemned the violence that characterised the presidential and parliamentary elections in the southern district of Tehimane, in the Bono region in the east of the country.
The Alliance is a coalition of NGOs consisting of the Centre for the Organisation of the Interests of Descendants (CCOO), the Committee for Peace and Mediation, the Women’s Voice and Leadership, and the Organisation for Women’s Rights and Peace Promotion (WOCAP).
The declaration, signed by Alliance coordinator Mustafa Yeboa Mason, a copy of which was sent to the Ghana News Agency (GAI), called on the election stakeholders to remain calm and allow the elections to proceed in peace.
However, it commended the professional approach of the security forces in the region to the issue of electoral violence and called for a rapid investigation of the violence to ensure justice.
We would therefore like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to all security services and traditional authorities in Tehimane for their sacrifices and contribution to the successful conduct of the general elections. We appreciate your commitment to working tirelessly to manage tensions and pressure to maintain peace and order in Tehran, the statement said.
However, we regret the unfortunate incident at the mediation centre, which resulted in loss of life, injury and destruction of property.
We call for peace in the community of Tehiman in the context of these post-electoral riots, he added.
Peace is a fundamental necessity for national development and as such must be an enviable asset to be protected by every individual, every community and every country. No country, no society, no community, no individual develops in a violent environment, emphasized the statement.
The recent politically motivated violence in the municipality of Tejimana is a powerful force that could endanger the peaceful coexistence of the inhabitants. It tends to combine Techiman’s healthy, competitive and enviable social, economic and political development over the years. It is an achievement that, according to the statement, can’t be exchanged for anything.
Politically motivated violence arouses fear, which increases the impact of individual attacks. For example, people in and around Tehiman’s community are afraid to participate in daily routine activities for fear of being attacked.
Political violence has an impact on general health, particularly mental health, such as depression and anxiety. In particular, the WHO states that one third of people exposed to political violence will experience mental suffering (WHO, 2001).
Political violence tends to divert resources from education, social and political activities, reactions of social systems, economic development, etc. It has a strong impact on the social and economic development of the country.
The unstable political atmosphere will discourage investors and potential investors from doing business in the community, which will have a dynamic effect on the region and the country as a whole, as the community in Tehiman is a blessing for the economic development of Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. It connects Northern Ghana with the South and is growing rapidly, especially in the economic sector, and any political violence is likely to affect the whole country and Africa.
The Declaration calls on religious and traditional leaders, civil society organisations and actors, and political parties to work together as a matter of urgency to find lasting solutions to the post-election violence.
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