The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in partnership with the Government of Germany, has organised a training course on Electoral Violence Security (EVS) for selected security personnel across the country.
The training aims at equipping law enforcement agencies with the knowledge, competencies and skills to prevent, manage and deal with potential or perceived electoral violence situations, with the overall goal to contributing to peaceful and safe presidential and parliamentary elections in December.
Eighty security personnel are participating in the first training session, which opened at the KAIPTC on Monday.
They are from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The Police Service is being represented by 30 participants while the rest of the five security agencies had 10 representatives each.
The five-day event for the southern sector will be replicated in Kumasi, from October 5 to 9, and in Tamale from October 12 to 16, for the middle and the northern sectors respectively.
More than 240 security officers, in total, would benefit from the course.
Mr Mortz Fischer, representative of the German Ambassador to Ghana, said the German Government, since 2002, had supported the KAIPTC to contribute in several ways to peace and security in Ghana and Africa at large.
He said with funding support from Germany, KAIPTC had held a variety of courses including Investigating Sexual Gender Based Violence, Police Middle Management Course and Women's Leadership Development Programme for security personnel from Ghana, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria among other West African countries.
Germany, since 2016, had supported the KAIPTC with over 16 million euros.
Mr Fischer said the overall goal of the course was to contribute to peaceful and safe presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana.
"Elections are crucial for each country and the stability of the region.
It is, therefore, of utmost importance that these elections are free, fair and peaceful.
" Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, the Inspector General of Police, in a speech read on his behalf, said: "As we head to the December 2020 polls, the good people of Ghana and our friends across the world once again have a lot of expectations of us, the security agencies.
” “They expect us to fulfil our constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order as well as protecting lives and property before, during and after the elections.
” He said the course would greatly enhance institutional coordination and foster effective deployment of the six security agencies across the country.
The IGP said since adopting multi-party democracy in 1992, Ghana had successfully held seven general elections, which had ensured the smooth transition of power from one political administration to another.
"It is, however, instructive to indicate that these achievements, which most Ghanaians take for granted but are envied by our neighbours, have not come effortlessly.
" Mr Oppong-Boanuh said Ghana's past elections had always been characterised by seamless tensions, with pockets of isolated violence before, during and after the electoral processes.
"Arguably, these happenings have always threatened our peaceful statehood in one way or the other.
However, we have been able to address these potential triggers of conflict and our country has not lost her peace and stability," Mr Oppong-Boanuh said.
"Truth be told.
The concrete security interventions put in place by us, the security agencies, with the cooperation and support of the majority of the good people of Ghana have led to the consolidation of our peace and security over the period.
And I want to commend all the security services for their commitment and great sense of duty.
" Major General Francis Ofori, the KAIPTC Commandant, said the course would provide information and some fundamental understanding on the roles of the Police and other stakeholders like the Military, Customs, Prisons, Immigration and Fire Services in the management of the electoral process.
He said the target group for the course were officers, who were of the ranks of Major or Deputy Superintendent of Police or its equivalent, or officers with command roles in the upcoming General Election.