The Federal Republic of Germany, a long standing partner of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), is collaborating with the Centre to roll out an Electoral Violence Security (EVS) Course for security personnel across the country.
The overall goal is to contribute to peaceful and safe presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana in December 2020.
The German Government’s support to Ghana’s elections stems from its commitment to promote peace and security in Ghana, West Africa and the continent. Whiles elections have become indispensable to strengthening democracy, it is usually beset with violence that threaten the peace, security and stability of a nation. The incidences of violence occur throughout the electoral cycle but is usually very pronounced during the pre-electoral and electoral phases, ranging from threats, assault, vandalism of materials to hate speech.
Against the backdrop of these recurring election-related violence, it is critical for all stakeholders, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to lead the charge to ensure a safe, secure and violence-free elections. The German Government is thus partnering KAIPTC to deliver the EVS course, which 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 professionalism. The course also aims to protect electoral law and the individual right to vote.
The training will be held in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale for selected personnel from the Ghana Police Service, The Ghana Armed Forces, The Ghana Immigration Service, The Customs Division, and The Ghana Prisons and Fire Services.
The significance of the EVS Course is that it closes gaps in the knowledge and understanding of complex political processes and operational interlinkages among relevant stakeholders, particularly the law enforcement agencies. By imparting the same knowledge and skills to participants from different agencies, the course assures a common understanding of the cross-cutting issues relating to security, political processes and electoral management; it also promotes consistency in approach to managing potential and actual electoral violence occurrences.
The training, among others, will cover topics such as elections cycle and security, recent trends in election violence, threat assessment, intelligence and early warning, Gender, Human rights and Elections Security, community/elections security policing. The training would also include simulation exercises that will enable participants to gain practical skills to handle potential situations.
Highlighting the importance and the expected outcomes of the training, the German Ambassador in Ghana, H.E. Christoph Retzlaff noted: “Ghana is a beacon of stability in West Africa and a key partner for Germany in Africa. Together with KAIPTC, we are strengthening peace and stability in the region. A number of elections will be held in West Africa between now and December 2020, one of which is the December 7 elections in Ghana. These elections are crucial for each country and stability in the region. It is therefore of utmost importance that these elections are free, fair and peaceful.”
The Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Francis Ofori said; “Our business is to offer training, research, education to promote peace and security in Ghana, the sub-region, the African continent and the world at large, in partnership with national and international stakeholders. Therefore, we are excited to partner the German Government to deliver this training in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, so that we can enhance the preparedness and effectiveness of the security agencies to ensure peace in the upcoming elections. We are most grateful to the German Government for this great support”.
KAIPTC and the German Government introduced the EVS course in 2016, ahead of Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections held that year. The course has been delivered in Mali, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria.
The German Government, since 2002, has supported and partnered KAIPTC to contribute in several ways to peace and security in Ghana, the sub-region and Africa at large. With funding support from Germany, KAIPTC has delivered courses such as Investigating Sexual Gender Based violence, Police Middle Management Course, Police Women Leadership course, Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime, among others, to security personnel from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and a host of other West African countries. The German Government’s support to KAIPTC also includes the secondment of one (1) German Police Officer and one (1) Military Officer as Course Directors to the Centre.