Executive Director for WANEP, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze in his welcome address said WANEP deeply appreciates the current support and partnership from USAID to mitigate elections violence through its national early warning system in five countries of West Africa.
Dr. Eze added that WANEP’s support to peaceful elections is inspired by its vision and conviction for stronger democratic principles and culture.
Her Excellence Maria E. Brewer, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone said the national elections response group is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the inter-religious council, the campaign for good governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and civil society organizations.
The U.S. Ambassador said USAID is supporting this project with $500,000, noting that the primary objective of the National Elections Response Group is to monitor the elections environment, develop and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for peaceful 2018 elections.
While launching the project, Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd Major Alfred Paolo Conteh said WANEP and other partners should continue to build on the capacity of members of the group in the use of modern dialogue, mediation and other preventive diplomacies to prevent and mitigate conflicts especially at the district and regional levels whiles clear communication and feedback mechanism should be institute to ensure coordination and synergy.