The reconstituted Ashanti Regional Peace Council has been inaugurated with a mandate to strengthen capacities for conflict prevention, management, resolution and sustainable peace in the region.
The 13-member Council is made up of representatives from the Catholic Bishops Conference, Christian Council, Ghana Pentecostal Council, National Council for Christians and Charismatic Churches, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission.
The rest are Al-Sunnah Muslims, the Tijaaniya Muslim Group, Practitioners of African Traditional Religion, and the National House of Chiefs.
There are also two representatives each from the Regional Coordinating Council and identifiable groups.
The members include Dr Anthony Frangtana Naah, Reverend Dr Seth Frimpong Coleman, Apostle Bright Bill Kwabla Sosu, Bishop Dr Victor Osei, Mr Hakeem Baidoo, Sheikh Mohammed Kamil Mohammed, Ustaz Ahmed Seidu, and Barffour Asabere Kogyawoasu Ababio III.
Others are Rt. Rev. Nuh Ben Abubekr, Ms. Margaret Boafo-Atiemo, Prof. Esmeranda Manful, Dr. Harriet Takyi and Barfour Owusu Bediako.
Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, said peace was a priceless and invaluable commodity without which meaningful development could elude communities.
“That is why this Council is of utmost significance to the very survival of the people of the region,” the Regional Minister said.
He applauded the outgoing Council for the level of cooperation with the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) in resolving most of the security issues that erupted during their tenure in office.
Mr Osei-Mensah acknowledged the instrumental role the Council played in resolving disputes such as the Agogo cattle menace, the relocation of the capital of Atwima Kwanwoma from Foase to Twedie, communal violence between Asante and Muslim youth at Ahwiaa, and the Ejura disturbances, which claimed two lives.
“We are very grateful to the Regional Peace Council for ensuring that we have peace and unity in this region and people can move freely to undertake their various businesses in safety,” he said.
He charged the new Council to follow the path of the outgoing one by upholding the principles of fairness and objectivity in the performance of its duties.
Rt. Rev. Christopher Nyarko Andam, the Outgoing Chairman of the Council, said Ghana was one of the few countries in Africa with a well-developed infrastructure for peace.
The country remained the first in the West African Sub-Region to have legislation, which established the National Peace Council mandated to develop mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution.
He said he was happy that about 50 per cent of members of the outgoing Council were retained and urged them to build on their experience to ensure sustainable peace in the region.