#Article (Archive)

Give Support to WANJOP

May 28, 2009, 8:33 AM

News about journalists networking to promote peace building in the sub-region is indeed welcoming. This is a clear indication that peace is every body's business.

Journalists from about nine Western Africa countries, namely: Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau Benin, Senegal and Mali are currently networking to promote peace building in the sub-region.

Named as 'West African Network of Journalists for Peace Building' (WANJOP) was formed recently in Accra, Ghana on the 11th May 2009.

The aim of the network among other things is to promote and advocate peace and stability in the West Africa sub-region.

Over the past decades, we have seen and witnessed human rights abuses and conflicts around the world particularly in Africa.

This has stifled development and the media at one point were accused of fuelling conflicts with a classic example of the genocide in Rwanda.

We therefore urge and encourage every one who calls himself a journalist to negate this stigma and positively contribute to peace building, conflict prevention, peace keeping and promotion of human rights.

We also implore all and sundry to give the fullest support to this network to enable them cause awareness among journalists in the sub region, which has no doubt had its fair share of conflicts, on their role in the preservation and promotion of peace and human rights, improving and broadening the capacity of journalists on human rights and peace issues.

Of late some journalists from the sub region took part in a three-day sub-regional workshop organised by The Gambia Press Union (GPU) in collaboration with West African Journalist Association (WAJA) and key issues top the agenda foremost of which is the role of journalists in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and the promotion of human rights.

This in itself shows that journalists are conscious of their important role of giving guidance, suggestions and warning as well as encourage, urge and make recommendations for the betterment of society. All they need now is support.

And for Gambians, we urge all to give whatever support to keep this network alive as it has a Gambian at its helm of affairs.

No one would dispute that journalists are key stakeholders in building conflict free zones, preserving the peace and promoting peaceful initiatives and at all times upholding the principles of human rights, as peace will and cannot prevail without human rights and the rule of law.