By Isatou Jallow
The Caritas Gambia recently sensitized ten parliamentarians on non-electoral violence advocacy for non-electoral violence. The forum was supported by the European Union, organized by the Caritas-Gambia, and was held at the Metzy Resort Hotel in Kotu.
It was a forum meant for parliamentarians to share a common platform and outline the factors that trigger electoral violence in The Gambia, as National Assembly Members committed to contributing to elections that are carried out violence-free and according to the electoral laws of the State.
Speaking at the forum, the Director of Caritas Gambia, Francize Mendy said the various roles which National Assembly members can play in mitigating role in minimizing potential electoral violence during the electoral cycle were identified.
He advised the NAMs to advocate for non-violence democracy and respect for human rights during and after elections.
According to Mr Mendy, to engage the IEC to identify operational and administrative challenges and thus advocate for strengthening at the national assembly of the Gambia.
He disclosed that political party leaders stood for peace and therefore openly condemn any members of their party who tries to jeopardize the peace and security of the country.
He went on that the CSO coalition should maintain and increase these engagements because they provide avenues for the national assembly and other important stakeholders to collaborate, share experiences, and act effectively in mitigating violence throughout the year rather than only during the electoral period.
He added that they should start holding regular peace ‘bantabas’ nationwide to engage local communities to voice their concern regarding the country’s peace and security. Saying this will be an opportunity to report on problems and early warning indications and suggest appropriate responses to the appropriate authority.
He encouraged stakeholders to prioritize women’s representation in issues of national concern such as peace and electoral security since they constitute 50.41% of the population.