WAJA Workshop on Conflict Prevention, Peacekeeping & The Promotion of Human Rights Is Under way in Banjul

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sub regional workshop on conflict prevention, peacekeeping and the promotion of human right is underway in Banjul the Gambia. The workshop brought together about thirty five journalists from the sub region for a period of three days beginning Tuesday the 14 October 2008.The workshop is currently taking place at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

In delivering a statement on the occasion, Ibrahim Famakan Coulibally, the President of the West African Journalist Assiciation (WAJA) told the participants that WAJA apart from it efforts in building the capacity of its members in the sub region, is as well very much concern about the safety of its members. He said WAJA is still worried that the investigation into the killing of Deyda Hydara is still an unfinished work.The disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh is also a big concern to the WAJA as a sub regional body.

President Coulibally also raised concern about the situation of press freedom in Mouritania and the worsening situation of the media in Senegal. He said the tormenting of journalists in that country is a concern. He reiterated that WAJA will continue to stand firm against impunity against journalists in the region.He called on the governments in the region to investigate the killings of journalists and their disappearances.

He appealed to donors to continue supporting WAJA as it is the only professional body that operates in the region and stood firm for the promotion of the welfare of journalists in the region.

In her statement the Secretary of State for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mrs. Fatim Badgie , told the participants that the Gambia government do recognized the role of journalists and do respect press freedom. she said over the years her government has an improved relationship with the media.

She told the participants that press freedom should go with responsibilities. The kind of conflict in Rwanda was one of the results of irresponsible journalism. She warns that journalists should desist from sowing the seeds of conflicts and racial hat rage.As a way of conflict prevention, Fatim said journalists should start showing documentaries of wars and post conflicts. People would then learn from such and would help prevent conflicts.

Ndey Tapha Sosseh, the president of the Gambia Press Union, who also is second VP of WAJA, told the workshop that this training is done in collaboration with WAJA. She said it will be one of exchange of ideas and will be insightful. The end product will be a production of a code of conduct. She urge all to take up the training seriously.

Author: Madi Ceesay
Source: conference