The Analyst (Monrovia)

2 January 2013

Liberia: Dr. Guannu to Address Book Launch At PUL Thursday

Liberia's former Ambassador to Washington, D.C., the United States of America, Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu will this week Thursday, January 3, 2013 deliver the keynote address at Program marking the Official launch of a new book title: LIBERIA'S EMERGING DEMOCRACY. Dr. Guannu is also a renowned Liberian author and Professor at the University of Liberia and Cuttington University

The book which detailed the Role of Women and the Media in Democratic Dispensation in Liberia is authored by Mr. Josephus Moses Gray, the Political Counsellor at the Embassy of Liberia in Paris, the Republic of France.

According to Mr. Gray, the Managing Director of The INQUIRER Newspaper, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh will serve as Chief Launcher of the book while others high profile media personalities and officials of government are expected to grace the occasion.

The launching ceremony takes place at the Conference Room of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) on Thursday, 3rd January at 2:00 p.m. During the ceremony, the author of the book, Mr. Gray will give details overview and highlights of the entire book, to be followed by questions and answers.

In a related development, Mr. Gray has presented copies of the book on Liberia's Emerging Democracy to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill. He is also expected to present copies to the Press Union of Liberia and the various media institution in Monrovia, the IBB Graduate School of International Relations and the Mass Communications Department at the University of Liberia.

Among other institutions expected to receive copies include the Gabriel Dennis Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Methodist University, Cuttington University, A.M.E. Zion and Ministry of Education.

According to the author,  book discusses how Liberian women played a crucial role in getting warlords to the negotiating table eventually culminating to the attainment of peace and stability in the country.

In general, the book discusses the central role of Liberian women and in particular comments on the vigorous contributions of several Liberian women including our dynamic President, Mrs.  Elle Johnson-Sirleaf who is making efforts to rebuild her country ravaged by years of war and improves the livelihood the population and gives hope to the hopeless and restore the nation's image abroad.

The book, he said highlights Liberian women as actors and not merely victims of conflict and discusses the strategies the women used effectively and points to their role in building bridges across society through grassroots peace building initiatives and in bringing former warlords to the peace table.

The book shows how Liberian journalists performed a critical role in bringing mayhems and atrocities committed during the heat of the war to light but also document how the journalists paid a greater price. The publication, however, indicts some local media and journalist of biased reporting by siding with the status quo, treating some candidates who contested elections with favor and giving less coverage to others.
Mr. Gray has authors several journals on national and international contemporary issues that border on foreign policies, international affairs, political and economic situations. He has also written extensively about the Practice of Diplomacy and the Balance of Power, the Critical Role of the Liberian Media in Enhancing Democracy.

He formerly worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia as Assistant Minister for Public Affairs. He formally practiced as a professional and acclaimed journalist for 15 years before taking up governmental post five years ago to serve his country at the state level.

The Book is a real fascinating and compelling eyewitness account of the author and gives true insights of Liberia's dark days of 14-year turmoil and the amazing role of Liberian women and the local media in the obtainment of genuine peace and the restoration of law. The publication also highlights the immense contributions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the enormous sacrifices made by Nigeria and loses sustained to bring peace and stability to Liberia.

The publication covers a wild range of issues including the current status of the emerging democracy in Liberia and catalogues the key role of three of the nine ECOMOG Force Commanders, especially the three courageous Nigerian Generals including Maj-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro, Brig-Gen. Adetunji Idowu Olurin and Brig-Gen Victor Malu. These three generals leave an irreplaceable mark in the history of Liberia.

The other women whose contributions highlighted in the book are Mary Brownell, a respectable woman and peace campaigner; Senator Ruth Sando Perry, former chair of the Six-man Council of State and Madam Roberta Leymah Gbowee, peace campaigner and a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize .

The author, in his research, discovered how several young women resorted to fight to protect themselves from abuses such as rape, violence, murder and a harsh labor regime while other war affected women were held hostage and used as 'combat-wives' of warlords and fighters against their will. This act, according to the book, was widely practiced in areas controlled by rebel forces.

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