8 January 2013

Liberia: For Excluding Muslims, Representative Frowns At Weah

Photo: allAfrica
Opposition leader George Weah and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Vision 2030 conference

Peace Ambassador George Weah may not be finding it comfortable since he named members of his committee for the country's reconciliation process.

In continuation of the barrage of criticisms against the path on which he may be thriving, Montserrado District #2 Representative Sekou Saran-Foday Kanneh seems to be somehow furious about the composition of the secretariat without a Muslim.

Representative Kanneh, an ethnic Mandingo Muslim, has described Ambassador Weah's action as the beginning of a "failure" toward an effort of reconciling Liberia, noting that excluding a sector of the country's ethnicity in such a national assignment intended to heal the wounds of the people was a disservice to the purpose for which he was preferred by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Weah, 46, during a news conference in Monrovia recently named an 11-man secretariat to assist him in the implementation of his assignment. Those named are counselors Jallah Barbu and C. Alexander Zoe; as well as Former Ministers of State and Information Joseph Saye Gaunnu and Emmanuel Bowier.

Others are Former Ministers of Education and Justice Evelyn Kandakai and Lafayatte Koboi Johnson; Attorneys Yvette A Freeman and Vivian Neal; Former Chief of Protocol Emmett Kennedy, Isatu Gbegbe Norbiou and Wenwom Jones.

Weah indicated that the Secretariat's first approach would be to set-up peace and reconciliation centers at community, district and county levels throughout the country, but fell short of stating when to actually begin.

"Activities conducted at these places will play an important role in monitoring and evaluating to establish the target and objectives," Weah noted. According to him, the action plan will also focus on the previous mapping of all peace and reconciliation activities in the counties by thegovernment and other partners.

"These mappings are intended to access previous works and understand their failures and successes-the reason being to identify existing structures and make sure those activities are coordinated to form part of our work-plan and programming," Weah lamented.

He further noted that they would work with various groupings, including the United Nations, United States Aid Agency for International development (USAID), as well as the World Bank, among others.

However, Weah acknowledged that the task ahead was delicate, but with his UNICEF's experience, coupled with individual experiences that make-up the secretariat and government's commitment and support, the goal would be achieved, writes TKS.

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