18 January 2013

Liberia: Several Liberians Back Weah's Peace Ambassador Role

Several Liberians have overwhelmingly endorsed George Weah's appointment as Peace ambassador of Liberia's reconciliation drive. The Liberians' endorsement of Weah for the post comes at the heels of heightened national debate regarding whether or not the political leader of the lead opposition political party Congress for Democratic change (CDC) will be effective in his peace ambassadorial role, while at the same time functioning as an active politician.

Recently, the CDC announced that its political leader will stand as a senatorial candidate in the ensuing mid-term elections in 2014. Late last year, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appointed weah to lead the nation's reconciliation initiative. "It is with great honor and privilege that I humbly accept the appointment as ambassador for the country that I love," Weah announced at the close of the Vision 2030 conference in the Gbarnga, Bong County.

At the time, the political leader of the CDC acknowledged that his appointment intoned that there were many challenges on the road to securing sustained peace and security in the country. For him to overcome the challenges, Weah said: "Government must muster the political will to support this initiative to the fullest and facilitate the implementation of programs and recommendations that would be put forward in the interest of peace and reconciliation."

He stated that reconciliation was not just the seeking of peace, adding that reconciliation entails the "search for peace through social justice, equal opportunities, equitable distribution of the national wealth and increased political participation". Said Weah: "All Liberians have a responsibility to show by example, tolerance, forgiveness and mutual respect that we are committed to the search for peace and guaranteed security," adding that:"The machinery of aggression and coercion must be replaced by a system based on opportunities in which everyone will have a stake in the prosperity and challenges of their country".

He then promised to seek the full cooperation of all Liberians and the support of the international community in his peace ambassadorial role. But his appointment was greeted with mixed reactions; with some Liberians, including few lawmakers either calling for his resignation or the revocation of his appointment by President Johnson-Sirleaf.

However, scores of Liberians, who on Thursday, 17 January 2013 participated in a radio poll conducted on the populous Truth Breakfast Show, simulcast on the Truth FM and Real TV, backed the CDC political leader's appointment. The Liberians numbering over three dozen people expressed explicit confidence in Weah to properly execute his peace ambassador duties, while playing his political role without hindrance to the nation's reconciliation initiative.

Many of the Liberians among other things argued that Weah is the most appropriate individual to reconcile the nation, adding that he has a clean track record of playing no negative role in the country's trouble days of ov4er 14 years of bloody civil war.

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