Over 108 chiefs from Liberia and the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire have ended a four-day Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County with a call for sustainable peace in the two West African countries.
In a Joint Communiqué signed by Chiefs and Elders of the two countries and attested by Foreign Ministers of both countries, they agreed to set up a technical working group for the implementation of recommendations and resolutions of the meeting with focal points at the Ministry of Internal (Liberia) and the Ministry Interior (Cote d' Voire) appointed to monitor the process and update the steering Committee on progress and challenges.
Both countries also agreed to involve the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders (JCCE) in establishing, developing and sustaining national peace infrastructures as well as encouraging the participation of governments, civil society organizations, private sector and the media in the search for durable peace.
The Zwedru Resolution called on both countries to implement appropriate economic, social and cultural cross-border stabilization interventions by development partners in cross-border towns and national reconciliation programs which cut across divide.
Chiefs, elders, youths and women along the borders of Liberia and Cote d' Voire also resolved to facilitate the design and implementation of a trans-border initiative, within the context of strategic Roadmap for national Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation, including members of the Diaspora of both countries.
The resolution urged both governments to facilitate the self-employment of civil society, particularly women, youth, religious and community groups and the media in the implementation of agreed strategies and programs.
Among other things, the Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and Ivory Coast resolved to work with the administrative and political authorities, refugees and UNHCR in order to find durable solutions aimed at facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees here.
The signing of the communiqué was witnessed by Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Alhassan Oauttara as well as Liberian and Côte d'Ivoire Chiefs and Elders.
Speaking at the close of the meeting in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, La Cote D'Ivoire President Qauattara pledged his government's strongest support for the resolution entered into by the two countries.
President Qauattara noted that both Liberia and Cote D'Ivoire are the same country and the same people. He urged that the next meeting of the chiefs and elders is expected in six months in Cote D'Ivoire.
For her part, President Sirleaf praised the level of enthusiasm expressed by the chiefs of the two countries and expressed optimism that Liberians will keep the peace that has been built between both countries. The Liberian leader also thanked the Ivoirian delegation for taking the time up to come to Liberia to talk peace.