18 June 2019

Liberia: Civil Society Actor Identifies Lack of Reconciliation

Photo: Liberia Observer
Council of Patriots say their short-term demands include the immediate dismissal and prosecution of Tweah (left) and Patray (right)

-- As factors that threaten peace

Edward Mulbah, head of the United Nations Peace Building Office, has recently highlighted the lack of political reconciliation, progressive land conflict; inter-group tension and bad governance as contributing factors that continue to pose threats to the country's peace and democracy.

Mulbah at a recent news conference held in Monrovia, said progressive land conflict issue, political differences and the lack of proper governance system, have resulted to generational issues with emphasis among the youth, elders, issues around the civil trust and co-existence that borders on trust and confidence.

He said the Peace Building office is working on all those issues that pose a threat to the country's peace and stability through dialogue, as well as the interventions at the district and county levels to settle the dust before reaching the national level.

Mr. Mulbah said many of those issues that are currently affecting the Peace Building office, dated as far back as 2009, where the United Nations system and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the Peace Building Office, were able to put in place systems, which they referred to as county peace committees and county early warning peace monitoring, to help resolve some of those challenges.

"But those structures to the best of our capacity have functions up to 2016, but unfortunately, and because of funding challenges, the efficiency of some of those structure started demolishing," he said.

Mr. Mulbah said as a country that is just emerging from war, needs to put in place many structures that will ensure that peace is consolidated.

He added, "Those structures put in place by the Peace Building Office, consist of individuals, and we have over 713 structures being decentralized at the district level within the counties, and we have intended going back to the communities to be able to control other potential flash points for violence. Over 700 monitors are trained to manage those structures."

Mr. Mulbah said the Peace Building regional offices in the counties have recently conducted workshops in collaboration with the county Security Council to have those issues resolved in the country.

He stressed that inasmuch as those processes are put into place at the national level, the head office will work with district structures to divert potential conflict issues to peaceful co-existence.

According to Mr. Mulbah, the Swedish Government through its Embassy in Monrovia, has been a strong partner in ensuring that the Peace Building Office reactivates those prevention structures that are effectively not functioning.

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