Carter Center Trains Bong County Chiefs Conflict Resolution


Gbarnga, Bong County – A non-governmental organization (NGO), Carter Center, which has conflict management as its cornerstone is organizing a week-long workshop for town chiefs, youths and women from the 12 administrative districts of Bong County at the Women Center in Gbarnga.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

A total of eighty participants are being selected from a group of town chiefs, youths and women groups for the training.

The organization’s National Dispute Resolution Monitor, Johnny Ndebe, while addressing newsmen in Gbarnga Tuesday, said a multi-faceted approach through inter-sectoral collaborations is necessary to build strong mechanisms that would boost early warning signals and identification of conflict situations, so that they could be prevented.

 “Early warning and identification mechanisms are essential in preventing conflicts. It is, therefore, worthy to note that there may be certain economic, environmental, social or even financial experience that needs to be addressed early, so that they do not escalate into conflicts,” he stressed.

According to Mr. Ndebe, the objective of the workshop is to provide the participants with a clear understanding of conflict and internal crisis management to make their performance more effective.

The course, according to Mr. Ndebe, is also designed to equip the participants with knowledge on the causes and consequences of conflicts, as well as the skills to respond in a comprehensive and cohesive manner to such situations.

Mr. Ndebe said the efficient management of conflicts and disasters had a direct bearing on socio-economic development, adding that failure to put in place the right measures to respond appropriately would be a drawback to national progress.

He urged the participants to come up with recommendations that would form the basis for an engagement between policy makers and stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Bong County Attorney Wilkins Nah, who spoke at the start of the workshop Monday, stressed the need for Liberia to build the capacity of its human resource to deal with conflicts.

“No country exists without conflict or crisis. It could be chieftaincy crisis, election-related violence, land conflict, among, other issues. We need a more comprehensive way to deal with such situations,” he said.

He said dealing with conflicts demanded skills and training in conflict management and prevention and added that the best way to deal with conflicts was to minimize its effects by putting structures in place to ensure that they did not occur.

“Conflicts and crisis are part and parcel of our daily life. The most important thing, however, is that we need to prepare and put in place mechanisms that will mitigate their impact on society,” he said.

Participants hail Carter Center

Meanwhile, participants are lauding Carter Center for the workshop, describing the opportunity as once in a life time. “We are learning plenty important things here. I would like to say thanks to Carter Center for the opportunity they have given us. We are learning how to handle cases. We are also being taught on cases we should handle and cases we should not handle. On election matter, we are being taught how to embrace all the aspirants,” Henry S. Kokoyah, town chief of Sergeant Kollie town told FrontPage Africa Tuesday.

Another town chief, Andrew Mulbah of Panta district, told FrontPage Africa: “I am learning the role of a chief in resolving conflict. The workshop is really educating me on a daily basis.”

Gorma Mulbah, a town chief of Kpatawee clan in Suakoko district, said the workshop was the first since she became town chief 20 years ago.

“This workshop will help me greatly because since I became town chief this is the first workshop I am attending. I will learn a lot from this workshop.”