Liberia: WIPNET Women Resume Vigil ahead of Planned Mass Demonstration
Monrovia – Members of the Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) Tuesday sang a well-known hmm, “We shall overcome,” a song to lyrics pointing to peace and calm ahead of the planned June 7 protest. The musical reminder was a timely reminder of Liberia’s 14-year civil war that killed over 20,000 people.
Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]
Despite an intermittent rain Tuesday, WIPNET members were bunched under a tarpaulin to offer their regular daily prayers.
WIPNET gained a reputation for offering prayers for Liberia during the heat of the country’s 14-year civil war. The organization resumed praying for the country last month after almost two years of sabbatical.
Mother Leemu Siafia, head of WIPNET, hopes that the planned June 7 protest will not affect the peace being enjoyed in the country. “Another thing we are praying for is the peace we are enjoying is maintained after June 7. We know that the protesters, who are our children will listen to us (their mothers) to see reasons to remain peaceful,” she said.
The prayer, Mother Siafia said, which began April 15, 2019 will continue until June 7. She urged Liberians to use their conscience to avoid violence during the protest and come together to solve the problems facing the country.
Mother Siafia said it was the organization’s motivation for organizing a “Prayer Service for Healing and Peace.”
Continuing, she added: We don’t support any political party. We pray together for our country. We are praying for a peaceful June 7 protest. Our goal is to spread love and peace ahead of the June 7 protest. Liberia is bigger than every one of us.”
She added: “We are praying that during these times as Liberians we are challenged by divisions that we commit to praying, listening, learning, thinking and working for peace.”
Mother Siafia said as WIPNET, they need peace in Liberia before and after the June 7 protest. Naomi Peace, a member of the Muslims community, who had been fasting, pleaded to Allah to provide peace and security during and after the protest.
“We have been fasting and praying as Muslim members of WIPNET to beg Allah to grant us peace and make everything go smoothly during and after the June 7 protest. Only Allah can make us have peace and calm before and after June 7.”
WIPNET are powerful, widely respected group of women for what they have accomplished and continue to fight for in Liberia.
The June 7 protest, according to the Council of Patriots (COP), is not to demand the resignation of President George Weah , rather to demand meaningful reforms that will lead to the improvement and living standards of Liberians.
The COP has continuously maintained that their decision to protest is fueled by wanton neglect of the government to live up to its social contract towards ordinary citizens.