Liberians Hold National Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Conference In Monrovia
Monrovia – As part of efforts to foster genuine peace and tranquility in Liberia, the Government, International partners, religious community and tcivil society have become holding a two-day conference on determining the pathways to National Reconciliation and Social Cohesion in the country.
The conference, which began on Thursday, March 12, at the Bella Casa Hotel, was co-organized by the University of Liberia’s Institute of Policy Studies and Research, the Civil Peace Service (CPS), and the Liberia Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS).
According to the organizers, the conference intends to explore the challenges and opportunities for national reconciliation and social cohesion and also seeks to review documents, documentaries and other resources to identify factors contributing to undermine national reconciliation and social cohesion in Liberia.
It is also gear towards creating a forum for diverse stakeholders to dialogue, indentify best practices, explore opportunities and prioritize strategic frameworks for building, strengthening, promoting, and sustaining practical approaches to achieving national reconciliation and social cohesion in Liberia.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Internal Affairs, who was suppose to represent President George Weah, Mr. Edward Mulbah of Liberia Peacebuilding Office pointed out that the impact of the civil war broke down the fabric of the society.
According to Mulbah, the only hope is the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Although accountability and prosecution are on the lips of many Liberians, the Liberia Peacebuilding Office official claims the government is steadily implementing many recommendations focused on improving the social wellbeing of ordinary Liberians.
Mulbah added: “On the issue of justice is needed education, public awareness, and consultation across the country.”
Also, the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Commission for Human Rights Bartholomew B. Colley added that dialogue is the way forward to sustainable reconciliation and cohesion in the society.
“People need to come back together, and that means closure plus healing is equal to reconciliation,” he said.
At the same time, the president of the University of Liberia Professor Julius Sarwolo Nelson encouraged the organizers to be knowledgeable of the issues within the document they are going to be reviewing.
“Be careful how you review some of those documents, some of them are filled with biases, contradictions, so be careful,” the president of the state-run university said at the opening of the conference on Thursday in Monrovia.
“Why I am I saying you should be careful is that during the time of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), those that were in the room were mostly rebel leaders who were thinking for ways and means to maintain what they were enjoying.”