BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Liberia Peacebuilding Office has ended a workshop aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and civic trust between citizens and local authorities in Grand Bassa.
Held in Buchanan, the two-day workshop began on May 6 and concluded on May 7. It brought together commissioners, statutory superintendents, and civil society actors across Grand Bassa with support from the United Nations Development Programme.
Eddie Mulbah, the executive director of the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, said the workshop was necessitated by a 2017/2018 Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index report that cited a lack of civic trust, a lack of confidence in the security sector, and the presence of political violence.
He added that those issues can only be resolved through peaceful dialogues across the country.
He called on the participants of the workshop to serve as ambassadors of peace and constructively engage each other’s as they returned homes.
Mulbah emphasized the need for Liberians to take charge of maintaining their own peace.
“There is no one from anywhere else that will come and build your peace or sustain your peace,” he said. “That can only be done by ourselves. There have been enormous investments – political, social, and economic – for us to reach where we are today. For the last 14 or 15 years, we went to war, it didn’t bring us [any] good; it just rather paralyzed our state, institutions, and destroyed human lives and properties. The largest UN troop presence was experienced in Liberia, so many billions of dollars were invested for us to reach where are.”
Mayor Edwin Weljay of Wayzohn, who attended the workshop applauded the government and UNDP for creating the opportunity for dialogue.
“We did not know the effect of war for which we embraced it 1989, but I can tell you for now that no Liberian who stayed here for the civil crisis will again want to encourage any form of violence in this country. The best thing we can do is to dialogue,” he added.
“People in other countries concentrate on how they can unite and make their countries better. If you go and lobby to bring a company, I don’t think anybody will stop you. We should think on what we can do to help our country, everything should not always be [the] government.”
He called on the participants to make a difference in terms of promoting peace and coexistence as they return to their various districts.
Featured photo by Sampson David