In an effort to connect citizens through the Peace Hut initiative to foster genuine reconciliation, the Government of Liberia (GOL) in partnership with the ECOWAS National Unit has dedicated two Peace Huts in Teworand Gaworla District, Grand Cape Mount County. The two huts, according to government officials, were financed by US$22,000 provided by the government through the budget.
In most African countries, a peace huts is a safe space where citizens come together to mediate and resolve community disputes. The Peace Hut in Teworand Town, Grand Cape County also provides citizens the opportunity to gather and discuss matters affecting their day to day lives. The hut is also where the reconciliation and resolution of conflicts takes place, where they (citizens) can openly and safely discuss issues of inequality and together take decisions on peace and security.
As the Peace Huts evolve as a place to resolve conflict, the methodology is based on the traditional ‘Palava' hut system practiced across Liberia.
Gracing the dedication ceremony were hundreds of citizens who gathered to express their gratitude to the government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) National Unit for the long anticipated project. The role and participation of community members in the peace hut for the maintenance of peace in their communities was appreciated as they now see themselves as crucial players in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Deputizing for Finance Minister Amara Konneh was Mr. Patrick Sawyer who observed that the peace hut project would create a more peaceful and conducive environment bringing all citizens of the region together to forge unity and prosperity.
Mr. Sawyer emphasized the need for citizens to use the Peace Huts to promote reconciliation, peace building against potential problems that would serve as obstacles to their district development initiatives. “Government wants you to use the Peace Hut to settle your problems; use it to carry on peace building measures; use it to have your community meetings and other activities that will bring success to the people in the district,’’ Mr. Sawyer urged the communities in Grand Cape Mount County over the weekend.
Also speaking at the ceremony was the acting Director of ECOWAS National Unit, Mrs. Luopu K. Cooper, Mrs. Cooper disclosed that the Hut project started in 2012, after a visit of the vice president of ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga G. McIntosh, who appraised the ECOWAS Peace and Development project under which two estates were constructed in two separate districts in the County.
According to Madam Cooper, head of ECOWAS affairs in Liberia, Amara Konneh approved US$22,000 for the project.
She insisted that Finance Minister Amara Konneh believes in peace and development that positively impact the lives of the ordinary citizens across the country.