The CONDO Reconciliation Group Incorporated, an American non-for profit organization with branch in Liberia, has begun a peace building process aimed at uniting Liberians who are divided on political, social, tribal and sectional lines. At a recently held consultative meeting in Monrovia on Conflict Prevention Mechanism in the country, Condo Reconciliation Group Incorporated greatest said its primary task is to bring unity to the Liberian People and this can be accomplished by all peace loving people in the United States and in Liberia.
The one-day consultative meeting was attended by several high profile organizations and stakeholders, including the Liberia Council of Churches, the Muslim Council of Liberia, Peace Building Office, Traditional Council of Liberia, among others.
In his welcome remarks, the Director of Education of CONDO Reconciliation Group Incorporated, Rev. Dr. George W. Zorbah, commended the stakeholders including Liberia’s Peace Ambassador Rev. William R. Tolbert, III, the head of the National Christian Council of Liberia, Rev. Jasper Ndabolo, among others for positively responding to the invitations of CONDO despite their busy schedules.
Rev. Zorbah said: “I wholeheartedly welcome you to this strategic forum with open heart to discuss the future of our peace process amidst the growing hostilities that engulf our country, especially before, during and after the Special Senatorial Elections, Bye Elections and National Referendum in the country.”
“This violence went across the country, causing widespread human rights violations among the residents and citizens of the affected areas. Besides the electorial violence, there are also several unresolved ethnic and border disputes in the country, all posing serious threat to national peace and reconciliation,” the CONDO official stated.
He said inviting stakeholders to the one-day consultative meeting was primarily aimed at reawakening the spirit of peace among all advocates and Liberians in general.
Among other things, he added that CONDO as a peace advocacy group is of the opinion that the involvement of other stakeholders will further buttress the efforts of the Government of Liberia (GoL) in finding genuine peace and reconciliation in the country.
Like Rev. Zorbah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CONDO, Mr. Abraham Keita, also commended the stakeholders for quickly responding to CONDO’s invitations in spite of what he called their tight and quality schedules.
CEO Keita explained that the purpose of the meeting was for high profile stakeholders to brainstorm to employ the conflict prevention mechanism in the enhancement of peace and reconciliation.
He reiterated that the gathering that the one-consultative meeting was a result of the recent electoral and political related violence across the county before, during and after the Special Senatorial Elections, Bye Elections and National Referendum.
He named the saga in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County involving the Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, Jr. and Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah on the one hand, and some angry citizens of Grand Gedeh on the other hand as one of the cases in point to consider under the initiative.
Also, the violence in Sanniquellie, Nimba, County involving Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh and Mr. Taa Wongbe both of opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) during a primary last year, and the violence involving supporters of Edwin M. Snowe and Alex Tyler in Bomi County, and the electoral violence in Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties are other memorable issues to consider.
Also speaking at the forum, Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, Rev. William R. Tolbert, III, who is also the head of the Peace Building Office (PBO), told the forum that the Liberian Government has established a series of mechanisms such as the Early Warning Triggers, Deployment of Conflict Monitors across the 15 counties as well as the establishment of A Situation Room with the involvement of key stakeholders.
The peace ambassador, who commended CONDO for organizing the one-day consultative meeting, underscored the need for all Liberians to take ownership of the peace.
He then assured CONDO and policymakers of the national government’s willingness to support the efforts of all sundry in conflict prevention and resolution in the country.
For his part, of the National Christian Council of Liberia, Rev. Jasper Ndabolo, buttressed the need for conflict prevention as advanced by CONDO, saying: “Prevention is better than cure.” He also expressed his support for the CONDO’s peace initiatives.
On the other hand, Rev. Ndabolo emphasized the need for commitment and high sense of selflessness in cementing those gains made thus far in regiment.
He suggested the use of local contents in terms of experts and knowledge in conflict management to be employed in the process. Other speakers at the forum also highlighted the need for government to get all local stakeholders on board, asserting that without the total involvement of all, the ongoing fight in obtaining genuine peace and reconciliation in the country would be unachievable.
Meanwhile, at the end of the meeting, it was resolved that there should be involvements of all stakeholders in the business of conflict management, and that national government must take on the inclusive posture of highlighting the involvement of the civil societies, reenergize the existing mechanisms already put into place, and the reactivation of the Situation Room with the inclusion of private stakeholders, including civil societies, among others.