Blames 14 years Civil Unrest
Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister for Budget, Tenneh Brunson, has said that one of the contributing factors for Liberia’s 14 years civil unrest was the perception of economic exclusion and marginalization.
Madam Brunson’s statement was contained in a speech delivered by her policy advisor, Mr. Anthony Nimely, at the start of a week-long National Fragility Assessment for the Evaluation of the National Risk and Resilience for Trans-formative Development Consultative Stakeholders conference in the country.
The conference, which is organized by the Department of Budget and Development Planning through the MFDP, brought together representatives from various government ministries and agencies, at a resort on the Robertsfield highway.
She said there were several factors responsible for the breakdown that resulted in the civil crisis; with the most common being marginalization.
According to her, the majority of the nation’s 2.5million citizens, at the time, felt excluded believing that political participation and economic inclusion were limited to an elite class of people.
She added that the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), in Accra, Ghana, prescribed that the newly elected government initiate several policies and development frameworks to address the root causes of the crisis as part of the national recovery process.
Accordingly, the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2008), the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011), the Agenda for Transformation (2012-2017), the National Vision 2030, the Reconciliation Road-map and the National Decentralization Policy are examples of various policy and development initiatives meant to fundamentally address the conditions that led to the crisis and improve governance.
She explained that following the end of the civil war, peace had been consolidated and considerable progress has been made in economic management, governance, security, the rule of law, public financial management, transparency and accountability and in improving social conditions.
Madam Brunson indicated that the formulation and implementation of national policies and framework have contributed significantly to placing Liberia on an irreversible path from recovery to reconstruction and on-wards to development.
She further stated that several institutions have been established to build, nurture, promote and sustain the country’s democracy, state-building processes, evidenced by the conduct of two successive credible elections and several by-elections with a very minimum occurrence of violence.
However, she stated that Liberia as a member of the G7+ and a signatory to the New Deal agreed in November 2011 to five proposed areas to strengthen peace-building goals, which are: legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations and revenue services.
Introducing the New Deal, one of the facilitators of the workshop, Nathaniel Kwabo indicated that fragility serves as one of the driving forces that lead to war in a country.
Therefore, Kwabo intimated that the New Deal calls for new approaches and processes to make development assistance more impactful to countries so as to ensure not to send assistance to conflict-prone areas.
Also speaking, United Nations Development Programme official Jairo Acuna Alfaro expressed joy for being a part of the workshop.
He pointed out that the UNDP is supporting countries coming out of fragility and that is one of the reasons he’s visiting Liberia to have an appreciation of the transition processes of UNMIL and the turning over of power from the current government to the next.
Alfaro stressed the need to look at the format of politics and the functions of government institutions to make those institutions work for the benefit of the people.