The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in partnership with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) has opened a three-day peacebuilding and reconciliation forum aimed at addressing and uniting Liberians after several years of civil crisis.
Speaking at the three-day forum on Wednesday April 23, the Executive Director for peacebuilding at the MIA, Mr. Wilfred N. Gray Johnson, explained that the government, in 2013, developed a national reconciliation roadmap for use in the country’s reconciliatory process.
According to the Executive Director, the roadmap clearly defined the reconciliation process in the Liberian context so it could be used to solve past disputes and bring together the people of Liberia through programs and other means necessary on the way forward.
He said peace building and the reconciliation process would focus on the overcoming of social, political and religious divisions; and mending and transforming of relationships into what is needed for the people of Liberia.
“The process will also focus on the healing of physical and psychological wounds from the civil war. If that is done, the people can be able to come together and live without bringing the past into the present,” he said.
Mr. Gray Johnson further stressed that the roadmap is intended to promote and focus on reconciliation by using the palava hut and reparations programs.
According to the Executive Director, the forum’s outcome would contribute to the increase of collective knowledge on the national reconciliation roadmap and share knowledge from different international experiences on related processes.
“We are here to gather information about the challenges relating to the implementation of the national reconciliation roadmap, and to analyze the degree to which there is coherence and coordination among these key actors involved in it.”
He said the forum also focused on creating a space for actors to shares experiences and challenges relating to the design and implementation of the action work plan and to identify inter-linkages between different actors working within the same or similar fields.
The three-day forum featured government institutions and partners including the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs; the Governance Commission; the Independent National Human Rights Commission among other partners.