The Peace Building Office (PBO) at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) has commenced a three-day elections-dispute management training for representatives of political parties, youth and civil society organizations.
Edward Mulbah, PBO-Liberia executive director, said the training is intended to address the priority areas reflected in plans the PBO Statement of Mutual Commitment crafted to promote peaceful and inclusive elections in October.
The two plans are frameworks recently endorsed by the Liberian government and political parties, civil society organizations and the United Nations.
The training brought together 50 participants from Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Bomi counties to dialogue, generate and develop skills and knowledge that would enable them to become effective dispute managers, as well as broaden their knowledge and skills in elections-related dispute management.
“As we gear towards the October elections, we invited a cross-section of representatives from the various sectors so that we can talk about how we can contribute, in our attitudes and actions, to influence and promote peaceful and inclusive dialogue,” Mulbah said.
He thanked ACCORD, a South African–based civil society organization, and the MIA for their support towards the initiative.
He expressed the hope that participants would take back the lessons learnt to their respective institutions to build additional capacities so that a large segment of the population will have the skills and knowledge to mitigate conflicts and identify incidences that could lead to widespread violence.
Kwezi Mnggibisa, ACCORD’s representative, described the training as an opportunity to show solidarity with other CSOs that are working towards peaceful and inclusive elections in October.
He called on Liberia-based CSOs to always engage in roundtable dialogue as a way of exchanging knowledge and ideas that would serve as catalysts to promote peace.
Stephen Y. Neufville, MIA Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, also described peace as very cardinal to the development of any nation.
Yesterday’s opening session was attended by several stakeholders representing governmental and non-governmental institutions.