Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly has observed that efforts aimed at taking the country to the next level will require peace and reconciliation as the only options.
Minister Dukuly made the statement when he spoke Monday, May 19, at the event marking the first friendship and reconciliation luncheon held in Monrovia. The event was organized by the Liberia Peace Initiative (LPI) to reunite citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.
The Internal Affairs Minister said the two counties prior to the Liberian civil war had intermarriage tides.
Minister Dukuly, however, expressed optimism that with the launch of the peace initiative between the two counties, it will eventually resolve their differences and stand for a just cause.
He also urged Peace Ambassador George M. Weah not to focus his attention only on Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties, rather to include counties that have issues of land related conflict in order to ensure that there is peace in every part of Liberia.
“We must put to practice the peace we speak of every day, and carry out peace building activities in our various communities. The government remains committed to insuring there is peace and stability in Liberia.”
“I am also urging the media because the media plays a major role in the peace process. Your role is major because many at times, people react to the kind of stories you published and your head-lines. But again, without the media, we cannot have a sustained peace.”
Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County is of the opposing view that both counties are the real problems.
According to him, if Ambassador Weah does not look at the root cause of the whole situation, then he will not have his (Sen. Johnson’s) support. “I have already told him that,” Sen. Johnson added. “We don’t have money to buy guns, so let’s involve everybody including the traditional leaders and traditional council,” Senator Johnson suggested.
According to the Nimba lawmaker, the peace process should include those who he claimed brought into the conflict the guns.
“The Ambassador should set up a national conference to involve all of us and bring us to one voice then I know he is serious,” Senator Johnson urged.
Like Senator Johnson, Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba County is also of the view that both counties still maintain their good friendship, and there is no cause for alarm.
He added that since the allotment US$5 million into the peace process, much has been done and the occasion is a dream comes true.
He also agreed with his colleague, Senator Johnson on the inclusion of all the stakeholders to the Liberian conflict.
For his part, George Bolly, a head of the disbanded rebel Liberia Peace Council (LPC) expressed gratitude for the Peace Initiative, which he described as ‘kind gesture.’
He said that peace is about the young people and their future, therefore, the situation of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties is a mere illusion of other people.