The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in collaboration with the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and other partners of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has officially launched the national mapping exercise to be untaken in the fifteen counties to address the root causes of conflicts in Liberia.
According to the acting director of Liberia Peace-Building office, Mr. Edward Mulbah, since 2009 the government and its partners continue to address eight broad critical conflict factors through various peace-building frameworks, including the Strategic Roadmap, Liberia Peace Building Project (LPP) and the Agenda for Transformation (AfT), informed by desk reviews and consultations.
Mr. Mulbah, speaking at the official launch held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, mentioned the eight causes of conflicts as land; weak and dysfunctional justice system; over centralization of governance; mismanagement of natural resources;
weak relations between the state and citizens; condition of youth especially with regard to unemployment; and lack of shared national vision.
The “Ebola crisis has added to the existing conflicts, stigma and discrimination; the burning of dead bodies which has affected the culture and traditions of Liberians. Based on strategic programming needs,
government and its partners have agreed for the National Reconciliation Roadmap to be reviewed and revised to reflect the prevailing peace-building context,” the Acting Director noted.
He said since 2006 remarkable progress has been made to address root causes of conflicts in Liberia, including building state institutions and consolidating peace, but added that conflict issues
remain pervasive across the country.
“Consolidating peace in the wake of UNMIL transition in June 2016 and the 2017 national elections makes it imperative to reprioritize peace-building and reconciliation programs and interventions.
A number of 36 trained researchers will be deployed simultaneously to work in the 15 counties at district and community and village levels.
The entire mapping project takes 3 months and we are targeting a sample size of 3,500 respondents of individual interviews in 163 enumeration
areas,” Mr. Mulbah pointed out.
For his part, the Minister of Internal Affairs Henrique Tokpa said: “Today marked another very important day in the history of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It is important because as the entity of government playing a central role in coordinating and leading the peace-building and reconciliation efforts on behalf of the government with support from both national and international partners and institutions including the UN and donor community would help move our country forward as we carry on this process.”
Dr. Tokpa said the government has launched a major project to conduct a comprehensive conflict mapping and analysis across Liberia.
The Minister further mentioned that the initiative is consistent with the government of Liberia’s December 2, 2015 position to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in terms of moving forward during the next 2-3 years with its peace-building programs.
“The move also brings to reality a recommendation of UNMIL to the Peacebuilding Commission of the United Nations on how to support peace-building in Liberia most effectively.
Results of the conflict analysis would likely inform future PBC and PBF priorities,” Minister Tokpa noted.
At the same time, the Deputy Secretary General to the Special Representative of the United Nations, Antonio Vigilante, stressed that with the collaboration of the civil society organizations the country would successfully carry out the implementation of peace-building goals.