Nimba Chiefs Embrace CRS Innovative Approach

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The chiefs and elders at the meeting

In Strengthening Social Cohesion

Chiefs, elders, youth and women leaders of Nimba County have welcomed the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) for its innovative approach in strengthening social cohesion in the County.

In a press statement on Thursday, April 12, beneficiaries of CRS’ innovative 3Bs/4Ds Social Cohesion Cascade Training began self-help initiatives to tackle sources of community conflicts, build mutual trust, and strengthen social ties among members of their respective kinship communities in Nimba County.

Brezhnev D. Paasewe, the Peace Building Program Manager of CRS’s “Connect for Peace,” commonly called “C4P” project team, traveled to Gbei Vonwea Town to observe the second phase of a peace and reconciliation meeting between supporters of Prince Johnson and Samuel Korgar.

The dialogue, which was organized by the Peace Initiative Committee of CRS, was attended by over one hundred citizens of Nyor and Gbei towns, including supporters and family members of the two sons of Nimba, as they sought to mitigate the growing political rivalry between Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Rep Samuel G. Kogar of Nimba District 5.

The peace dialogue was presided over by Chief elder John Lawelia and assisted by Paramount Chief David Wontoe of the Sroh Chiefdom in collaboration with the PIC members.

The two traditional leaders also applied CRS’ appreciative inquiry method, to gather views from elders and chiefs before reaching a resolution. Unfortunately, Senator Johnson did not attend the peace dialogue on grounds that Hon. Kogar disrespected him before the Liberian Senate. As such, a letter written by Kogar should be withdrawn before he honors the call of the chiefs and elders, Mr. Paasewe said

The elders, however, frowned on Senator Johnson’s assertion and admonished him to respond to their call.

However, the executives of CRS’ Peace Initiative Committee and the chiefs and traditional leaders agreed to set up a seven-person delegation, headed by Paramount Chief David Wontoe, to visit the Monrovia residences of both lawmakers  to pursue the final phase of the meeting which will be announced later.

The travel of the delegates will be facilitated by the CRS.

Meanwhile, Elder John Lawelia has announced a fine of $700 each on the two lawmakers for disrespecting a section of the signed resolution from the previous meeting, which stated that the two honorable men should refrain from using the media until the dispute is resolved.

In an angry mood, Paramount Chief Wontoe of the Sroh Chiefdom, asserted, “Our sons are not above the traditional norms set forth by our forefathers; they must attend to our call this time or traditional measures will be taken against them.”

CRS is an international humanitarian relief and development organization founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, and is present in over 100 countries, reaching more than 120 million people annually. CRS has been operating in Liberia since 1990, focusing specifically in the sectors of emergency response, health, justice and peace, and agriculture.

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