Peace, Reconciliation Crucial to Liberia’s Development

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Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf says peace and reconciliation are crucial to Liberia’s development after the departure of the United National Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Minister Sirleaf made the statement recently at the end of a two-week workshop organized by the Peace Building Office (PBO) to train participants who will be carrying out the National Conflict Mapping Exercise (NCME) in the 15 counties.

“This process of conflict mapping may be successful only with greater mutual understanding, trust and respect, which we must achieve,” Minister Sirleaf told participants at the end of the workshop.

He said peace and reconciliation are keys to the stability of Liberian, “because it is that cornerstone that will help citizens to foster national development.”

Sirleaf further told participants that as the country goes to elections next year, “we have to do these things because it will help unite our people.”

NCME Executive Director of the Peace Building Office at the Internal Affairs Ministry, Edward Mulbah described the program as another form of taking the government to the people.

He said the national conflict mapping exercise will produce conflict analysis report containing county-specific conflict drivers and triggers, looming conflicts with the potential to undermine national peace and stability and underlying root causes of civil war not yet addressed. It will furthermore inform MIA on the realignment or revision of government’s strategic peace building and reconciliation programs, strategies and policies.

Mr. Mulbah said the 36 trained researchers will be deployed simultaneously to work in the 15 counties at county, district and community or village levels, saying the entire mapping project will take three months.

He noted that it will also target a sample size of 3,500 respondents for individual interviews in 163 enumeration areas. According to him, both quantitative and qualitative tools will be adapted, adding 30 Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and 30 Key Informant Interview (KII) Researchers will use Personal Data Assistant for the individual interviews. Moderators and note takers will use electronic recorder for the focus group discussions, and collaborate with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).

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