‘Cherish Peace to Violence’

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Montserrado County Electoral District #9 Representative, Munah E. P. Youngblood, yesterday admonished young Liberians, especially those in the sporting arena to cherish peace rather than turning to violent activities that would derail the country’s peace.

The female lawmaker spoke at a program marking the opening of three days of sporting activities organized by Pen-Pen Peace Network-Liberia with support from PURDUE Liberal Arts Peace Project.

Rep. Youngblood, on the topic, “The Benefit in Building Peace,” told the gathering that peace-building is an intervention that is designed to prevent the start of violent conflict by creating sustainable peace.

She said peace-building activities address the root causes or potential causes of violence, create a societal expectation for peaceful conflict resolution and stabilize society politically and socioeconomically.

Rep. Youngblood called on the youth to join together to constructively resolve their differences without violence to improve the quality of their respective lives.

The sporting activities are held with focus on bridging elections-related tension and conflict under PURDUE’s Peaceful 2017 Elections Project.

The program, which was held at the Lecemento Sports Pitch in the Matadi Community in Monrovia, is expected to pit teams headed by the community, the Pen-Pen riders, and the Liberia National Police (LNP) in collaboration with the Community Watch Forums against one another.

Earlier in her remarks, PURDUE-Liberia Country Director, Grace Yeanay-Mayson, said the activities are hosted to enhance the relationship between and among the police, Community Watch Forum and the Pen-Pen riders.

The intention, Mrs. Mayson said, is to arrive at a peaceful or non-violent election in 2017, “because it is only Liberians who can maintain peace at all times.”

According to her, bringing together the LNP, the community dwellers and the motorcyclists is part of PURDUE’s activities to seek sustained peace.

The three days of activities began with sporting activities such as soccer, involving the LNP, Pen-Pen Unions and the various communities. Other games are scrabble, Ludo, Cards, Bag Jumping, as well as Checkers.

PURDUE-Peace Project USA, which is providing sponsorship for the activities, operates under the general theme, “One Nation, One People. Together We Can Have Violent-free Election-2017.”

T-shirts worn by representatives and players of each of the participating teams carried the inscriptions, “The Youths say no to election violence-2017, violence-free election is my goal as a motorcyclist/ community dweller.”

Those who made separate remarks included police officers Dora M. Sangbah and Ebrima Saar, who along with his Indian counterpart represented the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), who underscored the importance of peace in Liberia.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that each winner will walk away with cash and or a gold and silver cup with the inscription, “Violent-free elections-2017.”

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