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Carter Center trains 135 traditional leaders on criminal justice

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With daily increase of mob violence across the country, Carter Center in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs has commenced six (6) days training in Pleebo, Maryland County. The exercise which has brought 135 traditional leaders together, including elders, women and youth started on Monday, May 17, 2021 at the Pleebo City Hall. The participants came from both Maryland and Grand Gedeh counties.

Speaking during the first day of the training, Mr. Gregory M. Mieh, head of Carter Center field officers said, the program is aimed at educating traditional leaders from the two counties on conflict and dispute resolution.He said traditional leaders from Maryland and Grand Gedeh are being trained by lawyers and counselors from Carter Center.

Mr. Mieh narrated that the first day of the training focused on the criminal justice system due to the alarming rate of criminal justice practices in the southeast of Liberia.He said as long as citizens are not informed about the criminal justice system of the country, they would always take the law into their hands.

He pointed to recent violence in Maryland and Grand Gedeh as a case study for the training.The Carter Center field boss continued that if these knowledge are not provided to the people about their role as traditional leaders and how the justice system works, it will always remain a major challenge for the country.

“So during the training, the lawyers took their time to explain to our people the rule of law and what happens at the police station and the court including what the police and court can do and what they can’t do”, he said.He said the training also focuses on the new Land Right Act and the Local Government Act that were signed by President George Manneh Weah in 2018.

Mr. Mieh noted the basic information provided, were the same information the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice has been providing to citizens across Liberia.”As you can see, our country’s is seriously challenged in terms of mob violence and it’s increasing on a daily basis; it shows that everyone needs to work now.”

“So as you’re acquiring this knowledge from these well known lawyers of Carter Center, please go back and educate the others in your towns, villages, communities and zones about the rule of law.” He stressed
He urged traditional leaders to always seek redress through the rule of law.

In response, traditional leaders commended Carter Center and the various government institutions for the intensive training, which they noted would serve as a motivation to return and teach their people about the criminal justice system.

Mr. Wellington Kyen, Mayor of Pleebo City, appreciated Carter Center for such a good initiative, which he described as giving back to the people. Meanwhile, Chief Alphonso H. Wallace, a participant from Harper, Maryland County Electoral district#1, lauded Carter Center for the education provided them.

He said, “We have achieved an added knowledge, and I think, we are forced to share the knowledge with our people.” However, he stressed the need for more awareness on the criminal justice system to avoid missteps At the same time Mrs. Victoria Garlo, Chief of Godrobert Konobo District, Grand Gedeh County, thanked Carter Center and promised to educate her people. By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

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