The Ministry of Internal Affairs, in collaboration with the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes or ACCORD, has launched a national mapping exercise for the fifteen counties of the County. According to the acting Director of the Liberia Peace-building office, Mr. Edward Mulbah, since 2009 to present, the Government and partners continue to address eight broad critical conflict factors through various peace-building frameworks, including the Strategic Roadmap -LPP and AFT, informed by desk reviews and consultations.
Mr. Mulbah named the eight conflicts as Land conflicts, 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 regards to employment, and lack of shared national vision.
“The Ebola crisis added to the existing conflicts – stigma and discrimination; burning of dead bodies which has affected the culture and traditions of Liberians. Based on strategic program needs, the government and partners have agreed for the LPP and 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 peaces in the wake of UNMIL transition in June 2016, and the 2017 national elections make it imperative to re-prioritize peace-building and reconciliation programs and interventions. A number of 36 trained researchers will be deployed simultaneously to work in the 15 Counties at county, district and community, 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 indicated.
The Minister of Internal Affairs noted that “the launch marked another very important day in the history of the Ministry of Internal Affairs 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.”
Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa said the government had converged to launch a major project to conduct a comprehensive conflict mapping and analysis across Liberia, saying the initiative was consistent with the government’s position on 2nd December 2015 to the United Nations Peace-building Commission, in terms of moving forward during the next 2-3 years with its peace-building programs.
“The move also brings to realize recommendation of the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL to the Peace-building 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.
The mapping program brought together government officials, members of the United Nation, National Civil Society Council of Liberia, as well as Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, among others.
By Ben P. Wesee-Edited George Barpeen