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Joint Mediation Group reaffirms due process

The Joint Peace Mediation Group here reaffirms its commitment to the ongoing due process regarding the outcome of the October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections. The JMG is made of traditional leaders, religious leaders and peace advocacy organizations.

The Group believes justice is a key driver for peace, but notes that any adjudication of grievances must be based on the truth. According to a press release, JMG maintains that it is only mediating with parties involved in the electoral impasse and not interfering as it is being perceived in some quarters.

The release says these clarifications were contained in series of statements delivered by some of the group members at a ‘Peace Mediation Hour’ organized by
the Technical Committee of the Joint Peace Mediation Group at the Monrovia City Hall over the weekend.

Speaking at the program, the Head of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, Chief Zanzar Kawor, emphasizes that Liberians must respect themselves and their traditional leaders.

According to him, “Liberian people hard to listen to the elders, and when the rain comes down, we want find shelter. Liberians, the religious and traditional people are calling on us to respect ourselves.”

“If all of us come together like when you are building house with the cement, sand and water all moving in one direction, the peace we are looking for will hold like concrete. But if you don’t listen, when the thing comes, it will affect everyone,” Chief Kawor cautions in local parlance.

He then urges, “Let’s put the house in order so we can have a peaceful transition and avoid bringing bad luck on Liberia.” The release says his remarks followed up on his recent press conference in which he called for mediation with parties involved in the current electoral stalemate.

Chief Kawor also calls on the Liberian media to be responsible in their reportage of the ongoing situation because anything they write or say could influence the society either positively or negatively.

The National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia is a leading partner of the JMG, which also comprises key inter-religious leaders and peace actors in Liberia.

Another key member of the body, Rev. Dr. Jasper Ndaborlor of the National Christian Council says their involvement into the case is only to mediate and not to interfere as it is being perceived by others, noting that “it is unbelievable that some Liberians who wish to see Liberia go back to war will consider mediation as interference”.

The Joint Peace Mediation Group maintains that while the ongoing process is healthy for Liberia’s emerging democracy, it is equally important for parties involved to think about the consequences the delay in the transition may cause the peace process in the country.

The Group wants parties to the ongoing electoral dispute to also exercise a strong degree of honesty and truth-telling to allow a satisfactory completion of the case so that the Presidential run-off election can go ahead.

It wants the court to rule on the cases expeditiously to allow the truth to prevail and the right thing be done. At the occasion, the Chief Imam of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, Alieu Krayee calls on Liberians to always pray for the National Elections Commission because “We have constitutional time limit and no one wants constitutional crisis”.

Imam Krayee notes that Liberia has suffered some painstaking moments in the past because the truth is often sacrificed, saying, “When people decide that
truth should be sacrificed for one interest, there can be no peace no matter how much we pray without justice. The foundation for peace in this country should be transparent and credible election.”

For his part, Liberia’s Peace Ambassador Rev. Dr. William R. Tolbert, III, terms peace as transparency, good governance and accountability, noting, “Peace begins with all of us and we must maintain the peace.”

Veteran Liberian Civil Society Activist and former senator, Madam Ruth Caesar stresses that it’s about time Liberians especially, women hold together and push for peace.

She pledges her willingness to work with any initiative that will enhance the peace process in Liberia. Liberia’s Culture Ambassador and Executive Director of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace, Juli Endee, vows that the ongoing mediation efforts will continue until there is an amicable resolution to the current political stalemate in the country.

She wants Liberians to embrace the culture of peace noting, that “peace is what you are, what you say and what you do”. Press Release

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