Pres. Weah urges MRU leaders
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia: President George Manneh Weah has named multidimensional poverty, lack of political inclusiveness, gender inequality, and youth unemployment as potential threats to peace and security sustainability in the sub-regional body, Mano River Union (MRU).
Addressing the MRU conference on peace, security, and democracy which is being hosted by Liberia for the first time, President said Monday, 22 November 2021 that it’s now time that leaders within the sub-regional body adequately address the potential of terrorism, extremism, climate change, and epidemics in order to have a regional body of peace and security.
Officially launching the Manor River Conference, President Weah proposed for a merged ECOWAS-AU-MRU Mission, supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund to be established in order to mediate in the current Guinean transitional arrangements being undertaken to prepare Guinea for democratic elections and constitutional democracy.
He noted that the MRU-ECOWAS collaboration should support conflict management, resolution, and political transformation in Guinea as an added impetus to the proposed revision of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“In this regard, we urge the Secretary-General and the Secretariat of the Mano River Union to reach out to the African Union, United Nations Peace building Commission and Peace Building Fund, to foster stronger and more active partnerships in peace building initiatives for the Mano River Union,” he said.
President Weah also encouraged the organizations to welcome and support such partnership outreach.
He continued that the ECOWAS Commission’s partnership with the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office can also provide synergies with these peace-building initiatives.
President Weah disclosed that the effective execution of its mandate is now being challenged by the porosity of the borders, which permits the easy movements of small arms and light weapons, contraband, and also facilitates other cross-border crimes and illegal operations.
He said part of MRU’s shared legacy is internal political discordance that historically caused the breakdown of democracy and governance at some point in each of the Member States of the sub-region.
He noted that these unfortunate experiences must now inform MRU’s quest for durable diplomacy, peace, security, and democracy in the sub-region.
“In view of these threats, we are pleased to learn that the Mano River Union is working with ECOWAS, UNOWAS, and other partners to revise its 2012 15th Protocol on Peace, Security, and Defense,” President Weah added.
He suggested that this ECOWAS-MRU collaboration should be viewed as part of the ongoing ECOWAS and AU reform processes, in which the decentralization of regional and sub-regional responsibilities are undertaken to reduce cost and ensure sustainability of peace, security, and democracy, at the local level of development.
Further, President Weah noted that the MRU-ECOWAS collaboration should support conflict management, resolution, and political transformation in Guinea as an added impetus to the proposed revision of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Mr. Weah stated that if MRU leaders are to be successful in finding sustainable solutions for peace, security, stability, and democracy, they must begin to examine the root causes and determinants of conflict and insecurity in the sub-region.
On the political front, President Weah urged that MRU leaders abide by constitutional term limits and guarantee political inclusion to avoid popular dissent that stifles the smooth transition of power and stability in the sub-region.
“We must utilize all conflict management mechanisms already developed by the MRU and ECOWAS to address the ongoing situation in our Sisterly Republic of Guinea, where, after the coup d’état of September 5, 2021, the Transitional Authorities are galvanizing the support of the Guinean masses in preparing that Member State for democratic elections and the resumption of constitutional order and democracy,” President Weah explained.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-hosts-mru-regional-conference/–Edited by Winston W. Parley