The USAID-sponsored disputes resolution mechanism is commendable

Last week, the USAID Mission Director in Liberia Jim Wright urged Liberians to peacefully resolve grievances and disputes at the community level before they develop into violent conflicts.

Speaking in Monrovia at a ceremony marking the end of the USAID-funded Connect for Peace Project in Liberia, Director Wright emphasized that “nurturing peace and stability” at the community level is particularly important in post-conflict societies like Liberia where unresolved grievances and disputes remain.

Indeed resolving disputes promptly at community levels is one key strategy in averting violent conflict. Prolonged unresolved disputes have the potential of evolving into conflicts that could lead to violence.

For the past four years, Connect for Peace had worked to promote community-based conflict mitigation both in Monrovia and Nimba County, described as the primary locations of extreme violence during Liberia’s 14 years of civil wars.

Director Wright called on “all stakeholders in a peaceful Liberia to draw on the lessons learned from Connect for Peace to replicate its successes.” We believe he couldn’t have said it any better, because peace is very crucial for mankind to achieving progress.

Post-war Liberia is still conflict-pronged evidenced by uneasy calm between the Lormas and the Mandingos in Lofa, land dispute between the people of Rivercess and Sinoe counties, and the Gios, Mano, and Mandingoes in Nimba counties, respectively. 

The Government of Liberia should double up the current effort to resolving disputes around the country and promote healing among the population. The religious community also has a role to play thru messages to uniting Liberians.

A country engrossed in disputes at every level is self-afflicting and would not make progress in terms of genuine peace and development. Peace is the foundation on which every other thing is possible.

We commend USAID for sponsoring the Connect for Peace project and appeal that the exercise should be extended to other counties to build sustainable peace in Liberia, for peace is not just silence of guns, but harmonious coexistence.

If Liberia should move from a fragile state to enjoy sustained peace, we must take dispute resolution serious, particularly at the community level to avoid slipping back to chaos and violence.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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