By Lincoln G. Peters
The Establishment Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC), Counselor Yvette Chesson-Wureh has cautioned Liberians to protect the peace by staying away from violence, warning that the United Nations is tired of sending peacekeepers here.
“We have to take the peace of this country in our hands. We have to lead the peace. No UN coming. The people [are] tired [of] us, so we have to do it for ourselves”, Cllr. Chesson-Wureh said Friday, 12 August 2022 at the Gbarnga Administrative Building.
She urged Liberians to stay away from violence, particularly as the country is going to election next year.
She indicated that the United Nations (UN) has lost interest in coming back to Liberia to settle matters of conflict after spending several years here on a peacekeeping mission.
She addressed hundreds of grassroots women and youths in Bong County during the closing of the first phase of the project Title: Sustainable and Inclusive Peace in Liberia through Promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened Role in Conflict Resolution.
The initiative is a flagship program of the Women Situation Room (WSR) initiated by the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace, and Security.
It was held in partnership with ZOA-Liberia with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
The elaborate program brought together hundreds of people, including chiefs, women and youth leaders from 10 communities including Gbarnga, Belefanai, Palala, Suakoko, Totota, Folobia, Gbartala, Salala, Cuttington, and Wainsue.
The United Nations finally closed its peacekeeping mission to Liberia in 2018, 15 years after it was deployed in the aftermath of two civil wars that ended with the fall of then-president Charles Taylor.
By then the mission had already withdrawn most of its 15,000 troops in mid-2016, signaling that the poor West African nation can meet its own security needs. The mission contributed to the restoration of peace and stability in Liberia.
Speaking further she told the Bong citizens not to give in to rhetoric of politicians that would cause them to go against one another while their children are abroad attending quality schools to return later and take the helm of authority in the country.
“Those of you who I talked to, I told you that the politicians’ children [are] not here, they are in Europe and America going to school to come back and take power for four or six years,” said Cllr. Chesson – Wureh.
“They give you rice and chicken feet and you elect them because you are selling your votes. But, is it worth it?”
Making a remark at the program, former Chief Justice Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison extolled the Woman Situation Room and said it has been inspiring for her and useful to the community people of Bong County.
“Take advantage of the mediation in your communities to make sure that Liberia remains peaceful and stable, the former Chief Justice urged the beneficiaries,” she said.
Also remarking during the ceremony, the former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, Olubanke King Akerele told the grassroots women and youth that they were preparing themselves to take leadership.
According to her, training is necessary for people who lead, and urged them to follow the distinguished role of Chief Suakoko in building the nation.
All of the participants who spoke paid homage to the Angie Brooks International Center for the massive support and discussion on the importance of peace with the women and youth of Bong County.
“My people let us keep talking to our communities about the good of peace and the bad of violence and continue to tell our people, especially our children that [drugs are] not good. We thanked Angie Brooks for the good job they do for us,” said Florence S. Barron, Chairlady of Palala.–Edited by Winston W. Parley