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UNDP’s Palava Hut reconciliation talks ongoing in Bong

By: Naneka A. Hoffman

The Country Representative of UNDP-Liberia, Stephen Rodrique, calls on Liberians victimized by the country’s 14 years of civil war to put away their differences and reconcile with those who mistreated them in order to live together as one people.

Speaking during the official launch of the Sanoyea District Palaver Hut Hearing in Bong County on Wednesday, 11 August Mr. Rodrique said before peace can exist in society, it must first exist in the heart of men and women, stressing this is the reason the Palaver Hut Hearing is very important.

Mr. Rodrique this is not about pushing or forcing people, but reconciliation so that at the end of the day, people must unite and work together again as one.

He encourages Liberians to support the Palava Hut Hearing mechanism that was implemented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Mr. Rodrique emphasizes that the war has ended in Liberia and there could be no point for any Liberian citizen to harbor grudge against their fellow compatriot, adding that peace should exist in the minds and hearts of everyone, who have been affected some ways.

He calls on the international community to come to the aid of Liberia in buttressing a partnership that will address other recommendations of the TRC, noting that other mechanisms will be put in place to protect the coming elections under the peacebuilding, reconciliation and social cohesion project that runs from 2020 to 2024,  the Independent National Commissions on Human Rights has accordingly conducted palava hut hearings in several counties, including Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Rivercess, and Grand Gedeh, respectively.

The UNDP Country Rep continues that it is the same process ongoing in Bong County under the auspices of the INCHR with support from the United Nations Development Program. 

 Authorities at the human rights commission say the TRC recommendations were given to the INCHR by legislation for implementation, as international development partners work along to have them fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Mr.  Rodrique reveals that the current hearing is the 5th Edition that promises Justice to war victims in the quest to handle circumstances and challenges from the war in which thousands of people lost their lives and millions worth of properties were destroyed.

He says the TRC recommendation on a Palava Hut Hearing mechanism is aimed at seeking a stage for Justice. 

Sanoyea District Palava Hut Committee Chairperson Isaiah Harris, explains the mechanism will be put in place to create an enabling environment to have Liberians victimized by the civil war reconcile their differences for peaceful coexistence.

Mr. Harris says the hearings will ensure justice is given to those who deserve it, adding the Hut will be used for everyone in its environment to maintain the peace in Liberia.

He notes the team has done its best to work in the timeframe provided to hear cases already recorded in order to guarantee the peace in the district that will create an avenue for proper and lasting development. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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