Liberians Peace Pledge At 15
By John L. Momoh
When Senator Conmany Wisseh, a remarkable student and peace activist recently wrote a long article in the New Liberia newspaper entitled: Press Statement on the Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), he mentioned that the August 18, 2003 peace agreement that they signed in Accra, Ghana15 years ago was a pledge they made on behalf of all Liberians to keep the peace.According to him, August 18, 2018 should therefore be celebrated as a peace we have won against war, adding that 15 years of peace cancels 14 years of war which made this year very critical, noting that the victory of Senator George MannehWeah Liberia’s football icon confirms the total victory of peace over war and armed violence in Liberia.
Wisseh also made two outstanding recommendations that can guide the state to give continuity to peace. The creation of a National Day of peace, which can possibly be a working holiday with activities entirely devoted to sustain the peace. On this day thanks giving services can be held in Monrovia and across the country to also help create the awareness that peace is overwhelming better than war and violence dispositions.
It would also be in the best interest of Liberians to make national awards on peace day to individuals who have toiled much to cultivate the seeds of peace in the Liberian society during the year. Perhaps there may also be a need for all Liberians to reflect on and imbibe President Weah’s admonition on Flag Day that Liberians should do all in their power to avoid tendencies that can bring disunity in the society
Unfortunately in Liberia there are always individuals seeking to divide the society as a means of satisfying their own personal ego. It is a pathway to dividing the society when one raises some of the errors or issues that provoked the war such as greasing the oils of religious intolerance by causing religious provocations. We should remember that it was provocative propaganda and racial hate from radio talk-shows that caused the Rwandan genocide.
According to the press statement, during the 14 years carnage that engulfed Liberia men, women, youth and students of all ethnic, religious and other backgrounds were wiped out, including peace keepers that came to help Liberians sent by African and West African governments and organizations and the international community through the Economic Community of West African States and the United Nations and non-governmental and humanitarian organizations.
What Senator Wisseh is alluding to is that Liberians should not easily forget the sacrifices made by the Liberian people including warring factions, political parties, youth and student groups, civil society organizations that crowned their search for lasting peace. Before the CPA that intervened to bring peace in 2003, there were held many failed accords before it, such as the Yamoussoukro Peace Accord under the guidance of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast, the AKosombo Accord, President Nicephore Soglo of Benin, Sierra Leone, among others.
.All Liberians were tired of war and were looking for whatever means that peace can be restored in Liberia.
It is our fervent hope that all Liberians must make every effort to maintain the the hard-won peace for which Liberians have spilled much blood to the extent that about 250,000 Liberians lost their lives, 00,000 fled to foreign countries and rested their as refugees while hundreds of thousand left their villages and towns to displace centers all over the country surviving only on relief assistance.
We are at the same time mindful that the Liberian 14 years civil war was caused by injustices in the society, ethnic hate, lack of transparency, rampant corruption and economic decline.It should therefore be the responsibility of all Liberians including Radio-talk show hosts to heed to the advises given by President Weah and the Rivergtee County senator Wisseh to always be conscious of the need to maintain the 15 year old peace that we are today enjoying. Liberia’s peace was not received on a silver platter, but through hard work and sacrifices in human lives!