ECOWAS Special Rep. Urges Liberians To Build, Sustain Peace
The Special Representative of ECOWAS to Liberia, Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, has called on Liberians to foster the culture of peace in whatsoever they do irrespective of their cultural, political, social, and economic background.
The ECOWAS top official indicated that the building and sustaining of peace is a continuous process as long as humans of different social, cultural and political backgrounds and orientations exist on the earth.He admonished Liberians to rally support in the fifteen counties across Liberia to ensure that the cultural, ethnic and customary barriers that hinder social cohesion and harmony are broken for peace, unity and coherence to penetrate and be embedded in the social, economic and political fibre of the society.
According to the Global Index Report in 2018, the world incurred a total economic loss of US$14.1 trillion to violence, which represents 11.2 percent of the world’s GDP and Liberia’s share of such loss stands at US$892.4 million, costing each Liberian US$99.00.
The ambassador’s statement was contained in a speech delivered on his behalf at the official launch of the Advocate Liberia Abroad for Development (ALAD) at the weekend at the Providence Island in Monrovia by the Governance and Human Rights Analyst of ECOWAS Liberia Office, Tolbert Thomas Jallah, who proxy for the diplomat.
The sub-regional envoy stressed that Liberians need to briefly look at the price of the absence of peace and continue to foster the building of the culture of peace.
“Peace and economic development are bed mates. Without peace, there is no development, without development, there is no peace. We must take the culture of peace with all seriousness. We must make peace our way of life; the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear, music we play, our cultural dances and songs and all aspects of our culture must be painted with the colour of peace,” he urged Liberians.
Ambassador Ajisomo stressed that traditional institutions such as the Sande and Poro societies are cardinal to the process of peace-building and the maintenance of peace in the territorial borders of Liberia.
He added that these traditional institutions should endeavors to become the bedrock of alternative conflict resolution mechanisms, constantly, pro-actively responding and finding amicable solutions to potential conflicts that might arise in our communities.
“Not only that, these societies and the affiliated learning structures should focus more on teaching and preaching the values and culture of peace to the people who go through them,” the diplomat noted.
The ECOWAS official called on Liberians to improve the concept of Palaver Hut engagement into effective dispute resolution mechanisms at local level, noting that the process is also critical to conflict resolution.
Ajisomo lauded the Government of Liberia for including the sustainability of peace in its national development roadmap, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), citing that the government has dedicated Pillar Three of PAPD to Sustaining the Peace in order to give relevance to the promotion of the culture of peace through diverse means.