Liberians want continuation of peacebuilding project in Nimba County

September 1, 2008

During the County Conference on 21 August 2008, in which the results of Interpeace’s project on inter-ethnic reconciliation in Nimba County were presented to the national authorities, the citizens of Nimba County in Liberia expressed their great satisfaction with Interpeace’s work. The citizens of Nimba County in Liberia have expressed their great satisfaction with Interpeace‚Äôs work and requested for the project to be extended beyond the original deadline.

The conference was the culmination of a six month emergency project, implemented by the Joint Programme Unit for UN/Interpeace Initiative.

Speaking on behalf of Nimba Superintendent Robert Kamei County Inspector, Honorable Thomas Q. Suah indicated that unlike other interventions, Interpeace’s approach had a distinct quality, its methodology being not only multi-faceted but also participatory.

UNMIL Civil Affairs Officer in Nimba County, Wesley Bokati remarked on the positive impact of the work of Interpeace in Nimba County whereas the surrounding counties were still strife-torn over issues of land. The conference also saw a detailed analysis by coordinator, Mr. Jimmy Shilue, who framed the various clusters of conflict in Nimba County.

The recommendations that emerged from the discussions facilitated the Joint Programme Unit Liberia team include the following actions which are designed to contribute to the prevention of conflict and the promotion of reconciliation in Nimba County:

  • Addressing the most urgent and explosive land disputes around private property in the cities of Ganta and Saclepea
  • Establishing a technical working group which is made up of representatives from the government and civil society and the international community to overview the creation of community bodies and the harmonization of customary traditions of land ownership.
  • Developing the capacity to enables local communities to mediate and monitor issues concerning long-term property disputes.
  • Launching a public awareness campaign under the slogan ‚ÄúWe are all One‚ÄĚ that would conduct a range of collaborative inter-ethnic and inter-faith events, such as sport competitions and reconciliation meetings.
  • Ensuring political inclusion of the Madingo in order to achieve a balanced representation in government and public bodies.
  • Formulating a Code of Conduct for local government officials and institutionalizing a social audit mechanism which would formalize the relationship between local government officers and wider society.¬† The funding for the emergency peacebuilding project in Nimba County launched in February 2008 came from the UN peacebuilding funds.