Our experience from the 14 years of violent conflict in Liberia, during which approximately 250,000 people were killed and thousands of others fled for their lives to neighboring countries as refugees, should be enough to guide our peace.
During this time, there was no rule of law and the damage to the infrastructure totaled millions of dollars.
On Thursday, August 18, 2022, Liberia celebrated 19 years of uninterrupted peace at the “KUKATORNON” (WE ARE ONE) Peace Festival.
Every year, the “Kukatornon” (WE ARE ONE) Peace Festival program marks Liberia’s years of uninterrupted peace since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord on August 18, 2003 in Accra, Ghana.
The Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, Madam Josephine Nkrumah, delivered a special remark that resonates very well with the reality of Liberian women’s contribution to peace.
She rightly said it is impossible to overstate the significance of women’s roles in Liberian society, given that women have always been seen as a means of preserving the nineteen years of uninterrupted peace that Liberians have now enjoyed.
Due to the crucial roles that women play, we also agree with the Economic Community of West African States on its keenness to ensure that women’s opinions are taken into account during the formulation of policies at the national level.
Like Madam Nkrumah said, the history of peace in Liberia cannot be recounted without mentioning the significant part that women played in securing that peace for their country.
The story of Liberia’s peace cannot be told, and if it is, it will be inaccurate because the significant role that women played in earning peace for Liberia needs to be mentioned.
Women have always played a significant role in the process of constructing peace in Liberia, and women will contribute more effectively to the process of constructing Liberia and maintaining peace when they are a part of the decision-making process at the national level.
We further exhort Liberians to move forward in peace, national cohesion, and unity in order to eliminate the possibility of inequality and strengthen Liberia’s peace.
We must join Madam Nkrumah to acknowledge the significant role that ECOWAS played during the civil unrest in Liberia and the signing of the comprehensive peace accord, both of which contributed to Liberia’s achieving a peace that will last.
We must praise ECOWAS for its consistent assistance to Liberia in the formation of the national transitional government and the international contact group, as well as for its role in facilitating the elections held in Liberia in 2005, 2011, and 2017, and for the senatorial elections conducted for 2020.
Let’s be reminded of the significance of the elections that will take place in 2023 without the presence of UMMIL. The manner in which the elections are carried out should demonstrate the development of Liberian democracy as well as peace and stability in the country.
We too implore all Liberians to be committed to supporting the rule of law and the process for addressing issues in order to preserve the peace that has been so painstakingly earned; peace is not the absence of controversy, but rather the ability to resolve it. ” Peace does not imply there are no disagreements; rather, it means that we are committed to abiding by the rule of law and the process to resolve disagreements.
Indeed, we may receive assistance from international partners in achieving and sustaining peace, but only Liberians alone are capable of ensuring that the peace will last. We must maintain the peace.