>Operation We Care for Liberia agrees with President Sirleaf on scars of division amongst Liberians


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Written by Bernard Gbayee Goah
President Operation We Care for Liberia

Operation We Care for Liberia agrees with President Sirleaf’s recent statement in which she acknowledged the persistence of scars of division amongst Liberians in spite of the National Unification Policy proclaimed by late President Tubman over 4 decades ago. The President said there exists “WILL” to erase these divisions.

We disagree with the timing of the President’s acknowledgement

While we agree with the President on the existence of “WILL”, we disagree that “WILL” alone is not enough. The President must initiate “WAYS or SOLUTIONS” if such divisions are to be erased. We warn that such “WAYS” cannot be introduced and implemented by those who divided the Liberian people for decades especially those who financed and or initiated the war that killed over 250,000 Liberians. We question the President’s sincerity with concern to her support of erasing division based on the timing of her vocalized support. This should have been a theme throughout her presidency, but instead has only been mentioned 5 years after she was elected and only months before the 2011 presidential elections. We call for sincerity and action not politically driven agendas.

Congo Liberians/Indigenous Liberians sentiment

Liberia has yet to be reconciled eight years following the formal cessation of hostilities in August 2003. Five out of the eight years, Congo Liberians/indigenous sentiment which subsided over the years has now resurfaced while President Sirleaf runs the affairs of the country. Allegations of indigenous land being taken away by Congo Liberians have dominated the national news in recent time.

We believe a strong and united Liberia would mean respect for the rights of every Liberian and the rule of law, equality before the law and equal opportunities for all to excel regardless of individual status in society.

Peace and Reconciliation
To us, a strong and united Liberia would mean peace and reconciliation but not in the absence of justice because while open hostilities have ended, the conflicts that gave way to them still exist today. The first step towards addressing the root causes of incessant conflicts in Liberia and laying the foundation for genuine reconciliation is maintaining a stable Liberia founded on justice and equality for all. It is unacceptable for crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by a handful of individuals to be conferred upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians!

The need for post-war justice

Creating post-war justice is a step toward to lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible court system that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country’s brutal war. Once justice is established, then reconciliation which is not an overnight process can begin. Without justice, peace and reconciliation shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results.

The need for peace and post-war justice were things President Sirleaf should have done to begin to erase the divisions. Bringing it out at the last moment in order to boost votes has the potential to increase divisions.

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