A Welcome Initiative

The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) collaborating with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has trained some 37 Liberians who are now clothed with the responsibility of transmitting the message of conflict resolution and mediation in some parts of the country.

Addressing the closing ceremony at a dinner held in honor of the participants and trainers recently, the Minister of Justice, Christiana Tah, said it is very important and necessary to encourage and see civil society organizations get involved in programs that buttress government’s effort especially in sustaining peace in the country.

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Una Thompson said currently, in the stock reality, Liberia needs reconciliation, rehabilitation, peace and transformation and the citizenry could choose to ignore to the detriment of the entire nation adding, “Genuine peace is an imagination if we do not pay heed to reconciliation.”

United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General, Karin Landgren, said Liberia needs many people to work in the area of conflict prevention because the long years of war has taken a toll on children, women, men as well as confidence and trust describing Liberia as a ‘happy land.’

Angie Brooks International Center has successfully implemented trainings in the protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations, transitional justice and peace-building while the Conflict Resolution team consists of individuals from civil society organizations, community based groups and agencies of government, as well as students and youths from Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Bong and Grand Cape Mount Counties.

First of all we say well done to the ABIC team and partner UNITAR for initiating this venture which we believe will go a long way by its design of creating a hands-on exercise to be carried out by Liberians themselves.

We see this as a welcome initiative and we hope that it will spread out into other counties because just few days ago the nation celebrated ten years of peace, an experience we missed for over decades. There can be no way that we should think about returning to our ugly past.

We also want to alert those who are still bent on securing spaces and designing environments for brutality and fermenting instability to desist because by doing so would not only plunge the nation into setbacks but would undoubtedly wipe out a generation and destroy what was built in ten years.

Sustaining the peace depends on each of us and we can collectively sustain this endeavor by being our brother’s keepers and help to reconcile and heal our wounds not by just forgetting the past but by forgiving each other with sincerity.

Again, we thank Angie Brooks and think the training exercise should continue for individuals in other counties so that reconciliation through conflict resolution can be holistic and that the trainers should focus on the early warning signs during the process.