By Morrison O.G. Sayon from Zwedru City
Over 108 Chiefs from Liberia and the Republic of Ivory Coast have ended a four-day Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County calling for the sustainability of durable peace in the two West African countries.
In a Joint Communiqué signed by Chiefs and Elders of the two countries and attested to by the Foreign Ministers of both countries, both countries agreed to set up a technical working group for the implementation of recommendations and resolutions from the meeting with focal points at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Liberia) and Ministry of Interior (Cote d’Ivoire) appointed to monitor the process and update the steering on the process and the challenges.
Both countries also agreed to involve the JCCE in establishing, developing and sustaining national peace infrastructures; encourage the participation of governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and the media in the search for durable peace.
The Zwedru Resolution called on both countries to implement appropriate economic, social and cultural cross-border stabilization interventions by development partners in cross-border towns and national reconciliation programs which cut across divide.
Chiefs, elders, youths and women along the border of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire also resolved to facilitate the design and implementation of a trans-border initiative, within the context of both countries strategic Roadmap for national Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation including members of the Diaspora of both countries.
The Chiefs and Elders in their resolution urged the Liberian and Ivorian Governments to facilitate the self-employment of civil society, particularly women, youths, religious and community groups and the media in the implementation of agreed strategies and programs.
Among other things, the Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and Ivory Coast resolved to work with the administrative and political authorities, the refugees and UNHCR in order to find durable solutions aimed at facilitating the voluntary repatriation of refugees.