Nimba County Senator, Prince Y. Johnson has said that the citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh are not the problem in bringing lasting peace and genuine reconciliation in the country.
Speaking at a Peace and Reconciliation Meeting held on Monday in Paynesville, Sen. Johnson said those who are the problem to lasting peace in the country are individuals who financed the war and bought weapons of all kinds that were used by them (fighters) during the nearly 14 years of civil unrest in the country.
Sen. Johnson who led a major warring faction, the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) the rebel group that killed President Samuel Kanyan Doe during the upheaval said peace and reconciliation should not be tied to the people of Nimba and Grand Gedeh County, but those who purchased big guns and gave them to the fighters to prosecute the war.
Sen. Johnson said to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation in the country, government and those who are driving the peace initiative must be individuals who facilitated the conflict. He said the Liberian Government and others are creating the impression that Nimbaians and Grand Gedeans were still on the battlefield forgetting those who initiated the war. He added that some of the financiers of the Liberian conflict are still in high positions of government who might again put their resources together to wage another chaos on the Liberian people.
The Nimba County lawmaker wants those who facilitated the war to avail themselves and ask for forgiveness which he said would be the only recipe for lasting peace in the country. ”Let those who financed the war, who bought the Bazookas, the RPG, AK-47, the 40 barrel missiles and other deadly weapons avail themselves; let them ask for forgiveness and that’s the only way we will get peace and reconcile,” PYJ said.
He then called on the government and others to stop shifting blame on Nimbaians and Grand Gedeans because those who are the major facilitators of the war are here in the country and therefore, must show themselves and be forgiven by the Liberian people for their role in the devastating civil conflict that claimed the lives of over 200,000 persons.
At the same time, Sen. Johnson has proposed a National Conference on Peace and Reconciliation at which time all major actors of the war will avail themselves and ask for forgiveness.
Also speaking, a member of the defunct of Council of State, George E.S. Borley said there is no problem between his kinsmen of Grand Gedeh County and that of the people of Nimba County. Dr. Borley said intermarriages exist between the people of the two counties and that what went on has now become history.
The Peace and Reconciliation Initiative was held under the aegis of the Liberia Peace Initiative headed by Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, George Weah; Morrison O.G. Sayon writes.