LIBERIA: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS DENOUNCE ELECTORAL VIOLENCE
Five major civil society organizations under the nomenclature, CSO Network for Human Rights, Democracy and Peacebuilding in Liberia(CNHRDP-L) have combined efforts to contribute towards the promotion of human rights, democratic—governance and sustainable peace in Liberia.
The five major civil society organizations are the Youth Against Drugs and Substance Abuse in Liberia(YADASA-Liberia), the Humble Youth(HYI), the Regional Watch for Human Rights Watch(RWHR), the Peace Building Resource Center(PBRC) and the Cooperative Initiatives for Peace and Development(CIPAD) are accredited civil society organizations established to promote human rights, democracy, good governance, peace and reconciliation in Liberia.
Reading a press release on Friday, August 25, 2023 at a press conference in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, the Lead Campaigner of CNHRDP-L, Thomas G. Bedell, Jr., stated that, ‘’we have agreed in principle through a Memorandum of Understanding, primarily to contribute towards the conduct of a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and violent-free 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections in Liberia, through intense engagement with all stakeholders including the National Elections Commission(NEC), political parties, independent candidates, registered voters and the public at large.’’
‘‘Members of CNHRDP-L are renowned human rights and peacebuilding activists with impeccable track records who have worked over the years in their respective organizations and communities to promote human rights, democratic- governance and peace in Liberia. Without any fear or favor, we will follow every event relating to the 2023 Elections and beginning with the ongoing campaign exercise, the conduct of the elections and post-election events to ensure that the process is free, fair, credible, transparent and violent-free,’’ Mr. Bedell pointed out.
According to him, they will name and shame political party leaders, supporters and other unpatriotic individuals who will be engaged with inciting violence and undermining the country’s hard-earned peace through hate messages.
‘‘We will deploy 200 observers in four major votes-rich counties including Montserrado, Margibi, Bong and Nimba Counties to observe the election and report on a timely basis with respect to issues of national concern, which will assist us in forming our position and opinion on the overall conduct of the elections through major press briefing,’’ he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lead Campaigner of CNHRDP-L has extended thanks and appreciations to the Government of Liberia(GoL) and President George Manneh Weah for creating the enabling and conducive environment for the conduct of these elections through budgetary support.
‘‘We would like to also extend our profound gratitude to our international partners, to name just a few, the Government and Peoples of the United States of America, the Swedish Government, the United Nations, ECOWAS as well as other important international partners unmentioned for their continuous support in sustaining peace and stability in our beloved country. To our national partners including local NGOs and grass-root civil society organizations, we remain grateful to you for your unflinching contributions to ensuring that Liberia remains peaceful during this critical times in our country’s history,’’ Mr. Bedell asserted.
He then encouraged all Liberians to participate fully in the Presidential and Legislative Elections by not only turning out in mass to exercise their rights to vote credible leadership, but to also be peaceful and abide by the rules of law because ‘‘Liberia is the only country that ‘we have. One Liberia, one people.’’