June 10th 2005
Calls for a Pre-Elections “National Conference” are Diversionary & Unwarranted. – says MOPJIL
The Movement for Peace and justice in Liberia(MOPJIL) has observed with grave concern and disappointment last minutes calls by some Liberians for the holding of a “National Conference” before the scheduled 2005 elections.
MOPJIL, a movement that seeks to advance ideas and programs for the sustenance of the Liberian peace process, finds it disturbing that some Liberians would want to use the holding of a “national Conference” as a conduit to effectively abrogate the elections timetable as stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Accra, Ghana by the erstwhile warring factions, Political parties, international mediators and civic institutions.
While the CPA is not sacrosanct and infallibly efficacious, and is thus subject to amendments/revision, a “National Conference” with no clear-cut objective, is not a reason justifiable enough to warrant such amendment/revision. Over the years MOPJIL has observed that ego driven, hastily arranged and sometimes competing “national Conferences” have not yielded any productive outcome that benefits the Liberian masses. Rather, these conferences have been used as public relations stunts and avenues for the delivery of a plethora of speeches with absolutely no strategic vision and follow-up actions.
The Movement for Peace and Justice in Liberia wishes to remind all Liberians and our international peace partners that the peace process is on an irreversible course and that absolutely nothing should be allowed to stall the process. MOPJIL therefore regards all calls for the postponement of elections in favor of a “national Conference” as wrong, untimely, and strategically flawed. Rather than embarking on ventures that have had no real benefit, Liberians should concentrate on returning home and contributing to the socio-economic viability of our nation.
In the past, MOPJIL has observed that some individuals and institutions covertly used the holding of “National Conferences” as an avenue to achieve political relevance and exhibit ‘showmanship’ at the expense of the greater masses. This time around, MOPJIL wants to assure all Liberians that it will liaise and establish a collective partnership with other civic and human rights groups to ensure that the peace process is not unnecessarily interfered with by anyone, groups or institutions.
As a nation that has been battered by civil conflict and misrule, the need for an authentic ALL LIBERIAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE cannot be overemphasized. MOPJIL therefore resolves that a pre-election “National Conference” that would effectively altered the CPA, is untimely and unwarranted. However, a post-election national Conference organized by a democratically elected government and assisted by the international community would be appropriate if the objectives are reasonable, achievable and beneficial for national healing and peaceful coexistence.
MOPJIL also finds it incomprehensible that some of those now championing the calls for the postponement of the scheduled elections in favor of a “National Conference”, participated directly or indirectly (through their political parties and civic groups) in the crafting of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Almost two years after the fact, such calls from such individuals, are belated and uncalled for.
Furthermore, MOPJIL finds it paradoxical and laughable that individuals and institutions that can not even resolve their petty differences and work together in the United States would want to assume greater responsibility in finding solutions to the more intricate and delicate situation that exist in a much larger and diverse setting - Liberia. Where is the logic?
As a 21 st century watch dog for the promotion of peace and the equitable dispensation of justice, MOPJIL hereby calls on the United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union (EU), African Union (AU), and all Liberians to remain focus in demanding the unscrupulous implementation of the CPA and consider all last-minutes-calls for alteration (Pre-election National Conference) as diversionary tactics that have the propensity to derail the peace process – something Liberia and Liberians can not afford.
Ojuku T. Nyenpan, MBA, MPA *
Executive Director (Movement for Peace & Justice in Liberia)
About MOPJIL : The Movement for Peace and Justice in Liberia is a U.S. and Liberian based not-for-profit and non-partisan political movement that will be cognizant of the ideas of community leaders, elders and the citizenry in the dispensation of its activities. MOPJIL will however seek to objectively speak out against those tendencies, characteristics and practices that will tend to undermine peace and the application of equitable justice in Liberia .
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org.