UNDP Complements Gov’t’s Conflict Mitigation Efforts

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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) continues to demonstrate its unflinching support toward the government of Liberia’s efforts in mitigating conflict and promoting peaceful co-existence amongst the citizenry.

The UNDP recently under the auspices of the Human Right Protection Division of the Ministry of Justice, funded a three-day capacity building workshop in Gbarnga, Bong County.

The workshop brought together 75 participants from Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee and Sinoe Counties.

The participants comprised of Police Officers, Motorcyclists and a representation of community dwellers from those counties.

Some of the topics discussed during the workshop were, the role of Police Officers and community dwellers in mitigating conflicts, Police ethics, Human Rights Standards and Practice, Traffic Safety and Symbols identification, Understanding Right of Ways and Rules of Intersection.

Others were, Speed Limit in zone and first aid actions in the events of accidents among others.

The Lead Project Coordinator of the Human Rights Protection Division at the Ministry of Justice, Momodu K. Metzer, gave the overview of that conflict mitigation forum.

According to Metzer, the workshop was the second and last phase of outputs under the Security, Justice and Human Rights Project being implemented by the Ministry of Justice with funding from the UNDP.

Metzer said the platform created which brought together regional stakeholders was to identify motorcyclists related conflicts and strategize how they could be amicably be mitigated at community level observing respect for the rule of law and protection of human rights.

The Secretary General of the Civil Society, Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia, Adama K. Dempster served as one of the facilitators and did a presentation on the topic “How conflicts are settled between Motorcyclists and Police on one hand and between motorcyclists and community dwellers on the other hand.

Dempster stressed that the protection of human rights encompasses responding to the structural needs of the population through the provision of basic social services which one very cardinal and easy means of mitigating conflicts in society especially in a post-conflict setting.

In separate group presentations, the participants identified several factors that contribute to conflicts such as Police arbitrary arrest and disrespect for the rules of law and rights of motorcyclists, reckless driving, over speeding and failure to adhere to road safety regulation by motorcyclists and community dwellers interference and failure to report criminal activities to the Police amongst others.

Participants assured and pledged their commitment to replicate the knowledge acquired from the workshop upon their return.

It can be recalled that frequent cases of motorcyclists’ related conflicts are being reported across the country sometimes resulting into deaths and destruction of properties and the existence of threats to the peace and security of the society.

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