Home Economy Weah Reflects On “Demonic War” … Warns Liberians Against Returning To “Those Dark Days”

Weah Reflects On “Demonic War” … Warns Liberians Against Returning To “Those Dark Days”

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MONROVIA: President George Weah says since the end of violent conflict in Liberia in 2003, followed by transitional justice processes, including the 2009 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Liberia remains on a gradual but certain path to genuine reconciliation.

In this regard, President Weah pointed out that his government looks forward to a future of consolidating the peace, enhancing continuous stability, and undertaking reforms to address the culture of impunity and to foster national reconciliation and social cohesion.

Addressing the 54th National Legislature on Capitol Hill in Monrovia recently, the Liberian leader asserted that as President, he continue to “preach about the virtues of peace from this high platform, as an extension of my well-known career in peace advocacy, which began long before I ascended to this Office.”

The President indicated that this was recognized many years ago by the international community when he was appointed as a Peace Ambassador of the United Nations.

“A further manifestation of my passion for peace was when I was invited by my predecessor, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to serve in her government as her Peace Ambassador, even while I was in opposition,” he added.

Weah: “I preach peace, because I realized a long time ago that there is, and can never be, any victor in a civil war. When brothers kill sisters, and sisters kill brothers; when parents kill their children and children kill their parents; when friends kill each other; and citizens with a common patrimony turn violently on each other; no one wins. Instead, everyone loses, either directly, or indirectly.

The Liberian President further told the Legislature that “There is not one single Liberian family that did not lose a relative or friend to this terrible fratricidal war that was both senseless and brutally uncivil, almost demonic.”

According to President Weah, “to ensure that we never return to those dark days, we must give peace a chance to create the space in which we can begin the dialogue that will resolve our differences. We must hold the conversations to discuss how we can maintain our peace in a sustainable manner, so as to be able to develop our country.”

The governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) political leader also observed that it is mostly young people who are the ones that are used to agitate.

“These young people have had little or no experience of war. We have now enjoyed 20 years of unbroken peace, and it can readily be seen that young people, who are coming of voting age for the first time since turning 18 years old, have had no experience of war. They are quickly and easily manipulated to do harm and instill violence. We need to guide our young people and inspire them to reject violence and conflict as a means to express their grievances and dissatisfactions,” he emphasized.

Weah historicized that “when the rice riots took place in 1979, I was only 13 years old. That was the first time that I had ever seen violence and destruction on such a massive scale. As a young man, I was confused and perplexed. That experience left an indelible impression on me about the horrors of civil unrest that can lead to violence, and a lasting distaste for violence that is unleashed for political reasons. The thought occurred to me at the time, that there was no political leader among the hundreds of young people who had been killed during the rice riots.”

According to the President, “The moral lesson for all of us who were around during these civil wars and domestic riots, is that we should never allow our young people to be contaminated by everyday politics. No political leader should ever put the life of a single young person at risk in order to assume political office.”

Weah: “There is a song written by Masser and Creed, called “The Greatest Love of All”, which was made famous by George Benson and Whitney Houston many years ago. I want to share a verse of this song with you, because I believe it is relevant to our situation in Liberia, and perfectly expresses my feelings about political violence.

“I believe that children are our future,
Teach them well and let them lead the way,
Show them all the beauty they possess inside,
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier,
Let the children’s laughter
Remind us how we used to be.”

President Weah: “It is often said that experience is the best teacher. But I vigorously disagree with this. While experience has certain undeniable merits, one does not have to repeat an experience to learn from it, especially if it is not a positive one. Rather, one should revert to history for one’s education, because, as is often said, those who ignore the lessons that history teaches us about our past mistakes, are bound to repeat them.”

The Liberian leader asserted that “Without peace, our world will be difficult. With peace, we can find the collective wisdom and consensus to become the best that we can be as a Nation and as a People.”
Reiterating his Government’s commitment to conducting free, fair, transparent and credible Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia this year, President Weah told the Nation that he was among five (5) other Heads of State, out of the nearly fifty (50) African Heads of State and Governments who were in attendance at the recent African Leaders Forum, who were specially selected to meet with United States President Joe Biden at the White House.

“We had a robust discussion with President Biden on the very crucial issues of elections, democracy, rule of law, and development. During this exclusive but vital meeting, I, and the other Heads of State, made a strong pledge and commitment to hold free, fair, transparent, peaceful, inclusive and democratic elections in our respective countries,” he disclosed.

“I also made it abundantly clear that, under my watch, the democratic credentials of Liberia will be safeguarded, as well as its peace, stability, and security. These productive meetings afforded me the opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to strengthen the already existing ties between Liberia and the United States of America, and deepen the close bonds of friendship and cooperation. I pledged to that friendly Government my determination to continue close collaboration with them in improving good and accountable governance, democracy, and the rule of law in Liberia. In response, I am pleased to report that the U.S. Government made a promise to spend $165 million US dollars this year in providing financial support to elections in our respective countries, of which Liberia is expected to receive approximately $20 million US dollars,” he emphasized.

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