By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Urban Sjostrom, has cautioned Liberians to remain steadfast in maintaining and sustaining the nation’s hard-won peace ahead of the crucial Presidential and Legislative elections.
Over 2.4 million Liberians are expected to cast ballots on October 10, 2023, for new breed of national leaders including President, Vice President, and members of the country’s Bicameral Legislature to run the affairs of the country.
Ambassador Sjostrom made it clear that Liberians have the responsibility during the elections to protect the country’s hard-earned peace, and ensure its stability and progress.
The Swedish envoy emphasized that the protection of the country’s peace and its sustenance must be embraced by all well-meaning Liberians at home and abroad for a better future for all and sundry.
He said the making of defamatory or insulting statements, application of physical assaults against one another and all other forms of violence and lawlessness should be discouraged nationwide.
He said Liberians must embrace messages of peace, unity, and understanding aimed at promoting genuine reconciliation and national healing.
Urban Sjostrom also calls on politicians, Political Parties, Alliances and Coalitions, as well as independent candidates to be in full compliance with the Farmington River Peace Pact, that requires non-violent and peaceful elections.
The Farmington River Declaration is a commitment by political parties, Coalitions and Alliances to non-violent and peaceful polls in October this year.
Since the signing of the peace pact on April 4, 2023, there have, however, been reported violent clashes involving followers of some political parties, Coalitions and Alliances.
These acts, according to the Swedish Envoy, should not be encouraged by well-meaning Liberians, because violence is inimical to national development and progress.
He expressed regret that some young people are mostly used by politicians and others to cause unnecessary tension and confusion in the country.
Sjostrom has underscored the need for Liberians, especially the youthful population of the country to serve as Ambassadors for Peace ahead of these elections in their various communities, and to snub violent acts that would undermine national peace and progress.
“You are the future this nation—the youthful population. It is your responsibility to ensure that you serve as Ambassadors of peace during and after these electoral periods because you have more to gain. Elections come and go; politicians will also come and go but Liberia will always remain. Therefore, you have to do everything possible to ensure that you are not used wrongly but rightly,” Ambassadors Sjostrom told hundreds of young people in Monrovia.
He spoke on Wednesday, August 16, at a day-long peace conference, organized by the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in Monrovia.