-Holds dialogues between joint security and FOMTUL members
The “Talking Bus” is one of the tools of the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) mechanism which is implemented by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security.
The Talking Bus is a physical bus that moves in communities with a PA system, microphone and a mandate to give residents the platform and opportunity to identify and discuss issues affecting their wellbeing.
Ahead of the October 10, 2023, Presidential and Legislative Elections, the bus has been used to provide civic and voter education for residents in Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh and Grand Bassa counties to support the work of the National Elections Commissions (NEC).
On the bus, experts are invited to facilitate the dialogue with residents, while media institutions are also invited to broadcast live via community radio stations and social media the activities ongoing in real time on the Talking Bus.
Meanwhile, the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security has also conducted dialogues between joint security and the Federation of Motorcyclists and TricyclistsUnions of Liberia (FOMTUL) members also known as “penpenboys”.
These activities are part of the WSR urban peace dialogues where the mechanism mediates and broker agreements between factions of at-risk youth and other actors.
Members of FOMTUL are mostly ex-combatants and conflict-affected youth who took up this profession after the civil war to maintain an economic livelihood. These dialogues were led by presentations from the WSR team, officers from joint security and leaders of the motorcyclist union.
The key statements covered the work of the WSR and its advocacy for non-violent elections; the police cautioned them against criminal and violent behaviors as they expressed dissatisfaction in making such arrests; and the union leaders spoke about their resolve to disallow politicians and political parties use them to perpetrate violence in the elections. The dialogues concluded with peace rides. The “Motorcyclists Peace Ride” in each project county was a ride by at least 50 riders throughout the principal streets to raise awareness on peaceful elections and demonstrate their commitment as non-violent actors in the October 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Consistent with its program tagged- “Talking Bus,” Liberia’s famous advocacy platform the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, climaxed a day-long stakeholders’ engagement with authorities of the government of Liberia and citizens of the Township of West Point.
The engagement was enraged with an objective to dialogue with stakeholders, and community leaders as well as youths and women about the promotion and maintenance of Peace during and after the pending elections.
Concisely, the program was held at the West Point Town Hall. It was graced by the Commissioner of the Township Mr. Williams C. Wea, officials of the Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia National Police, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, elder Council, Youth, Women as well as the Religious Community, Christian and Muslim.
At the conclusion of the stakeholders’ engagement, the Women’s Situation Room WSR also extended the engagement to the West Point Market with its talking Bus and provided Civil and Voter Education and Community engagement to residents of the populated slum of the Township.
The Civil and Voter Education and Community Engagement of the WSR aimed at Promoting peaceful electoral environment and community security in Liberia.
It endeavors to provide information and education to residents about how to vote, what to wear during voting period and adherence to security protocols and orders during voting.
The objective of the Civil and Voter awareness is to help electorates learn from experts and ask questions about their rights and responsibilities during the October 10 Presidential and legislative elections.
The program is funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) European Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and implemented by the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment Leadership development International Peace and Security.