–            Stage 14-day peace rally, seek stakeholders’ attention  

Liberian Women at Peace Rally at Fish Market in Monrovia

By. G Bennie Bravo Johnson

Liberian women have initiated a two-week fast and prayer with the theme: “Let’s Maintain the Peace” on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, under the banner “Mass Action for Peace.” The fast and prayer, which began on May 25 and will remain until June 7, 2022, is intended to maintain Liberia at peace by heeding to early warnings of conflict, and calls on all Liberians to disarm their hearts.

Hon. Said, on her part, says the women’s Mass Action for Peace is devoted to working with every citizen to ensure that Liberia’s peace is preserved rather than molested. “We, the Liberian women’s Mass Action for Peace, are calling on every Liberian to disarm our hearts, keep the peace, and our peace is unshakeable.”

She stated, in response to women’s requests, that every person should be protected and live in a peaceful society. The women of Mass Action for Peace have identified many early warning indicators that are most likely to materialize, and they are urging all citizens to participate in the two-week patriotic national fast and prayer. “We ask every Liberian to join hands with us today as we fast and pray for Mama Liberia,” said the women’s mass action for peace, “because we know that early warning signs can sometimes become reality.”

She went on to urge all Liberians to respect one another despite political differences, to remain loyal to our country, and to avoid conflict by fostering and promoting peace.

She also hosted the Liberian and ECOWAS flags in the name of peace and reconciliation for Liberia, calling on the International Community and the rest of the World to demand justice, peace, love, forgiveness, and protection for all Liberians.

The Liberian women’s Mass Action for Peace is made up of women of Christian and Muslim faiths, and it is worth recalling that during the height of the Liberian civil war, the Liberian women’s Mass Action for Peace gathered every time at the airfield fish market, praying for peace and demanding an end to the fourteen years of civil unrest. Their prayer to God was fulfilled in August of 2003, when ECOMIL, then UNNIL, landed in Liberia for the first time following the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which sent former President Charles G. Taylor to Nigeria.

Amb. Julie Endee, on the other hand, claimed that the two-week national fast and prayer is intended to nourish and strengthen the fabric of Liberia’s current peace. Unity is the trademark of realizing the realities of the fast and prayer, thus there is no “I” in the team, only “we.” She applauded the efforts of the women who died of illnesses brought on by long periods of exposure to the sun, and prayed to God for Liberia to achieve the peace it currently enjoys.

Meanwhile, Mama Satta, a member of the women’s Mass Action for Peace and a representative of women on the National Traditional Council, called on every political leader to join the fast and prayer, alerting the terror that has gripped Lofa County.

She noted that political desertification sparked Liberia’s fourteen-year civil turmoil, and she urged the government to expedite election activities in Lofa as early warnings of conflict continue to grow in the area.

As West Africa prepares to commemorate its 47th ECOWAS day, the women prayed for a perpetual peace in the region, urging ECOWAS leadership to persuade its member countries not to house any group that might jeopardize the region’s peace.

At the same time, Dr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Executive Director of the Angie Brooks International Center for Development and Women Empowerment and Co-Chairperson of the Federation of West African Women, pledged ECOWAS’ support for women in ensuring the region’s peace throughout its length and birth.

The Women Mass Action Peace said it is highly concerned about the recent events that have taken place in Liberia because they believe that these events could endanger the peace and start violence not only in Liberia but also in other countries in the ECOWAS sub-region. The women issued a press release from Monrovia yesterday, May 24, 2022, in which they highlighted a number of things that they believed to be warning flags and to which they wished to draw the attention of the government and other stakeholders.

The women stated that the circumstances that led to the postponement of the by-election in Lofa County, the widespread spread of gender and sexual-based violence, the issue of mysterious killings, the increase in prices, and the hoarding of basic commodities in the Liberian market are among the concerns that women believe are not being handled adequately and could cause a violent situation in the country.

“The issue of mysterious killings, the rise in prices, the hoarding of basic goods on the Liberian market, and the postponement of the by-election in Lofa County are all strong early warning signals,” they said.

The women, speaking under the banner of Women of Mass Action for Peace, stated that after discussing the potential dangers to Liberia’s peace, they came to the conclusion that there are a few things that can be done to ensure that the peace is maintained. The women stated that on May 25, 2022, they would dedicate the women’s prayer center to peace, fast for 14 days, pray for peace, raise the flags of 15 countries, as well as the flags of Liberia and ECOWAS, and thank the President of the Republic of Liberia for building the women’s center. In addition to this, they stated that they would participate in community engagement activities and the Show Love Campaign, and that they would also present a resolution to important stakeholders.

“After thinking about these early warning signs, the Liberian women of Mass Action for Peace have decided to do the following: the hoisting of the 15 country flags, Liberia and ECOWAS, a 14-day fast and prayers, the dedication of the women’s prayer center for peace, special thanks and appreciation to the president of the Republic of Liberia for building the women’s center, community engagement and the Show Love Campaign, and a resolution on peace.”

The women are issuing a call to action to the government of Liberia, which is charged with ensuring the safety and consistency of the state, to take immediate action to address the concerns raised by the early warning system.

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