Enhancing the election dispute management skills of Liberian political parties’ youth wings.
As Liberia edges closer to its October 2017 general and presidential elections, ACCORD’s commitment to support efforts to uphold the gains of peace is unfettered. In partnership with the Liberian Peacebuilding Office, ACCORD held trainings in Election Dispute Management targeting youth from different political affiliations, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and other community and women groups. After the first training in Monrovia, from 19-21 April 2017, the necessity to extend the training to the entire country was consolidated. A follow-up training took place in Zwedru, the Capital of Grand Gedeh County, which brought together approximately thirty (30) dynamic youth leaders with critical stakes in October’s elections.
The primary aim of the training was to enhance the skills and knowledge of members of youth groups, particularly political parties’ youth wings on electoral process and elections disputes management strategies. These trainings are organized with an overall objective of contributing to the country’s preparedness for a peaceful, free and fair election, and contribute to the mitigation of violence through enhancing the knowledge and skills of youth. Five counties were targeted during the second round of training, including Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Maryland County.
The training resulted in political parties’ youth wings, County Youth Associations and CSOs representing the five counties resolved to remain peaceful before, during and after the 2017 elections, and ensure all dissatisfactions/problems identified to be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. A statement alluding to the above mentioned objective was drafted and signed by all 30 youth who attended the training in the presence of facilitators and resource persons from the Liberian Peacebuilding Office and ACCORD.
It should be recalled, that Liberia is at a critical stage as it transitions to take full control over the peace and security process from the United Nation’s Mission to Liberia (UNMIL) and prepares to undertake the 2017 general and presidential election independent of its key partner – the UNMIL. In addition, UNMIL has accompanied the government of Liberia in its efforts to reform the security sector, the justice system, and peacebuilding in general. Much credit is also given for the security provided in organizing the past two elections by UNMIL, which took place in 2005 and 2011.
ACCORD was represented by Senior Researcher, Mr. Charles Nyuykonge, from Knowledge Production Department as the lead facilitator and trainer; and Ms. Bezawit Kefyalew, Senior Programme Officer, Peacebuilding Unit email@example.com who was the main training coordinator.
ACCORD’s engagement in these consecutive trainings were supported by the Government of Finland through the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) at ACCORD.