Towards National Conflict Mapping in Liberia

Liberia conflict mapping
Ellen Margrethe Løj, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, conducts a seminar on peacekeeping for students at the University of Liberia in Monrovia (UN Photo/Staton Winter)

ACCORD partners with the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme in order to assess critical factors which undermine peacebuilding operations in Liberia.

It takes a detailed strategy to support conflict mapping and fieldwork analysis. With this is mind the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) in partnership with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, conducted a National Conflict Mapping Exercise (NCME) over a three month period commencing March 2016. This flows partly from recommendations by a multi-stakeholder workshop entitled “Revisiting the Coherence and Coordination Debate: Sustaining Collective Peacebuilding in Liberia” on the Liberia peace process held in August 2015. It is anticipated that the outcomes of the NCME will inform the conceptualisation and/or implementation of peacebuilding initiatives aligned among other frameworks, for example the Strategic Roadmap on National Peacebuilding, Healing and Reconciliation. The Peacebuilding Unit at ACCORD invited Mr Edward Mulbah, Senior Advisor/Head of Programmes at the Liberia Peacebuilding Office to ACCORD’s head offices in Durban, to solidify plans to implement the National Conflict Mapping Exercise.

The meeting took place on 17 February 2016. Discussions focused on peacebuilding priorities in Liberia and the strategies and methods required to implement the NCME scheduled in Liberia. Mr. Mulbah highlighted that over the last 5 – 7 years, the government of Liberia and partners have grappled with 8 critical conflict factors, namely: ownership of land; the condition of youth – specifically with regards to employment; mismanagement of natural resources; weak relationships between the state and its citizenry; a weak and dysfunctional justice system; the lack of a shared national vision; poverty and food insecurity; as well as challenges with regional dimensions. For the government of Liberia, the NCME will identify looming conflicts that have the potential to undermine national peace and stability in the wake of the United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) transition in June 2016 as the Mission comes to close and the Liberian state prepares to resume control over national security.

To achieve these objectives, the meeting compiled a detailed strategy to support the upcoming Conflict Mapping Workshop and fieldwork analysis exercises scheduled to take place throughout 2016 in Liberia, in partnership with the Liberian Peacebuilding Office. Serious consideration was taken in ensuring the substantial and methodological relevance of the strategy. This will support the NCME through the implementation and reporting phases as well as strengthen the relationship between the Liberia Peacebuilding Office and ACCORD, who will benefit from future engagements with the institution.

The Peacebuilding Unit was represented by Mr John Ahere, Coordinator, Ms Stephanie de Freitas, Programme Officer, and Ms Nontobeko Gcabashe, Unit Administrator. The African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Government of Finland since 2007.

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Stephanie De Freitas
Stephanie de Freitas
Programme Officer: Operations Division