UNDP Supports Conflict and Violence Prevention Dialogues in Lofa County￼
June 8, 2022
Community dialogues on electoral conflict and violence prevention are being held in several locations in Lofa County in preparation for senatorial by-elections.
Violence related to the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections and 2021 By-Elections provided the impetus to proactively address concerns with the potential to lead to future electoral violence.
Foya District Commissioner James T. Dornga assured participants and organizers that the people of Foya would remain peaceful and would not engage in any activity that would threaten the peace of the country, noting, ” Lofa will not be used as a breeding place for conflict and violence during the upcoming by-elections.”
Organized by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Liberian Peacebuilding Office (PBO) – supported byUNDP, the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia, and Irish Aid – events got underway in Foya on 7 June and will continue through 19 June with similar events taking place in Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor, and Salayea.
The dialogues were developed to address increasing political tensions across Lofa county by creating awareness of the need to maintain peace. It is hoped that reducing tensions will pave the way for violence-free elections and promote peace and stability. The dialogues will also specifically address violence against women in elections and politics, encouraging women to take part in these elections.
The workshops will identify local issues that could undermine peaceful and inclusive elections and introduce early warning and response mechanisms and legal avenues for handling electoral disputes and conflicts that may arise.
Participants include local leaders, chiefs, traditional elders, youth, and women. Facilitators include PBO and NEC staff members and representatives from the Traditional Council of Liberia.
ABOUT THE LIBERIA ELECTORAL SUPPORT PROJECT
The Liberia Electoral Support Project (LESP) applies novel approaches to make a qualitative difference and further progress in electoral assistance in Liberia. Enhancing national ownership and continuing progress towards peaceful, credible, inclusive, and transparent electoral processes in Liberia, the project strategy is based on a work plan concentrating on inclusion, transparency, integrity, capacity, and programming for peace.