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ECOWAS partners UNOWAS and MRU on peaceful elections in Liberia

A two-day workshop for the promotion of peaceful and credible elections in Liberia held in Monrovia on the 28th and 29th of August, 2017.

Organised by the ECOWAS Political Affairs Directorate, the Secretariat of the Mano River Union (MRU), and the Office of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the workshop which is covered by the 2003 ECOWAS Declaration on regional approach to Peace and Security, sought to engender greater synergy among stakeholders of that country’s polity.

The ECOWAS Commission and the collaborating bodies jointly expressed their commitment towards peaceful elections during the Liberia polls scheduled for the 10th of October 2017 while strengthening the working relations between strategic national, regional and international stakeholders involved in the election process.

In a keynote address at the Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Vice President Edward Singhatey, urged the Liberian political stakeholders to sustain the gains of democracy by harmonizing their efforts towards credible, fair and peaceful elections in the coming polls.

While noting the challenges being encountered in the build-up to the elections such as the manipulation of the youth for violence, the dissemination of hate messages, issues associated with vote collation and media propaganda, he said he expressed his confidence in the commitment of the collaborating organisations towards strengthening the synergy and coordination of various initiatives and interventions in aid of peaceful elections.

The President of Liberia Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf represented by Minister of State, Presidency, Clarence Monubah, reiterated the commitment of the Government of Liberia to organizing free, fair and credible elections.

Deputy Secretary General of the MRU Mrs Jacqueline Konan maintained that the peaceful conduct of the Liberian elections will go a long way in enhancing peace in the Mano Region sub-region and ECOWAS region at large.

Also speaking, the Special Representative of UNOWAS, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, restated the organ’s commitment to supporting Liberia throughout the election process by collaboration with ECOWAS, the MRU Secretariat and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

The parties to the workshop resolved to work together for the enhancement of border security around neighboring States, with the MRU Joint Border Security.

The two day workshop also outlined the prospects for international cooperation in support of peaceful elections and produced a joint ECOWAS, MRU, UNOWAS and CSOs declaration for synergetic cooperation towards peaceful elections in Liberia.

In attendance were the ECOWAS Commissioner for Information Technology and Telecommunications Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa, the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, Amb. Babatunde Ajisomo, the ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs Dr. Remi Ajibewa, as well as Head of Political Affairs and International Cooperation Division Mrs. Onyinye Onwuka.

There were also representatives of institutions such as UNMIL, the African Union, Liberia National Electoral Commission, National Security Agencies, the Liberia Peace Building Office as well as national and regional civil society organisations.

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