H.E. Josephine Nkrumah, Resident Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission in Liberia served as the keynote speaker at events marking the 41stAnniversary of the establishment of the International Day of Peace under the theme: “Politicizing Ethnicity Threatens Peace and Stability”.
The ceremony was organized by the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, University of Liberia and Ziviler Friedensdienst –Civil Peace Service.
In her remarks, the Resident Representative commended Liberians for maintaining the peace 19 years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. She also seized the occasion to remind Liberians of the conflict triggers, which largely propelled the country into 14 years of civil conflict; ethnicity and tribalism being key factors. In her statement, she further recalled the efforts of ECOWAS and the international community in ending that conflict. She reaffirmed ECOWAS’s commitment to supporting the Liberian peace architecture.
Regarding ethnicity and its threat to peace and stability, the Ambassador noted that the sub-region has suffered ethnic conflicts, which have led to many civil unrests. She asserted however that ethnicity in itself is not the cause of conflict, but rather, it is the festering of negative competition for limited resources and services that provides the breeding ground for drivers of conflict and instability.
She further stressed the need for Liberians to foster mindset transformation, which must be deliberate and intentional to build social cohesion, promote good governance and national development.