By Precious D. Freeman
The Government of Liberia (GOL) in collaboration with International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has begun a four- day high-level meeting on integrated project supported by the UN Peacebuilding.
The meeting which began in Sanniquellie, Nimba County yesterday brought together all partners and stakeholders involved in the project implementation from the two countries funded, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, under the project titled; “Cross-Border Engagement Between Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire to Reinforce Social Cohesion and Border Security.”
The National Security Sector Reform Coordinator at the office of the National Security Advisor, Samuel F. Dakana, called on communities to work along with the security to ensure their safety as the IOM and UNDP Cross Engagements project between Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia plan to reinforce social cohesion and border security of its phase two Peacebuilding project.
He added that the phase two of the border engagements project is an extension of a joint United Nations Peacebuilding funded program to consolidate achievements made under the first phase (2016-2018) of the border segment from Tabou to Tai in Cote d’Ivoire; and Maryland and River Gee counties in Liberia.
UNDP’s Governance program Specialist from the both countries, James Moniba and Giscard Kouajji, urged the program implementers to advocate for the sustainability of the program.
The Project Field Coordinator, Emmanuel N. Bawoa, said the porousness and artificial nature of the border between the two countries, as well as the ethnic diversity of communities on both sides, have rendered the region prone to recurring inter-community tensions as part of border national and regional dynamics.
According to him, inter-community conflict over land and natural resources, have been amplified by regional migration and an influx of migrants driven by socio-economic needs and the presence of refugees and returnees because of civil conflicts in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
He added that the goal of this project is to increase cooperation and trust between Ivorian and Liberian border communities by strengthening border and human security, as well as mitigating potential intra and inter-community conflict escalation and regional destabilization, through community engagement and Cross-Border socio-cultural contact for peaceful co-existence.
He mentioned that the project covers community borders of Toulepleu and Danane in Cote d’Ivoire mirroring with community borders of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties in Liberia.
Gov’t, Partners Meet On Cross
Border Engagements Project
By Precious D. Freeman