The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

LIPA Lecture Hightlights Liberia’s Ugly Past

The Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) has conducted its first Lecture Series in honor of Dr. Augustus F. Caine in Monrovia.
The event which was grace by scores of Liberians from various sectors took place at the VIP Lounge of the Monrovia City Hall on Thursday, November 28, under a theme, ‘Peace, Unity and Reconciliation: Removing the Impediments.’
The presenters included Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, Dr. William R. Tolbert, III and Prof. Demby Sayndee of the Kofi Annan Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Liberia both of whom outlined Liberia’s past ugly history and suggested ways forward in healing the country’s wounds.
Dr. Tolbert’s sub-theme was ‘Peace and Conflict Prevention’, while Prof. Sayndee’s presentation covered ‘Social cohesion and Reconciliation’ and the audience dissected the presentations made by Dr. Tolbert and Prof. Sayndee by unearthing the ugly things that continue to hold the country down.
The discussants were Former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott; Cuttington University President, Dr. Herman Browne; President of Liberia Civil Society Organizations, Francess Greaves; Political Affairs and Peace Building Officer of ECOWAS, Nathaniel Walker and Rev. Bartholomew.
During the presentation, Dr. Tolbert spoke about how the late President William R. Tolbert and the 13 officials of that government were kill on firing squad and pointed out that it was now time that the major players in all of Liberia’s ugly past step forward by taking the initiative to apologize so as to begin the process of reconciliation.
While, Prof. Sayndee began his presentation by stating that Liberia as a country was founded by all Liberians regardless of tribe, religion or cultural practice and criticized the political system in the country, stating that, ‘Liberia does not have a democracy because there are no political institutions.’
He further stated that in a country where the winners of an election take all and the losers loss all, is a recipe of the recurrences of conflicts.
The former Chief Justice, Cllr. Scott agreed with the presenters on the call for a more genuine peace and reconciliation process and proposed that apologies from perpetrators must be done holistically.
She said the form and manner in which the indigenous were treated in their own country by the settlers was a horrible experience adding, “They came and took the people from their lands in the name of exercising authority and expanding the country.”
She cited an example of how the Firestone Rubber Company came to Liberia and many other concessionaires took the indigenous farm lands which they live by without any tangible benefits provided for the land owners.
The Lecture Series discussants highlighted the troubling past and recommended several pillars that can be worked on to help improve the country.
Earlier, the Deputy Director General of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration, D. Wa Hne explained the overview of the Lecture Series and provided reasons why the Series was name in honor of LIPA’s first Director General Dr. Augustus F. Caine.

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