Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation?
The Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation is a response to the need to provide a coherent strategy and coordination framework, to organize the multiple government and civil society initiatives on peace-building and reconciliation. It is a designed to foster coherence of institutions, structures, systems, mechanisms, and human resources mobilized to foster national healing and reconciliation and build sustainable peace. The 18-year Roadmap defines reconciliation in Liberia as 'a multidimensional process of overcoming social, political, and religious cleavages; mending and transforming relationships; healing the physical and psychological wounds from the civil war, as well as confronting and addressing historical wrongs including the structural root causes of conflicts in Liberia’. It outlines responsibilities for key government actors, working closely work with civil society, to deliver on a programmatic framework for its implementation around three themes: accounting for the past; managing the present; and planning for the future. The Roadmap is aligned with the Agenda for Transformation and Vision 2030 of the Government of Liberia.
UNMIL RPCS is part of the Joint Steering Committee Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Peacebuilding, the Roadmap Technical Advisory Committee, and Local Project Advisory Committee. The section provides technical support to the development and implementation of the strategic framework for the Roadmap. It also provides conflict- and gender-sensitive technical advice on the development of Peacebuilding Fund supported projects; monitors and reports on progress in national reconciliation and Roadmap implementation, including the Palava Hut Programme, Land Reform, County Peace Committee and Early Warning and Early Response Projects, and the Review of National Symbols and National History project.
2. What role does civil society play in reconciliation and peace consolidation processes?
Civil Society organizations (CSOs) play a great role in any society by being a voice of the population and serving as a watch dog, holding government its pledges to fulfill the promises and citizens their duties. They play a robust role in advocacy and creating awareness. CSOs are tasked with supporting the implementation of the Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation to the Liberian people, making their roles crucial in the National Reconciliation process.
RPCS promotes and facilitates capacity-building of CSOs, particularly to enable their participation in implementing the National Reconciliation roadmap. The section supports civil society’s advocacy and awareness roles, including through the ‘Civil Affairs Hour’ radio program on UNMIL radio.
3. What role does land reform play in the reconciliation and peace consolidation in Liberia?
Tension regarding land ownership and land management has intensified in the post-conflict Liberia, in many instances engendering disputes and sometimes violent conflicts. Established in 2009, the Land Commission (LC) is the body tasked with proposing, advocating and coordinating policy formulation and implementation of programs and projects for reforms in the land sector in Liberia. Its overarching mandate is designed to mitigate land conflict as well as to enhance land administration in Liberia through the reform of processes of land use and land management. The LC is expected to transit into a new body – the Liberia Land Authority through a gradual approach.
RPCS monitors land disputes, including maintaining an updated matrix and providing analytical reports on existing and emerging land disputes. Besides, RPCS provides substantive technical support to the LC in the development and implementation of land reform projects as well as resource mobilization. In addition, RPCS provides technical advisory support to the Land Commission in the formulation of reformative policies on Land Use and Management, Land Administration, Land Dispute Resolution and Land Rights ensuring gender and conflict sensitivity. RPCS equally facilitates public sensitization of the reforms in the land sector.
4. How does youth empowerment contribute to the reconciliation process?
In Liberia youth are considered to be those aged between 15 and 35 and form a third of Liberia’s population. Youth marginalization is considered one of the contributing factors of the civil war and, partly as a result of both their participation in and victimization during the conflict, youth continue to suffer from limited access to quality education, employment and livelihood opportunities; social and political marginalization. The Government of Liberia recognizes the problem and has affirmed its dedication to youth empowerment. Efforts are led and coordinated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Donors such as the World Bank, USAID and the Peace-building Fund also fund major youth empowerment programmes to complement government efforts.
RPCS monitors the security and peace implications of the continued marginalization of youth; and works with the Government and development partners to identify and engage vulnerable youth. This includes regular mapping and monitoring of at-risk groups in areas of concern, and contributing to the formulation of policies and programmes that address the various economic; social and political challenges that youth face. This process is often done with input from youth organizations.