ECOWAS Official Sounds Conflict Warning

By Throble Kaffa Suah, Freelance Journalist |

An ECOWAS official has sounded prevention warning saying the country could soon drag into conflict as experiencing political and economic epidemics, lack of accountability, political revelries, poor social services deliveries, favoritism, lack of respect for the rule of law by government official, and human rights violation continue.

Dr. Roland Clarke, National Director, National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanisms of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United States State Department and Liberian Government, believes the past was being repeated.

The Mechanisms is ECOWAS initiate advising government on conflict prevention in thematic areas such, as health, education, youth unemployment, and security among others. Though, the programme is new project, it detect potential crisis in ECOWAS member state and beyond.

He made these assertions Sunday, 16 December, 2018, in Monrovia, when served as keynote speaker of elected officials of the Juarzon United Citizens Association (JUCA), one of the six (6) Sections of the Sarpo speakers in Sinoe County.

Those inducted for two years termed were Samuel Polaty Poson, Chairman; G. Alex Blaloh, Co-Chairman; Siaffa Saywon, Secretary General; Thomas Barjuloh, Treasurer and Doris Quiah, Financial Secretary respectively.

Sarpo and Kru are the dominance tribes in Sinoe. While Juarzon is the second oldest next to Careyburg in Liberia to have gained statutory district status during the termed of President William Richard Tolbert in 1972. Joseph Slewro was the first Representative of Juarzon having won the post during national elections held 1976 under President Tolbert regime both Slewro and Tolbert died in the aftermath of the coup in 1980.

Among many things, he said Liberia strives to build a strong and sustainable democratic system but management of democracy is indeed critical to maintaining peace and stability in the country including providing adequate goods and services for the people

Clarke noted that the issue of disunity, bad roads, inadequate schools and medical facilities, corruption is not a mistake or curve from God but from Liberian themselves.

When Liberia became founding member of the United Nations, OAU, now African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Clarke advanced further, the country (Liberia) was economically and politically successful, but the massive revenue acquired did not produce basic development to raise human condition and standard.

With this, he indicated, the one-party system from 1955 to1971 produced massive right violations, citizen isolation, absence of local governance, limited right to vote, corruption, and abuse of power. “Thus, the indigenous felt that President William V. S. Tubman created terror and oppression for them.”

He believed this led to drastic increased of hatred towards the government which also led to massive grassroots organizations to gained popularity and organized opposition toward the government leading to a violent military coup in 1980 which brought down democratic government.

“As in the democratic government in the past, the military government was also accused of many human rights violations, and majority of government officials were accused of wrecking the economy including unlimited corruption,” Dr. Clarke recalled.

To my Sarpo people, The ECOWAS official said they are not curved but indeed blessed with farmland and economic prosperity through agriculture. “But their so-called political icons have failed them by not been able to improve and raise the living standard of Sarpo.

He therefore admonished them his tribesmen not play loyalty tone political leader but have the door open to all for the betterment of Juarzon in particular and Liberia general. Clarke continued: “They (so-called icons) have made Sarpo to believe that the Seakon people are better than Juarzon people and that the Kru are better than the   for their political selfish gain. They are political terrorists and anti—democratic”

However, he was quick to have stated that he cannot impress by blaming political leaders of the under-development and growth of Sarpo people. “You have huge part to play and you must take responsibility and bear the consequences of mismanaging your democracy.”

For instance, the Sarpo Apolable have pledge their loyalty to Mabutu Nyenpan and Mathew Zarzar because they were born to be Sarpo lawmakers and until they die, no one can be a lawmaker for the Sarpo people.

“This indeed is a mismanagement of your democracy. Sarpo Apolable dialogue is polarized and detected by these leaders and when they are not there, no decision can be made despite of the political carron present,” Clarke noted.

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About Cholo Brooks 13335 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.