AU Observation Mission to Liberia recommends disbandment of militant groups to sustain peace
Source: Nana Yaw Gyimah
The African Union Election Observer Mission to Liberia is recommending the drafting of laws to disband activities of militant groups in the West African country after two persons died in clashes.
Ahead of the polls, a clash between supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change and the Unity Party resulted in casualties.
The preliminary statement of the African Union on the election recommends the criminalizing any activity of a militant group.
The clash between CDC and UP at Foya in Lofa County remains a worry to many.
Leader of the AU Observer Mission to Liberia, Phumzile Gloria Mlambo-Ngcuka, believes moving to halt activities of such groups will sustain the peace in the country.
“Work with the Legislature to develop a special Act to disband all militant groups in its entirety, and criminalise the formation, use, affiliation and support to militant groups and individuals”, she said.
The 2023 General Election is the fourth for Liberia after accepting democratic rule.
However, it is the first to be organized fully by the National Election Committee after the withdrawal of the United Nations Missions.
To ensure a credible voter register, the Commission adopted a Biometric Voter Register which dealt with duplication of names in the register.
Through the system, 27,192 duplicates from over 3,600 persons were removed from the register.
The system removed a total of 95 underaged persons from the register, but the population of the voter register increased by 13.19 percent.
Though the African Union is satisfied with the conduct of the election, it is recommending an improved communication system by the NEC.
The statement read by the Former Vice President of South Africa, Phumzile Gloria Mlambo-Ngcuka reveals, “Strengthen the public relations and communications strategies to make it more vibrant to be able to relate to current trends of information dissemination and public engagements. Move to the next stage of the BVR where the technology will not only be used to register voters, but also to verify voters on Election Day”.
The AU mission noticed heightened disinformation and misinformation as well as propaganda in the media, largely owned by politicians.
The statement recommends strong regulatory standards, “develop strong regulatory mechanisms and raise ethical media standards and professionalism to reduce political capture”.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission as at the time of this report had released less than thirty percent of the election results.
By law, they have fifteen days after the election to declare the final results.