News / Africa

Liberian Opposition Leader Calls for Peaceful Co-existence

George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo. George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
x
George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
James Butty
The man named by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf nearly a year ago to head Liberia’s national reconciliation process says it is important for all Liberians to embrace the idea of peaceful co-existence saying he cannot do it alone.  

The previous opposition presidential and vice presidential candidate, as well as football legend, George Oppong Weah was appointed last December to be Liberia’s new peace ambassador after Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee quit in October as head of the National Reconciliation Commission, criticizing Sirleaf for not doing enough to fight corruption.  

Weah kicked off his national reconciliation process in June with a football match in Monrovia.  

He said phase two will be launched in October or November with a listening tour around the country to hear Liberians’ views on national reconciliation.

“The first part was successful, we can say.  We organized a peace initiative to jumpstart the process.  The most important thing is that all Liberians play their part if they want to see it go forward.  So now, we’re looking at the second phase which is the listening tour, and we do hope that the sponsors and everybody that wants to see peace in the country come on board for us to do this.  I can’t do this alone,” he said.

Weah said the listening tour will likely commence somewhere between October and November this year.

He hoped the government could be supportive of the reconciliation process by providing the necessary funding.

Weah said, although 14 years of a civil war has left Liberians divided and polarized, he’s confident the country is ready for reconciliation.

“Our people are divided, but they need to understand that there’s a need for reconciliation, most especially those who took part in the civil war that brought this country to this division.  We had our time of bitterness, but we can’t continue to stay in the past.  We have to design a new strategy for our country to go, and the only way is the peaceful way, to reconcile and work together and make the country what we want it to be,” Weah said.

When she resigned last year as chair of the National Reconciliation Commission, Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee criticized Sirleaf for not doing enough to fight corruption.

Gbowee said she and the president had “differences in opinion on the pathway for national healing and reconciliation.”

Weah, who was the presidential candidate in 2005 and vice presidential candidate in 2011, had been criticized for accepting the peace ambassador position, thereby abandoning his commitment to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change.

But, Weah said he is only doing what he has always done, and that is to work for peace in Liberia.

“I’ve always been a peaceful person.  I advocated for this country to have peace.  I spent millions of dollars putting the national team together to restore peace, going to refugee camps to let our people know that there’s still hope.  Today, if I accept [the position] to be the peace ambassador, I don’t understand why anybody will go against that,” Weah said.

Weah responded rhetorically to some critics who have suggested that he was paid a huge sum of money by Sirleaf or promised political rewards for accepting to be a peace ambassador.

“A couple years back, during the civil war and before the war, when I stepped up for the Liberian Football Association to pay their debt for them not to be expelled, did anybody pay me?  When I paid millions to bring peace through sports to our country because there was war, did anybody pay me something?  Today, I am a political leader and I was asked to promote peace among our people.  Did Sirleaf have to give me a job or promote my political ambition?  No!  I didn’t do for anything,” Weah said.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
September 06, 2013 12:00 AM
It takes sacrifice for Liberia to be develop. We as Liberians need to put our Country first. Stop looking at America or the West to bring development to our Country, It is our responsibility as Liberians to develop our Native Land. It is time that we Liberians say enough is enough. When I went back to Liberia, and landing at R.I.A, The Country Airport has not met the international standard, There is not electricity on the Airport, The whole entire Airport is under developed., there is no electricity in Monrovia, People are using generators to run their electricity, there is no safe drinking water, and yet than still Madam Sirleaf is proud to be president of Liberia. We cannot go forward by ignoring the truth, Madam Sirleaf needs to do more for Liberia. She has not done nothing for Liberia. It is time that she sit back and see her mistakes and help bring about real change in Liberia. It is time for a change, it is time for a new Liberia, and we all must work to bring about this change. God Bless Liberia, God Bless the Liberian People, and God Bless our President


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
September 05, 2013 3:42 AM
It is time that we Liberians put our differences aside and work for the betterment of our Nation. Liberia has suffered a lot since 1989 N.P.F.L so called war.since 1989, Liberia has change hands with so many presidents, and yet still no president has done nothing for our Country, including Madam Sirleaf. Liberia is the biggest village in Africa. It is a shame how those people travel to developing countries and see how Government work to bring development to their Countries, create jobs for their people,

Liberia is a small Country with lot of resources, Gold Diamond, Rubber, and timber and they have discovered oil in Liberia, we can use those resources to develop our Nation. But those leaders that has been leading are so corrupt. They are thieves. They come to power to enrich themselves. But if we can only put the Country first and work with unity and peace, And for the love our country, than Liberia will reach the level of a modern world. But it takes people like me and other who have true love for our Country. God Bless Liberia, God Bless the Liberian People, and God Bless our President.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid