Wrong Definition of Peace Leads to Violence -Dr. Tipoteh Says “Powers that Be” Could Rock the Boat

On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary signing of the August 18, 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the perennial Liberian civil conflict, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh has observed that the main problem with this year’s commemoration is that it carries the wrong definition of peace. According to Dr. Tipoteh who was a signatory to the CPA, although some of the keynote speakers who addressed the CPA Anniversary commemoration were correct in alluding that peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of justice; yet the ‘’powers that be” have chosen to embrace the wrong definition of peace, resulting in the bad decision-making that could lead to the repetition of violence.

Citing the recurrent problems of coup d’etats in the ECOWAS subregion, Dr. Tipoteh brought to bear Liberia’s current situation, referencing the critical October 10, 2023 presidential and legislative elections which he said should not be used to short-circuit the democratic process.

Alluding to the fluid security situation currently persisting in the West Africa subregion, Dr. Tipoteh said these visible signs of coup d’etats signal a movement towards World War Three with the bad situation in Niger. “Be aware of the profit motive being in operation over the large uranium deposits in Niger and the divide of the United States of America (USA) and France on one side and Russia on the other side, as African countries line up behind their respective colonial masters. Already, Russia has deployed the Russian mercenary group, the Wagner group, in several African countries, including Niger,” he said.

Speaking further on the risky security in the subregion, the renowned Liberian economist called on the Government of Liberia and other stakeholders in the electoral process to ensure that the October polls are transparent and void of manipulations, in order to maintain the hard-earned peace that was attained through the August 18, 2003 signing of the CPA.

“Clearly, if the correct definition of peace were being applied, there would not be any violence in any ECOWAS country. This wrong definition of peace is leading the powers that be to believe that the pending General and Presidential Election in Liberia will be at once non-violent and fair. The election in Liberia is scheduled to be held on October 10, 2023. However, already, there are violence-oriented statements from the powers that be to the effect that there will be “first round victory”, as seen on their billboards and in the media, with the words “there will be no win for the opposition (FPA. Friday, August 18, 2023). Already, there have been violent pre-election clashes in Liberia with people getting injured badly and hospitalized.

“The powers that be should be working towards the prevention of violence rather than making violence-oriented statements like the calls for one round victory and no victory room for the opposition political parties. There can be no level playing field and fair elections when intimidating statements are made and violence occurs to scare opposition parties.

“ECOWAS allows these scare tactics to persist and then comes in when coup d’états take place, pretending to want to remove the military junta, as is being observed in the Niger crisis. The ECOWAS pretension is not a serious move. ECOWAS must be engaged in prevention rather than pretension.

“How can this pretension be turned into prevention to solve the violence problem and bring in fair elections? The only way to get this prevention is for the people who love Liberia and other countries to continue working together to raise awareness, through the Rule of Law, among the people to motivate them to take actions to transform the prevailing unfair electoral system into the enduring fair electoral system. It is only through this transformation that persons with good records can get elected to bring in the system of Justice, the indispensable ingredient for Peace and Progress in Liberia and in other countries,” Dr. Tipoteh said.

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