Building Relationships for Peace

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About WANEP Liberia

Written by Site Administrator
Monday, 02 May 2011 13:29

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) is a regional non-profit organization with the mandate to enable and facilitate the development of mechanisms for cooperation among civil society based peacebuilding practitioners and organizations in West Africa. That is, by promoting cooperative responses to violent conflicts; providing the structure through which these experiences and information on issues of peacebuilding, conflict prevention and transformation, social, religious and political reconciliation; and promoting West Africa’s social and cultural values as resources for peacebuilding. WANEP is currently active in all the 15 member countries of ECOWAS.

Given this background, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding Liberia (WANEP-Liberia), like many other similar national networks in the sub-region was created with the goal of capacity building in conflict prevention, advocacy, peacebuilding and good governance in order to create an enabling environment, through sustainable peace as a prerequisite, for growth and development.

WANEP-Liberia is a logical response to the complex web of conflicts (including the bloodiest civil war in the sub region) that have permeated and continue to challenge the national fabric and existence of Liberia. Violent conflicts, manifesting as ethnic, resources based, political and communal, became constant feature because of exacerbating structural dysfunctional ties inherent in the Liberian system. The casualties of the civil war and other pockets of armed conflicts are alarming – over 6 to 8 thousand Liberians have lost their lives, several hundred thousand displaced and properties worth billions of dollars destroyed. These are major challenges to a traumatized society; yet to recover from protracted civil war occasioned by armed rebellion and the attendant human rights abuses, political victimization and marginalization.

The Human Development Index (HDI) and the economic fortunes have continued to complicate issues with the nation confronted with the problems of unemployment, poverty and injustice. Consequently, ethnic intolerance, political victimization and militia groups have increased.  This has become a threat to the country’s nascent democracy.  Challenging political leadership has further compromised the enabling environment for structural development, social change and collaborative nation building with organized civil society – a challenge that creates schisms that are tangential to peaceful coexistence. It is this yearning gap, requiring preventive peacebuilding through collaboration and synergy that WANEP-Liberia seeks to bridge.

Thus in the year 1998, WANEP-Liberia was born with the commitment of designing and implementing concerted actions for the overall conflict transformation and peacebuilding practice in the country.