By: Augustine N. Myers – A 2-day intersive Training in Peace Building for security personnel and community residents has simultaneous taken place in Careysburg, Salala and Totota in Montserrado and Bong Counties.
The Workshop was organized by the Lutheran Church in Liberia Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Programme.
The Trauma Healing and reconciliation interactive Security-Community Dialogue Training Workshop brought together over 30 participants, including Joint Security personnel, local Animators and other Community Stakeholders in each of the sessions.
It was designed to Assess Security-Community Settings and Survey-Mapping, Analyze Ongoing Security-Community Potential Conflict, Conduct Facilitation on Conflict and Conflict Resolution, Host Dialogue on Community Traditional Complain Process, and Host Dialogue or Consultation on Complaints & Response Mechanism (CRM) among others.
Speaking at the Careysburg Administrative Hall during the start of the Montserrado exercise, the Regional Officer of the Trauma Healing & Reconciliation Program of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Madam E. Gbellay Harris said the Workshop was about building capacity and enhancing Security-Community Relationship.
According to Madam Harris, the Trauma Healing and reconciliation interactive Security-Community Dialogue Training Workshop is part of efforts to foster genuine peace and healing amongst Liberians, especially individuals of Security Agencies and the various Communities.
She described as fundamental, the bringing together of Joint Security Personnel from the Liberia National Police, City Government Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, National Security Agency, Armed Forces of Liberia and the Drug Enforcement Agency, among others.
Madam Harris expressed anticipation that the Workshop will further strengthen peace building efforts and national reconciliation at community levels.
For his part, the Human Rights & Governance Officer of the Trauma Healing & Reconciliation Program of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Jerry Locula speaking at the Salala Administrative Hall in Bong County at the close of the Exercise in Salala District, described the Workshop as successful.
He expressed delight that the Workshop was well attended and fully participatory, bringing together Security Agencies of Government with the Local Authority including the women and youth.
Mr. Locula used the occasion to challenge Liberians across the Country to champion the process of genuine peace and reconciliation through constructive engagements and actions.
At both Sessions in Careysburg and Salala, the participants commanded the Lutheran Church in Liberia Trauma Healing & Reconciliation Program for the Training Workshop and other periodic exercises bringing together the security and community members through trauma healing and peace building.
According to the participants, previous Workshops have greatly impacted in enhancing cordial relationship between community residents on one hand, and the community and security on the other hand.
Issues discussed at the simultaneous Trauma Healing & Reconciliation Workshops including: “The Importance of Community Security & Social Cohesion in the Context of Post War Liberia (Social-Economic, Crimes & Violence), What are the Risks and Threats?”, “Effect Analysis of Identified Insecurity Problems & Key Community-Security Human Rights Issues: Rights, Duties and Responsibility”, and Action Planning: Community Response, Role & Stakeholders Mapping” among others.
The community-based workshops aimed to provide opportunities for beneficiaries to acquire knowledge and useful practical skills to enable them transfer their knowledge and skills to others so as to have a multiplier effect in the communities.
Also, the Security-Community dialogues aimed to analyze security and additional socio-economic factors within the context of potential risks and threats that could contribute to insecurity in the communities.
Participants were introduced to the use of participatory tools which will help them to analyze community specific risks and threats, analyze root causes and their impact on the community. The identification of these factors will help community residents to develop community security action plans.
The process will also enhance community-security and social cohesion in the communities and increase confidence and trust among community residents.
Further, community consultations with the communities are to ascertain their needs with regard to a complaint and response mechanisms as per the Humanitarian Accountability partnership standard, benchmark # 5.
According to the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Programme of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, the consultations are intended to find out from the community members about issues they would like to complaint about and the preferred channels that they would like to use if THRP sets up a Complaint& Response Mechanism (CRM).