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WANEP GEARS UP FOR LIBERIAN ELECTIONS ....ECOWAS Special Representative in Liberia Leads Steering Committee

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LEEWARG members take oath of office 

As part of its contributions to a peaceful electoral process, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in collaboration with relevant stakeholders facilitated the establishment of the Liberia Elections Early Warning and Response Group (LEEWARG) with the primary objective to coordinate and recommend strategies to mitigate threats to the peaceful conduct of the upcoming elections.

LEEWARG, which is chaired by the ECOWAS Special Representative in Liberia, Ambassador Tunde Ajisomo held its first meeting on September 5, 2017 in collaboration with the ECOWAS office in Monrovia-Liberia. In his opening remarks at the meeting, Ambassador Ajisomo said LEEWARG is a welcome initiative which resonates with the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Protocol and ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. He said ECOWAS is happy to be associated with this initiative stating that the upcoming elections were very critical for the country and hoped its success would mark the beginning of democratic consolidation in Liberia.

The newly elected members hold inaugural meeting 

The group is made up of eminent personalities with a mandate to monitor, deliberate and recommend response strategies to violent threats to the general elections scheduled to hold on October 10, 2017. These deliberations will be informed by the bi-weekly situational and weekly reports produced by WANEP through the National Early Warning System (NEWS). Members lauded the relevance of the group and pledged their support to its success while reiterating the need for information from LEEWARG to be shared with other relevant stakeholders to ensure the ultimate goal of peaceful elections in the country.

Membership of LEWAERG comprises of representatives of civil society organizations, security agencies, government and non-governmental institutions, faith-based groups, development partners as well as the media, women and youth groups. The ECOWAS Special Representative was elected by members to chair the group while HE Rev. William Tolbert, National Peace Ambassador in Liberia will serve as the Vice Chair.

WANEP is the civil society partner to ECOWAS in the operationalization of the ECOWAS Early Warning Mechanism referred to as ECOWARN. In order to strengthen, complement and reinforce ECOWARN, WANEP developed the National Early Warning System (NEWS) in all the 15 member states of ECOWAS as a viable tool for the prevention of violent conflicts.