“GOD GAVE US THIS PEACE”; Prince Y. Johnson Tells Liberians
Written By: G. Augustine Dahn, Sr.
GANTA, July 28, (NTV): The peace and stability Liberia currently enjoys can be traced to the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement which was the final peace agreement in the Second Liberian Civil War signed on August 18, 2004, in Accra, Ghana.
It was created following the signing of a ceasefire agreement on June 17, 2004, an “intensive back-door negotiations” beginning on June 4 in Akosombo, Ghana.
Signatories to the Accra Peace Agreement included the Government of the Republic of Liberia, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL).
Additionally, a number of political parties signed including the National Patriotic Party, Unity Party, Liberian People’s Party, National Reformation Party, Labor Party, Liberia Unification Party, Liberian Action Party, People’s Democratic Party, National democratic Party and Free Democratic Party.
Others were the Reformation Alliance Party, All-Liberian Coalition Party, True Whig Party, United People’s Party, Liberia National Union, Equal Rights Party, Progressive Peoples Party, and the New Deal Movement.
The Agreement called for the establishment of a post-war two-year transitional government (National Transitional Government of Liberia) which would consist of 76 members: 12 each from the three warring parties; 18 from political parties; seven from civil society and special interest groups; and one from each of Liberia’s 15 counties.
The warring parties, the opposition parties and civil society groups agreed to share ministerial portfolios and employment opportunities in the cabinet and parliament and elections were to be held no later than 2005.
The peace agreement covered a broad range of intended reforms; committing to a human rights inquiry through a truth commission, and vetting of the security forces on human rights grounds.
Former Nigerian Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar facilitated the negotiations that led to the agreement.
However, civil society played a strong role in the talks as well.
Individuals representing inter-religious, human rights, pro-democracy, women’s rights, and legal organisations were included as official delegates, and many others attended unofficially as observers.
Women were especially vocal in these peace discussions.
Everyday between 150-200 refugee women activists arrived at the hotel where the talks were taking place to advocate to stop the shelling of Monrovia and the violence in their country.
These women were organized by the ‘Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace’.
However, fighting still continued following the signing of the Peace Agreement.
In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized a Chapter VII mandate (allowing for intervention) and established a UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which included the deployment of 15,000 peacekeepers.
On October 14, 2003, an interim government under Gyude Bryant was sworn into power and ruled until the 2005 national elections.
The Liberian general election of 2005 took place on October 11, 2005 and a runoff election was held on November 8, 2005 which resulted in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf winning the presidency.
Since the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement, Liberia has enjoyed sustained peace and stability.
Despite the peace agreement and deployment of UN peacekeepers, Nimba County Senator, Evang. Prince Yormie Johnson, believes the peace Liberians currently enjoy was given by God.
“This peace, God brought it to us. All the peace accords failed and Liberians were wondering when peace will come. Liberians were on their knees crying on God. So, the peace we now enjoy that can make you to move from here to Buchanan in the night or any county midnight and no one stops you or sets ambush for you, came from God–let’s be grateful” Evang. Johnson told Liberians.
He described the Accra Peace Accord as guarantee for lasting peace and stability in Liberia.
“Any attempt to undo the Accra Peace Accord, Liberia will go back to her dark days” he warned.
Evang. Johnson’s comments were contained in his sermon delivered Sunday, July 25, 2021 at the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The sermon was titled “The battle belongs to God with text taken from I Samuel 17:32-36.