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Broken linkages between government ministries and agencies, swell as the lack of in-house capability for the country to handle its own security are major obstacles confronting the governance system of the infant democracy in postwar Liberia, Professor Amos C. Sawyer has asserted.
Dr. Sawyer, who chairs the Governance Commission, noted that Liberia’s progress has reached a point where its lost international dignity has been fully restored, political parties restructured, economic structures set in motion and two successive postwar elections already held.
Nevertheless, the apparent irreversible path the country is driving towards, he cautioned: “They (gains) still have to be guided. Our institutions are still fragile. We’re still in a situation where reconciliation has not reached an advanced stage. It’s still limited. We need to work on reconciliation upheavals.”
He made the declaration Wednesday during a regular weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information, stressing economic empowerment and youth empowerment as other major bottlenecks that must be addressed.
“We’re in a situation where we need to constantly remind ourselves that the bedrock of security still remains international forces,” Dr. Sawyer alerted Liberians.
“So we’ve done half of the in-house capacity to fully take care of our own security. And, of course, we should remember that the peacekeeping forces are in the process of transition,” he said.
After 17 years of civil wars that left the country’s infrastructure practically in ruins, coupled with a shattered national sense of identity, and individual Liberians losing hope, he said Liberians have turned themselves out of those dark histories, and the nation is doing well.
“We would have a full appreciation of the dangers, pitfalls and hardships connected to where we’re coming from until we can appreciate the need to close ranks and move forward,” Dr. Sawyer encouraged Liberians.
“This country has to constantly look backwards to remind ourselves of our lessons, and then, to use those lessons to energize us and build our solidarity to move forward. I need not go through the litany of issues that described where we’re coming from,” said Dr Sawyer, who once served as Interim President during the heat the civil war.
“We’re doing many things. But the empowerment of Liberians in the economy is proceeding at a slow pace that needs to be made more rapid. Youth economic empowerment and employment is major for us. So, this kind of general picture of the country that we have requires of us a bit of sobriety of reflection to have the determination to make sure that our institutions are allowed to take strong roots, to be consolidated so that we can pass them on to succeeding generations,” he emphasized.