Leymah Roberta Gbowee, a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF), is set to launch a campaign against election-related violence ahead Liberia’s elections in December.
The HCHF an independent body of religious leaders, educational scholars and cultural figures from across the world.
Gbowee, who is also Liberia’s Nobel Peace Prize winner and peace activist, will involve hundreds of young people who will be peace ambassadors ahead of the mid-term senatorial elections.
“These young people will take the peace message into the streets, into communities, into churches where they will sit their colleagues and talk about the impact that having violence or getting involved with violence will have on their futures,” she said.
Ms Gbowee urged young people not to get paid by rival politicians to propagate violence.
According to her, a lot of youths involved in election violence in the past are walking around the country’s capital, Monrovia, with amputated limbs.
“We definitely need to move away from the infamous $20 (£16), because the $20 has led a lot for our young people who were supposed to be doctors, lawyers, scientists – today they walk in the streets of Monrovia and different parts of Liberia with one leg amputated or one arm amputated. That is what we want to remind these young people,” she said.
The campaign will also encourage voters to ask questions to those seeking elective positions.
Gbowee, 48, was responsible for leading a women’s nonviolent peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
Her efforts to end the war, along with her collaborator Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, helped usher in a period of peace and enabled a free election in 2005 that Sirleaf won.
She, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
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