The project fosters social cohesion, promote peaceful co-existence amongst contiguous border communities and help to bring about improved bilateral cooperation and border stabilization in Liberian-Côte d’Ivoire. It also seeks to reduce tension and prevent conflicts, improve communities’ safety and strengthen social cohesion.
Its objectives are to Increase confidence between security forces/agencies and border communities through enhanced capacity of joint local cross border mechanisms, as well as increase intra-/cross-border cooperation and Improve social cohesion and peaceful co-existence in cross border communities through cross border community dialogues and reinforcing of cooperation between existing local conflict resolution mechanisms strengthened by cross-border cooperative socio-economic stabilization and cultural exchanges.
What Have We Accomplished So far?
in 2017, the projec Identified and strengthened existing community conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms through County Security Councils in the Nimba and Grand Gedehcounties as well as establish regular information-sharing between relevant agencies along the border. it also conducted several trainings with border management agencies and officials in human rights, gender, child protection, conflict prevention, management and resolution as well as in community border management. A training in conflict prevention and dispute resolution mechanisms was also organized for community leaders. About 100 participants (73 males and 27 females) benefitted from the training. They comprised a cross-section of the Country leadership including the women and youth representatives. They were enlightened on the draft Land Rights Act of Liberia that seeks to establish a clear control mechanism for acquiring land in Liberia.
Other trainings focused on enhancing capacities on human rights and SGBV; Key border crossing and immigration laws; Land rights; and Conflict prevention/resolution and peaceful co-existence.
Facilitated cross-border sporting, cultural and trade fair activities between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire in collaboration with FAO and national partners, in Loguatuo (Nimba) and B'hai Junction (Grand Gedeh). The activities were preceeded by a joint security committee meeting involving all security actors along the border location of the project from Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
There have been several expressed appreciation for UNDP’s trainings and other support provided, including community engagement programmes that have improved coordination among all stakeholders in the 2 border counties. For instance, support to the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA ) in Nimba, resulted in several arrests including one with $200,000 worth of narcotic drugs.
Relationships between security personnel and communities are greatly improved in addition to trust and confidence between the two parties. Multiple meetings, sensitizations and trainings sessions on Human Rights, Sexual Gender Based Violence, land rights, immigration laws, conflict management, entrepreneurship skills etc. capacitated communities’ members and security actors thus strengthening peaceful coexistence and coordinated border security.
The Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders committees have greatly promoted peaceful coexistence in the communities and with the collaboration of the security personnel, have drastically reduced conflict and criminal’s activities along the borders. Regular meetings and reviews by all stakeholders of experiences and lesson learnt on previous conflict prevention meetings recommendations committed communities and securities.
in 2018, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire conducted joint patrols in River Gee and Maryland counties in Liberia. UNDP and IOM partnered to provide support to both countries to increase confidence between security forces and border communities, and increase intra/cross-border cooperation and peaceful co-existence within the two countries.
The patrols designed to help prevent illegal entry of people, arms, drugs, and other illegal substances, also aimed to promote peace, improve security, build trust and confidence amongst border security personnel and communities in both Liberia and Cote d’ Ivoire. Police, immigration, officers, drug enforcement officers and National Security personnel from both countries formed part of the patrol.