US lawmaker’s call “recipe for disaster”, says Liberia Nobel Laureate Gbowee
The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Africa, Christopher Smith has called on Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf not to include Winston Tubman’s main opposition CDC party in a national unity government, warning “their inclusion in government would be detrimental to the progress of Liberia.”
But Liberia Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee has criticzed the American Congressman’s call and has indicated that such a move would not be in the best interest of building peace and reconciliation in post war Liberia.
“When a group of people feel excluded, it’s a recipe for disaster,” Gbowee, the 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said in an interview with the West Africa Democracy Radio on Thursday.
The young Liberian female peace activist jointly won the award with fellow Liberian, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman.
Congressman Smith claims that Tubman’s CDC, which boycotted the November 8 presidential runoff election, was determined to use violence to get a seat in government.
The American Congressman said because of this and the CDC’s failure to recognize the runoff election results, which President Sirleaf won, the party should be left out of the new government to be formed by the Liberian leader.
Liberia and Africa's first elected woman President was declared winner of the November 8 runoff elction by the National Elections Commission with over 90% of the votes in a poll which saw a 37% turn out.
Based on her discussions with President Sirleaf in recent days, the Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner said she did not think the Liberian leader would pursue such path to marginalize certain opposition political parties.
In her interview with WADR, Gbowee, who President Sirleaf recently named to initiate post election reconciliation said, also commented on what should be done about the report of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC).
The TRC recommended prosecution for former warlords in the country’s 14 years civil war which ended in 2003 and sanctions for other war financiers and backers.
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