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Carter Center and Ministry of Internal Affairs Renew Agreement to Strengthen Community Dispute Resolution in Rural Liberia

For Immediate Release
Contact: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +001 404-420-5124; In Monrovia, Chelsea Payne +231 (0)886 452 022 or Pewee Flomoku +231 (0)886 516 232

Monrovia, Liberia…The Carter Center and the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), have extended their Memorandum of Understanding to continue collaboration to promote and strengthen good governance and the rule of law. With support from USAID and Humanity United, and in partnership with IREX, The Carter Center and MIA are committed to continue support to capacity-building activities for the traditional people of Liberia and the National and County Traditional Councils, with a focus on enhancing dispute resolution skills and increasing understanding of the law.

"Our traditional people play a very important role in Liberia. The majority of Liberians turn to chiefs to peacefully resolve their disputes. The ministry and The Carter Center want to work together to improve and strengthen those valuable skills," said minister of internal affairs, the Honorable Blamo Nelson. "The traditional leaders are the dispute resolution specialists of our country," said Pewee Flomoku, Carter Center senior project coordinator.

The Carter Center is working at the ministry's request to strengthen the capacity of customary leaders, women, and youth at local, county, and national levels to resolve disputes and do so in ways that are consistent with the law. This relationship began in 2008 with dialogue and civic education on the rule of law at the national, regional, and county levels and expanded into providing requested capacity building support for the National Traditional Council, traditional leaders, women, and youth to enhance their dispute resolution capacity.

Over 1000 traditional leaders have attended county-level workshops and dialogue sessions on the rule of law since January 2008. The Carter Center also has supported trainings targeted at women and youth. At the community level, Carter Center county dispute resolution monitors work in Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Maryland, and Margibi to provide additional technical and logistical support to local chiefs, women, and youth to strengthen their ability to resolve problems locally. The Carter Center also is supporting the MIA and local chiefs to address several potentially volatile boundary harmonization disputes between counties.

Since 2006, The Carter Center has partnered with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and civil society organizations in a range of interlinked efforts to support access to justice, particularly among rural and marginalized populations. These activities include support for community legal advisors; civic education on the rule of law; training and support for indigenous leaders to strengthen their dispute resolution capacity and understanding of the law; and training for officials, including local government, in the formal justice sector. With support from USAID, Humanity United, and in partnership with IREX, these services are provided throughout nine counties of Liberia.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.
In Liberia, the Center currently works with the government and people on programs related to access to justice, access to information, and mental health. More information can be found at:

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