Liberia: Youth Groups Condemn April 12 Demo

The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the Mano River Union Youth Parliament (MRUYP) have condemned the planned April 12 civil disobedience action by some Liberians.

Heads of the two youth groups separately made complete condemning statements against the planned April 12 demonstration last week when they met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia. An Executive Mansion release says the FLY and MRUYP delegations met the President on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 and Thursday, April 4, 2013, respectively.

A four-man delegation of FLY led by its President Mohammed Nassar frowned on politicians, who he said are always involved in using young people as agents of conflict for personal gains and advised young people to resist such temptation.

Nassar promised to sensitize the young people of Liberia not to be involved with the so-called April 12demonstration being planned by «some misguided elements» in the Liberian society, and requested regular meetings with the Liberian President.

He earlier commended the President for the level of support her administration has given the organization, informing her that subsidy to FLY has risen to approximately US$150,000, a representation of over 100 percent increment from the 2011/2012 Fiscal Budget.

He used the occasion to brief President Sirleaf about plans to build a mini-headquarters for the organization at the cost of US$150,000 and the subsequent construction of a US$1million National Headquarters in the near future, appealing for her continuous support.

Speaking on behalf of the MRUYP, Melvin Sarh announced plans to host a peace caravan on April 11 and sports festivals on April 12 in all communities around Monrovia, saying «This is our way of expressing opposition to the so-called April 12, demonstration.»

Heading a five-member Mano River Union Youth Parliament delegation on Thursday, 4 April 2013, the group’s speaker briefed the Liberian leader on the history of the parliament’s establishment before informing her of projects initiated by the organization.

He briefed President Sirleaf about major projects initiated by the parliament that became inactive due to the lack of resources, including an agriculture project in Gbartala, Bong County and the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Academic Excellence Program for high schools in Monrovia.

Sarh disclosed that five acres of land have been acquired in Bomi County for agro-related activities for young people, but lack the resources for implementation, urging President Sirleaf to assist.

He however praised President Sirleaf for the subsidy of US$90,000 received by the parliament under the current Fiscal Budget and for the appointment of large number of young people to various positions in Government.

Responding to the two youth groups at separate occasions, President Sirleaf thanked the FLY officials for requesting the meeting and endorsed their request for regular meetings, proposing that it takes place quarterly. She promised to consider the request for support to construct the FLY headquarters during the formulation of the 2013/2014 Annual Budget.

She however told the delegation that the different kinds of programs and activities are good, but encouraged them to focus on program and activities that will directly impact the lives of vulnerable young people such as the car loaders, petty traders, car washers, yana boys, girls involved in prostitution and those who have had no opportunity to be educated or empowered to do other productive things.

«By this way, young people no matter where they find themselves will appreciate the work of FLY and feel a part of the body,» President Sirleaf told the youth leaders.

As for the MRUYP officials, President Sirleaf expressed pleasure that the administration is putting emphasis on young people through appointments and other actions, but warned that the young people also have a responsibility to perform and be willing to learn from and respect the older and experienced people with whom they work. Liberia: Youth Groups Condemn April 12 Demo Page 1 of 2.

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