Following the cessation of the 15-year civil conflict in which thousands of Liberians lost their lives, the international community, UNMIL in collaboration with the Government of Liberia embarked on a project of disarmament, demobilization; reintegration and rehabilitation(DDRR) of those who participated actively in combat during the war.
The program was designed to disarm, demobilize, rehabilitate and repatriate and train young Liberians who participated in the war to enable them become useful citizens in the society because accordingly, most of them over the war years only believed that without the guns they could not have made it in life.
However, since the cessation of the program many young people who purportedly fought the war and participated in the program are still seen around in slum communities posing as zogoes, thus involving in criminal activities.
Nevertheless, the proprietor of K. T. Woiwor Memorial Institute, Rev. Thomas S. Karnley, Jr., recently contended that the implementation of the DDRR program did not yield the fruitful result and therefore called on the government to institute and design a specific program that will remove young men from the streets.
Rev. Karnley said based upon an investigation conducted, he tour slum communities, he discovered that there still exist deplorable living conditions in the country that is leading majority of the young men affected by the war some of whom during the war days were known as “Small Soldier.”
He said due to the unbearable living condition some of these people have turned themselves to what is today known as Zogoes, roaming the streets because of lack of career opportunities and dwelling places.
The School administrator told The Monrovia Times that he has tried because of such conditions these young men are living, to incorporate them into his school, but this could not help and therefore called on the CDC Government to help create a career opportunity by establishing vocational education in nearly every sector of the society that would afford these castaways to learn and earn marketable career.
He said the civil war has left a vacuum of brain drain which is hampering the society and if such is not tackled, will eventually lead the country to confusion in the future therefore he said the government needs to act swiftly to rid the country of the level of high profile brain drain which has engulfed this nation.
“Of the US$50 million requested, UNMIL was given US$23 million to start the process, and UNDP gave additional funding from the EU and the US, but the three semesters given the combatants were insufficient for a young man who went through many immoral activities to be easily de-traumatized,” the Rev. said.
Rev. Karnley made the assertions during the groundbreaking ceremony for the extension of his school where he is expected to spend over US$20, 000.