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21.6.2018 : 19:46 : +0200


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Armed Violence in Liberia: two new Issue Briefs

Within a 14-year period, Liberia endured two consecutive civil wars that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives, and displaced as many as 1.5 million people. Widespread collective violence in Liberia finally came to a halt with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in Accra in August 2003.

Seven years after the end of the civil war, in 2010, the Small Arms Survey administered a nationwide household survey in Liberia to investigate perceptions of security and present-day patterns of victimization, respondents’ exposure to violence, and responses to threats in communities. The study also considers how Liberians perceive the capacity of state institutions to respond to these risks and the types of activity undertaken by civilians to improve their own safety and well-being. The results of this study will be presented by the Small Arms Survey in a series of five Issue Briefs.

The first two of these Issue Briefs were released in Geneva on 1 November 2011 at the Second Ministerial Review Conference on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

The first Issue Brief in the series—A Legacy of War? Perceptions of Security in Liberia—explores the general security perceptions and particular safety concerns of Liberians in 2009 and 2010. Its key findings include that respondents rate development concerns higher than safety concerns, with four-fifths of all responses raising concerns about access to clean water, health care, transportation, and education. The survey also found that most respondents believe safety conditions in mid-2010 had improved over the previous year, and around 70 per cent describe their own neighbourhood or community as ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’.

Reading between the Lines: Crime and Victimization in Liberia, the second publication in the series, considers information on the types of violence reported, how violence is perpetrated, where it takes place, when it occurs, and who the main perpetrators and victims are. The Issue Brief also presents examples of programming efforts prevent and reduce crime and violence. The study finds that almost one in seven households reports that at least one household member was the victim of an act of violence or crime between mid-2009 and mid-2010. Crime and violence are more common in Monrovia than in the rest of the country, and robbery and theft is by far the most frequent crime and act of violence.


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