An Appeal To Fellow Liberians
At Home And Abroad
(A Statement Issued by Dr. Harry F. Moniba - Former Vice President of the Liberia)
January 30, 2004
Fellow citizens, about three months ago, our country installed another interim administration in keeping with the Accra Agreement that called for the establishment of a two-year transitional government to be headed by Chairman Gyude Bryant and Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson.
After the installation of the Bryant Interim Government last October, most Liberians, particularly, those in exile, whether self-imposed or not and others who languish in displaced centers near urban areas in Liberia, began to prepare themselves to return to their villages and towns or simply be in their homeland. Most people are anxious to return to Liberia and begin putting their shattered lives back together. Indeed, everyone seems quite elated at the prospect of living peaceful lives at home again and meeting loved ones who survived in the war. For many returnees, there is nothing they cannot do to be back home after nearly fifteen years of suffering in foreign lands.
Today, Liberia faces a dire manpower shortage because the senseless war took the lives of thousands of innocent citizens in various professionals. Sadly, all the good people we lost in the war could surely have expedited efforts in national reconstruction, reconciliation, rehabilitation and development.
The civil war has demonstrated to all Liberians the futility of using violence in trying to resolve our national disputes. Clearly, war does not determine who is right or wrong, only who is left alive; and very often, those that remain alive may be unfit to govern or considered even worse than their hapless victims in terms of character, respect for human rights and dignity and the rule of law.
At this point in our history, when patriotic Liberians, in cooperation with friendly governments and others in the international community, are trying to stabilize the tense and chaotic situation in the country, no one should do anything to undermine their generous efforts or give them reasons for some second thoughts about their involvement in Liberian affairs. For this reason, I wish to appeal to my fellow citizens, particularly, the three major signatories to the Accra Agreement: LURD, MODEL and the Government of Liberia to continue to work together and put the interest of our country first above all considerations in order to ensure lasting peace, stability and national unity. No one or group should do anything to discourage members of the international community to withhold or hesitate in giving further humanitarian support to the suffering masses of Liberia.
At the moment, I and many other Liberians are quite concerned that the recent row between the Executive and the NTLA leadership as well as its spillover to involve the leaders of LURD and MODEL do not augur well for a smooth transitional period that will prepare a level playing field for the peaceful election of the next democratic government. All Liberians should endeavor to encourage members of the Interim Government to do everything possible to work together in this postwar period in order to ensure that there will be no more confusion or fighting in our beloved country. Our people have cried too much for too long. They need and deserve genuine peace and stability to settle down and enjoy what little normal life they can find. Meanwhile, we should dispense with the use of violence or force and vow, for the sake of national peace and survival, to always endeavor to solve our problems amicably through dialogue, mutual understanding and compromise. This method of resolving our differences is far better than war and destruction of innocent lives and properties. May God bless all Liberians and save the state!