Quick Dialogue - A Sound Decision

By G. Aagon Linford

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 26, 2004

The rift within the rank and file of the rebel LURD has serious propensity to impede the already delayed D&D Programs in Liberia. There are eminent signs that the leadership crisis could have a backlash on the peace efforts. The sudden change in leadership in LURD does not augur well for both the group and other factions who are signatories to the Accra Accord, the bedrock for the process peace in Liberia.

If nothing is done to resolve this power struggle within LURD, it could set dangerous precedent for the incipient fragile peace process. The ousted leader of the group, Mr. Sekou Damate Conneh signed the Accra Accord, along with heads of the other factions.

Mr. Conneh’s removal and subsequent replacement, according to reports, was engineered by group of LURD ranking supporters and fighters, while on the other hand, Mr. Conneh still maintains some high degree of respect as LURD’s bona fide leader among some high profiled members of the group. The very complex nature of the situation requires a prompt and positive dialogue between the estranged couple. There are possibilities that other faction may follow suit by making changes in their leadership and making unnecessary demands to drag the D&D Programs.

The international community and local leaders should buttress the bold step taken by Chairman Bryant to intervene in the crisis. Even if the dialogue will cross borders to Guinea where Mrs. Conneh reportedly gets her backing, then let it be for the sake of peace.