Agreement Signed, Parties Take Chairmanship, Factions Chop Ministries

By: Wellington Geevon-Smith

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 19, 2003

The long awaited Peace Agreement on Liberia was signed yesterday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. According to the document, the transitional government for Liberia will be headed by a Chairman and a vice chairman, positions that would be occupied by consensus candidates to be nominated by the 18 political parties. The parties’ nominations would be submitted to the warring parties for endorsement.

The Agreement also stated that out of the 21 ministries, the warring parties are eligible to occupy 15 including two deputy ministerial positions in the ministries that are allocated to them.

The five ministries allocated to the Government of war crimes indicted ex-President Charles Taylor include Defense and Internal Affairs.

For LURD, the five ministries given the organization include Justice, Finance and State for Presidential Affairs while MODEL entitles to five, including Foreign Affairs.

For the 22 Public Corporations, the warring factions walked away with 12. Out of this, the Government carries four including the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation, Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation and Liberia Electricity Corporation.

LURD carries the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, National Port Authority and the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation.

MODEL is blessed with the Roberts International Airport, Forestry Development Authority and the Agriculture Cooperative Development Bank.

On the occupation of the Public Autonomous Agencies, out of the functioning 22 agencies, the warring factions are entitled to 6.

The government carries the Budget Bureau and National Security Agency. General Services Agency and National Investment Commission belong to LURD while MODEL is to occupy the Bureau of Maritime Affairs and the Liberia Repatriation and Resettlement Commission.

On the Legislative Branch of the transitional government, the body would be composed of 76 members. Government 12, LURD 12, MODEL 12, Political Parties 18, Civil Society and Interest Groups 7 and counties 15.

The signing program was full of joy as representatives of the belligerent forces embraced each other in the presence of the audience as a sign that 14 years of pain and tears now belong to the past.

The ceremony was witnessed by President John A. Kufour of Ghana, the President of Equitorial Guinea, Chief Facilitator and former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Abubakar.