Cease-fire Agreement Would Be Signed If...

Moses M. Zangar, Jr.
Akosombo, Ghana

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

June 14, 2003

The man who is behind the Liberian peace deal and former Nigerian head of state, Gen. Abdusalami Alhaji Abubakar, has said a cease-fire deal would be signed by the Government and dissidents factions as soon as the belligerents can agree on the terms and conditions of the cease-fire agreement.

Gen. Abubakar could not say in definitive terms when the deal would be struck but hoped to have a cease-fire deal signed before the week ends.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, the former Nigerian leader said the facilitators and the parties had been taking a critical look at details of the agreement as well as factoring out demands by the rebels that President Charles Taylor steps down before entering into such agreement with the government.

The cease-fire agreement, he averred, entails the deployment of an international stabilization force, a consensus that he said all parties to the conflict have reached.

On the basis of this consensus, Gen. Abdusalami Alhaji Abubaka hoped the international community including the European Union, United States, the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) would provide the troops when the peace deal is signed .

Quizzed as to whether the Government, the rebels Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia(MODEL) are committed to signing a cease-fire agreement, the Peace Broker said the parties have expressed their commitment to the process and have also shown their readiness for peace.

He disclosed that the parties were examining the draft of the cease-fire agreement , which would propel the way for final discussion on the issue today, June 13.

The parties, LURD and MoDEL could not sign the deal today due to observations they have put forward, despite Government's willingness to do so.

At the end of their perusal of the document, the retired Nigerian General emphasized, an unconditional cease-fire is expected to bring relief to the Liberian people.

From observations and analysis, both the Government and rebels have agreed to a truce to end the suffering of the Liberian people.

Since the conference resumed, the rebels and government delegation had been seen in friendly moods, conferring with one another in splintered groups, hugging and shaking hands. Despite their military and political disparities what is common to both parties is that they all Liberians.

Moreover, some of them had been roommates, classmates, professional colleagues and the best of friends.

The friendly atmosphere occasioned by the peace process could mean that there would be light at the end of the tunnel and the dreams of Liberians achieving the peace they so desired would be realized.