Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas, Inc. Condemns Fighting in Monrovia

Press Release

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

July 24, 2003

The Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas, Inc is utterly appalled by the resumption of fighting between LURD and the Government of Liberia forces in Monrovia. We are especially outraged that the diplomatic enclave of Mamba Point, normally a refuge for helpless civilians, is being targeted in the fight for Monrovia. There can be no excuse for this heartless act and for the death of the many innocent civilians. Let there be no mistake about the resolve of the Liberian people to oppose any attempt to seize state power through the force of arms. The Grand Gedeh Association stands in solidarity with the suffering people of Monrovia to condemn, in no uncertain term, the current fighting, and to call on both the LURD and the Government of Liberia to immediately cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table in Accra, Ghana.

We also call on President Charles Taylor to end his scheme of manipulation and grandstanding and bring his era of mayhem, death and destruction to an end. There is no credible reason why he cannot leave the country, if he is serious about ending this nightmare. Instead, he is having political rallies and crusades in Monrovia, and filling the airwaves with bravados, trying to impress the international press. Considering his track record, we share the concerns of those who think his insistence on the deployment of a peacekeeping force in Liberia before his departure is a ploy; that his real intention is to use the force as a shield. The United States Government’s unyielding position that the deployment of its troops in Liberia is conditional on Mr. Taylor leaving the country is, no doubt, based on a similar concern. We are calling on Mr. Taylor to relinquish power and end the suffering of the Liberian people. He has done enough damage.

We believe that the peace talks going on in Ghana represent the best possible option to resolving the Liberian conflict. An interim solution would afford Liberians the opportunity to ready the ground for truly free and fair democratic elections. That is why we unreservedly support the efforts of the mediators to ensure that the interim government is not headed by any of the warring factions, including any official of the Taylor Government, and that leaders of the interim government will be barred from contesting the elections. However, we are frustrated and dismayed at the snail-pace at which the talks are proceeding. The long delay in establishing the interim government must also be blamed for the current situation in Liberia. We are calling on those attending the conference to put aside their ambitions and egos in the supreme interest of our dying people.

Jackson Wonde

William G. Nyanue
Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas
9066 West Church Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Tel.: (847) 298-5523