Let All Liberians Strive for Peace

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 20, 2003

IT HAS NOW been disclosed that the much-talked about peace talks on Liberia will take place in Accra, Ghana, in early June. The talks are expected to bring together the Government of Liberia(GOL), the rebel Liberians United for Democracy and Reconciliation (LURD) as well as other stakeholders in the country.

PRINCIPALLY, THE ACCRA talks is intended to secure a cease-fire between the GOL and the LURD as prelude to ending the nearly five years old war in the country. Since the advent of the war, it has claimed the lives of hundreds of Liberians, displaced thousands others who are living in miserable conditions.

THE WAR WHICH started in Lofa County after LURD had launched an attack in that part of the country, has spread to other parts of the country including Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Nimba Counties. Besides, the emergence of a new rebel group, Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) in the Southeast , has worsened the security situation in the country as more hundreds of civilians continue to flee Grand Gedeh, Maryland and Sinoe Counties.

WHATEVER THE SITUATION, the pending peace talks under the auspices of ECOWAS with backing from the United Nations and others, it is necessary that every Liberian works assiduously to ensure its success. The war is affecting every fabric of the society, therefore everyone or grounds should get involved.

FOR TOO LONG, Liberians have been crying and yearning for the opposing parties in the conflict to dialogue. Now that this is coming to fruition, the momentum must continue until total peace is achieved. This should not be treated as "the people’s thing." This is everybody’s thing, hence, the pressure should continue for the restoration of peace and tranquility in the country.

LET EVERY CITIZEN make demands on the government and the dissidents for total peace to be able to move freely throughout the country, and also to create the enabling environment for the holding of elections at a later date since from all logical indications, elections are not possible come October this year because of insecurity.

AT THE SAME time, we are calling on all stakeholders, especially the government and the dissidents to go to the Accra Talks with the view of restoring peace in the country. They should think about the suffering of the people and make every sacrifice for peace. There should be no conditionality which will forestall the process of ending the suffering of the Liberian people.

LASTLY, LET THE people strive for peace. We should stop behaving that things are normal; we should not live in a fool’s paradise. Therefore, let all Liberians ensure that the pending peace talks are successful.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.