“Peace Process is Irreversible”
-Bryant urges Liberians to Work for Peace

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 19, 2004

Chairman Gyude Bryant yesterday challenged all Liberians to strive for peace and oppose any attempt that would derail the peace process, and asserted that the process is “irreversible”, therefore, every Liberian should work to achieve peace.

The Liberian leader was speaking during a tete-a-tete with journalists to brief them on his recent trip to the United States. He said the gathering was necessary because of too many speculations about his recent visit to the U.S.

On the peace process, Chairman Bryant said he was aware of the feelings of the Liberian people. He said though he is head of state, he knows the feeling of the ordinary Liberian, noting that all Liberians are tired with war and want peace. He added that the Liberian people are tired living in decadence. for years.

“Few months ago, I was out there, like you. I know the burden we carry when we are out there. I took this office when I was 54 years old, and close to 54 years old and even now, I am out there. I go to see what is happening, “ he reiterated.

He added, “the people of this country are tired. For all those people who do not want to see us change and restore to the path of peace, we are setting for you-all because we are tired. We’re tired living in decadence, we are 155 years old yet have no lights on our streets.

The Chairman then made a passionate plea to Liberians to do all they can to bring peace, stating,“ I hold everybody’s feet, let us keep this process going. Let us keep this process going in our collective interest.”

He then called on the media to help to ensure that the peace process remains irreversible in the interest of the country.

The Liberian leader said it is necessary that every Liberian work for peace because the attainment of peace would greatly benefit this country. He said it is disheartening that after years of existence, the country finds itself in this state, and called on Liberians to collectively work to have peace for the benefit of all.

On the issue of county officials, the NTGL Chairman said, by next week he will be holding consultative meetings with various sectors and county legislative caucuses for the appointment of these officials. He expressed the hope that this will be done before the end of next month.

At the same time, Chairman Bryant said, UNMIL has said that it will rehabilitate the counties headquarters. He said after this, both the county officials and UNMIL will share those structures.

On the call for the lifting of sanctions, Chairman Bryant who addressed the U.N. Security Council recently, said there were many misconceptions about government’s call for the lifting of the sanctions against Liberia. He said making the call does not automatically mean that it would be lifted immediately. “Instead, the U.N. will have to verify before acting,”he noted.

Chairman Bryant added that no one can just go to the UN Security Council and get an immediate redress from the council. He said the UN Security Council rather takes what is given them and it has to be studied and a team has to verify the situation, before a decision is made by the Council. He said when Liberia’s case was presented, all 15 members of the Council responded well as it relates to lifting the sanction on Liberia.

Chairman Bryant said, this was what happened in the case of Liberia as the council has resolved to send a team to the country by next week to verify the country’s compliance with the sanctions imposed on the country.

The NTGL Chairman said lifting the sanction is necessary because, as he put it, the sanction is now punitive on the country.

Giving further justifications on why there is a need to lift the sanction, Chairman Bryant said the country’s timber industry alone generates about 50% of the nation’s foreign exchange reserve while at the same time, it employs over 7000 persons.

He said it is important to have all of these sectors such as the timber industry opened up again since in fact the DDRR process is progressing well. Chairman Bryant said there is a need to provide employment for the ex-combatants so that they cannot take up arms again, stressing that to ensure that this is done, they should have access to employment and that lifting the sanction would play a useful role in this direction.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.