Liberian Women Raise Crucial Issues With Bryant
...Say Culture of Impunity Continuing


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 12, 2004

A cross-section of Liberian women under the banners of "Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace" and "Women in Peace Building Network(WIPNET)", have recommended five crucial issues with NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Liberian peace process; as Patrick K. Wrokpoh reports.

The women, quoting part 6 Article XII of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA), in a special statement read and presented to the NTGL Chairman, said the parties agreed that the basic human, civil and political rights as enunciated in the Declaration and Principle of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, ECOWAS and the AU, as well as the Liberian constitution among others, would be fully guaranteed and respected.

The women whose statement was read by Madam Lindora Howard, acting coordinator of WIPNET, said contrary to the portion of the CPA, there has been gross violation of said agreement as evidenced by the August 2nd violence by fighters of the LURD.

They also called for investigation into the security aspect of the agreement reached by the parties so that the necessary measures can be taken to ensure compliance by the parties.

According to the women some of whom were holding banners with inscriptions such as "Stop Violence and Corruption", pointed out that the slow pace of the ongoing disarmament has served as a gate-way for the re-grouping of ex-combatants with silent weapons thereby, making the citizens vulnerable to danger, violence, and the loss of lives and properties. They said this is also evidenced by the leadership crisis within the former rebel movement, LURD.

They urged the NTGL Chairman to exert more efforts in fully implementing the provisions of the CPA and that he should oversee, coordinate and evaluate the implementation of the political and rehabilitation programs as clearly stated in the CPA.

They further called on the NTGL Chairman to carefully watch the trend of events during this transitional period and act accordingly by mounting pressure where need be for the right things to be done to ensure genuine peace and safety throughout the country.

Responding, NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant assured the women that he will act on their statement and called on them to expose perpetrators of human rights abuses, corruption and other societal vices in the country.

He assured them that action will be taken against anyone who is identified to be violating human rights, carrying out corruption and other vices.

The NTGL Chairman used the occasion to admonish the women to exercise patience, stressing that for a country that is just coming out of war like Liberia, it would take time to detraumatize, reform and rehabilitate those who fought in the war.
He reminded the women that it is only through prayers, hard work and honesty that Liberian can change for the better.

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