LURD REVERSES “Non-Cooperation” Action

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 19, 2004

The Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy has reversed its recent pronouncement that it will not disarm and cooperate with the National Transitional Government of Liberia(NTGL); as Patrick K. Wrokpoh reports.

The rebel movement at two separate press conferences last week, said it will not disarm to UNMIL and cooperate with the NTGL unless its demand to replace Finance Minister Lusine Kamara and the Caretaker Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia was honored by NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant.

But contrary to these demands, an Executive Member of the rebel movement, Mr. Joe Wylie, said LURD will disarm and in fact has no intention to derail the on-going peace process.

Addressing journalists at his Defense Ministry Office yesterday, Mr. Wylie who claimed that he was speaking in his dual capacity as an executive of LURD and Deputy Defense Minister, said LURD will fully cooperate with the DDRR process and would ensure that it remains on course.

Mr. Wylie said, he was making the pronouncement that LURD will disarm and cooperate with the peace process, following consultations he had had with other top political leaders of the rebel movement.

He identified those he held consultation with as the rebel group’s “Iron Lady” Aisha Conneh, Messrs Edward Farley and Charles Benie, both of whom that read the group’s two recent press statements announcing their demands, and NTLA Speaker George Dweh.

Mr. Wylie added that following consultations with these LURD officials, the general consensus, was for him to call a press conference to announce their position that LURD will disarm and comply with the peace process.

Joe Wylie who was one of the spokesman of the rebel movement during the heyday of the war, said by signing the CPA, the rebel group has promised to disarm and bring peace to the Liberian people.

According to him, the CPA is a contract and as such, no one or group including LURD should tamper with such an agreement, as doing so would clearly indicate that such an individual or group is insensitive to the plight of the Liberian people.

He said any disagreement arising out of the peace agreement as it is now in the case between the rebel movement and the NTGL Chairman, should be taken up with facilitators of the peace process like ECOWAS, the US Government, AU, the ICGL among others.

Mr. Wylie, who is now acting as Minister of National Defense, warned against taking the country back to the path of war adding “anyone or group who tries to do this, must be plucked out of the peace process.”:

He said jobs and money for a particular group or individuals does not supercede the much needed peace the Liberian people need, stressing that people must be mindful of the kind of utterances they make on radio relative to the peace process.

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