Restoration of Peace Depends on Liberians


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 16, 2003

ON MONDAY OF this week, the International Contact Group on Liberia held its third working session at the headquarters of the group in Brussels. During the one-day deliberations which was attended by representatives from the international community among others, the group expressed its deep concern about the situation in the country, which it said poses threats to peace and stability in the entire subregion.

ADDITIONALLY, THE CONTACT Group expressed its full support for ECOWAS’ efforts to broker lasting peace in Liberia and welcomed the appointment of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria as Chief Facilitator of the pending Accra peace talks on Liberia.

AT THE SAME time, the group called on all sides to the conflict to work with ECOWAS with the aim of initiating a comprehensive peace process which would include a cease-fire, security, electoral reform, respect for human rights, the rule of law and the process of national reconciliation during the pending peace talks which is now scheduled for June 2nd.

THE ICG ALSO stressed during the discussion for a comprehensive and credible peace process as an essential prerequisite for its continued engagement and support with the international community. More importantly, the ICG resolved that it is prepared to consider recommending the deployment of a monitoring force when concrete progress has been registered.

AS WE HAVE repeatedly said, the efforts of the international community including the International Contact Group are very important., Notwithstanding, these efforts can only become a reality if Liberians themselves see the need to end their nightmare. Liberians have an indispensable role to play in resolving the conflict.

CONSIDERING THE STATEMENT of the Group that it is prepared to recommend the deployment of a force based on "concrete progress has been registered," is a direct challenge to all Liberians, and groups especially the Liberian Government and the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) to do everything to conciliate the international community.

IT IS NOT an overstatement that no amount of outside efforts or assistance would achieve the desired results for peace in Liberia if Liberians are not serious for peace. The efforts of the international community will bear fruit only if Liberians commit themselves to the process.

AS THE DATE for the Accra Peace talks approaches, it is incumbent upon all Liberians and groups, mostly stakeholders to put the interest of the country above all other things, or else, peace will elude the nation to its detriment.

HENCE, LET THE pending Accra Peace Talks be a success to magnetize support to end the war in the country. .

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