Liberian Women Cry Out For Peace

-Say Govt, Dissident Factions Responsible For Crimes Against Humanity

By Moses M. Zangar, Jr.
Akosombo, Ghana

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

June 11, 2003

In the face of the whirlwind of carnage and bloodletting perpetrated by the Government and dissident factions in Liberia, the women of Liberia have avowed to hold all fighting forces, including the Government, the rebels Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) responsible for crimes against humanity.

The women in a statement read on their behalf by Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman in Akosombo recently also said failure on the part of the United States Government and the international community to immediately intervene will lead the women with no alternative but to hold them responsible for the genocide and the humanitarian situation currently occurring in Liberia.

They said calls by the U.S. for resignation of President Charles Taylor without a government in place and in the absence of a stabilization force will create a vacuum and further result in the escalation of the fighting and a complete breakdown of law and order and anarchy.

The Liberian women lamented that as a resulted of this civil melee, hundreds of Liberians, mainly women and children including other Sierra Lenoneans and Ivorian refugees as well as third country nationals are exposed to grave danger and are dying by the minutes.

"We the Women of Liberia hasten to alert the world of the urgent catastrophic situation occurring in our country, Liberia," they stressed.

At the same time, the women are calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict and the simultaneous and immediate deployment of a peacekeeping force to avert chaos in the country.

Liberian women both at home and those attending the peace talks are on their knees praying for the restoration of peace and security to the country. The women in Akosombo also joined other Liberian women in Ghana in their quest for peace and are expected to observed a day of fast and pray today, Wednesday.

They had been displaying anti-war placards and singing peace songs around the conference hall. "We want peace, Stop the war, Our children have the right to a decent life," were some of the wordings of their placards.