LLF Statement On The Establishment Of The International Contact Group On Liberia
September 28, 2002
The Coordinating Committee of the Liberian Leadership Forum welcomes and hails the establishment of the International Contact Group on Liberia and wishes to express deep thanks and appreciation to the governments and organizations that have accepted to serve as members of the Group.
It is gratifying that the members of the Group, Senegal, Nigeria, Morocco, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations, have been among of the most influential members of the international community and have remain engaged in the search for peace in our country and the Mano River Union since the current leaders of the Liberian government launched an armed rebellion in 1989.
The Coordinating Committee wishes to thank UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the ECOWAS Authority and Executive Secretariat for their demonstrated interest in finding a new political strategy to address the conflict situation in our country and trust that in doing so, will comprehensively attack its root causes.
We consider as very significant that the Secretary General, in his message to the inaugural meeting of the Group held on September 17, 2002 at the United Nations Headquarters, encouraged the Contact Group to "pay special attention to the untold suffering inflicted on the population by the protracted instability in Liberia" which continues to have grave consequences for the sub-region.
The Coordinating Committee congratulates Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah for his appointment as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, and Mr. Abou Mousa who has been appointed to head the UN Peace-building Support Office in Liberia (UNOL). We wish that their tenures would be marked by peace through justice and democracy, which can only result from objective, critical, transparent, innovative and courageous actions. We have no doubt that while working with the Government of Liberia and the Contact Group to facilitate the Group’s mandate in pursuit of durable peace and stability, the Secretary-General's Representatives will concretely engage and take adequate account of the views, positions and actions of civil society, opposition parties and the disaffected sections of the population, including the armed opposition, refugees and exiled political and civic leaders.
The Coordinating Committee notes with immense satisfaction that the creation of the Contact Group is one of the first major fruits of the months of lobbying, appeals and negotiations by a number of Liberian political and civic leaders working on many levels. This process gained great impetus from many meetings and consultations of Liberian leaders, especially those held this year in Abuja in March and in Bethesda in June and consolidated at the broadly representative Conference organized by the Liberian Leadership Forum which ended in the July 11, 2002 Ouagadougou Declaration.
The Liberian Leadership Forum is a network movement of political parties and civil society organizations with the vision to save Liberia and restore her honor and dignity. It was formally created in July 2002 at a conference held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso of representative leaders of political parties and civil society organizations from inside and outside of Liberia. Its Coordinating Committee and an Advisory/Resource Group of high level political party and civil society leaders, including revered religious leaders, former Heads of State, presidential candidates and aspirants, women, human rights and other leaders seek to ensure coordination in the development of a common non-governmental leadership position on burning issues affecting Liberia and the sub-region.
Issued by the Coordinating Committee of the Liberian Leadership Forum September 26, 2002
Conmany B. Wesseh
Chairman, Coordinating Committee
Liberian Leadership Forum
Tel: (225) 22 411 421 Cell: (225) 03 09 4512 / 07 55 90 79; Fax: (225) 22 44 98 87