New Deal Pinpoints Preconditions for the Creation of a Conducive Atmosphere for Dialogue

(Press Release)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 16, 2002

Monrovia-Liberia, August 14, 2002. The New Democratic Alternative for Liberia Movement (The New DEAL Movement) wishes to clarify that it has made no determination to attend the pending ‘National Peace and Reconciliation Conference’ organized by the NPP-led Government and scheduled to start on August 24, 2002. Besides, neither the Movement as an institution nor any of its officials, including its National Chairman, Comrade Alaric K. Tokpa, has received invitation from the Conference Bureau to attend the scheduled Conference. The New DEAL is therefore shocked that the names of its National Chair and National General Secretary are included on the list of would-be delegates to the Conference. The Movement thinks it is utterly an act of mischief to publish the names of people who have not received any invitations whatsoever, as delegates to the scheduled conference.

National reconciliation , the New DEAL believes very strongly, is so critical to peace, stability and development in Liberia. As such, the issue of genuine reconciliation of the Liberian people who have over the years continuously experienced and suffered the brunts or ills of misrule and nefarious policies of various regimes in Liberia, must be treated with seriousness, sincerity and honesty. As far as the Movement is concerned, the organizers of the pending conference are yet to demonstratively prove that they are serious, sincere and honest about genuine national reconciliation in Liberia. It should be noted very succinctly that reconciliation can not be treated as an act of mere show-off and pageantry, nor can it be regarded as the mere holding of conferences underwritten by fabulous budgets, which could be used to underwrite the cost of providing much needed, basic social services our people deserve.

In view of the aforesaid, the New DEAL Movement again maintains that neither it (as an institution) nor any of its officials will be a party to any process or political forum intended to deceive the Liberian people and disinform the international community concerning the actual political situation in Liberia.

The Movement therefore demands the following as minimum preconditions for the creation of a conducive atmosphere for the holding of dialogue aimed at attaining genuine national peace and reconciliation in Liberia:

1. The immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities between the Government of Liberia and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) Forces as requested by the Liberian people, ECOWAS and the United Nations;

2. The lifting of the current State of Emergency and the ban imposed against public political gatherings in Liberia;

3. A complete halt to the summary arrest and detention of peaceful citizens - particularly members of the Mandingo ethnic group;

4.The unconditional acceptance by the Government of Liberia and the LURD Forces for the deployment of an International Stabilization Force with the mandate to disarm all armed groups in Liberia without any exception, restructure and train the National Army and other Security apparatus, as well as provide security for all Liberians.

If these minimum conditions are not satisfied, the New DEAL sees the holding of any conference on peace and reconciliation in Liberia as a very big joke and a mockery of genuine national peace and reconciliation and can not be a part of such a joke.



J. Kerkula Foeday
The New Democratic Alternative For Liberia Movement
(The New Deal Movement)
P.0. BOX 6254

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