There are Consequences for Violators of Human Rights

(A Press ReleaseIssued by the National Civil Rights Movement)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 1, 2003

Once again war is spreading like wildfire in various parts of Liberia. We are seeing history repeating itself with the apparent division of the rebel group into opposing factions, thereby compounding the already difficult problems facing Liberia. In this cycle of violence, it is the civilian population that suffers the most. This makes reasonable minds to question the motive of the "liberators" who have said all along that they are fighting only to free the country from the tyranny of the Monrovia regime.

As a non-violent civil right advocacy group, we share the view that violent elements within the Monrovia regime must be changed before genuine peace and reconciliation can take place in Liberia. However, we do not agree with the current indiscriminate method being applied concerning the terrible conditions in Liberia.

The NCRM cannot, in good faith, keep silent as violence is being perpetrated against those that should be protected by the Monrovia regime and the rebel forces. There have been numerous reports that rebel forces fighting the Monrovia regime have killed, tortured, and raped civilians. This is unacceptable, and it must stop.

While we cannot say with certainty as to the real motive the LURD and other forces continue to conduct their respective military actions in other parts of Liberia, all would agree that their expressed enemy is in Monrovia, and not in those parts of Liberia that are being affected by the armed actions.

The Monrovia regime has a habit of committing gross human rights violations against the Liberian people, and this is also unacceptable. As a result, the Liberian people do not need more abuses from the rebel forces. If the LURD and other forces cannot be persuaded to stop their respective military actions, they must take all necessary steps to respect the human and civil rights of the non-combatants in their controlled areas.

It is also regrettable that combatants, who are Liberians, are dying on both sides of this conflict. When people of the same house fight, there can be no winner and the only loser is the country itself because she is losing the human resources needed for her developments and advancement. Liberians must, therefore, stop killing each other and work collectively for democratic empowerment.

The NCRM hopes that reason will prevail on the Monrovia regime and the rebel forces to see the need for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing-armed conflict. The Monrovia regime and the rebel forces must also note that there are consequences for violators of human rights. And must, therefore, take all necessary steps to respect the inherent dignity of human rights.

Signed: Alvin J. Teage
Acting Secretary General, NCRM

Approved: Nvasekie N. Konneh
Acting Chairman, NCRM