Opposition Concerned About War -Wants ECOWAS, UN to Act; Fighting Intensifies in Bomi, Bong Counties

© The Inquirer Newspaper

Opposition political parties have expressed serious concern about the ongoing war in the country, and called on the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to act.

The opposition parties under the umbrella of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), said they find it difficult to understand why the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), are not as resolute as the parties expect them to be at this time of Liberia's history.

Addressing a news conference in Monrovia, over the weekend, the Chairman of the Collaborating political Parties (CPP), Cllr. Rudolph Sherman said, "today, we see nothing but the suffering of innocent people. See death of our citizens and the massive displacement of thousands of human beings, which we say must be stopped!

Cllr. Sherman said the CPP is calling on every Liberian to speak against the war.The politician said no Liberian regardless of their status, should remain silent in this period of Liberia's history.

The CPP chairman said, "Christians, Muslims, women groups, student groups and all Liberians must now speak with one voice.

He said, "Liberians should let the world go out to the International Community that they are tired of suffering. We are not animals. We are human beings with God given right to live in peace.

The opposition stalwart said, "For us in the CPP, war is not the answer to our problems. It is only through dialogue and eventually through the ballot box that we can solve the problem of leadership in Liberia.

He wondered as to how many more persons must die before the UN and ECOWAS pay heed to the cry of the Liberian people, saying, "This is the time for immediate action.

"The time to look beyond personalities, and listen to the earnest plea of the ordinary Liberian people, we, the Liberian people say we want peace." Cllr. Sherman added.

He said the Liberian people are now calling on the UN and ECOWAS to do what is necessary in bringing the war to an end.

Cllr. Sherman then reminded the UN that its purpose is to help humanity, adding, "Liberians expect nothing less.

The CPP chairman said it stands ready to serve in any capacity deemed fit to help bring an end to the hostilities.

Cllr. Sherman emphasized that Liberia's problem can only be solved by dialogue and through the instrumentality of the political process, saying, "any other way will usher in a period of vicious cycle of violence.

Meanwhile, fighting intensifies between the rebel Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), and government forces in Gbarnga, Bong County and parts of Bomi County.

Sources said Government forces are in a fierce battle with the LURD for control of Gbarnga.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Daniel Chea told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that Gbarnga was a no-man's land, but up to pres time, there has been no independent report on the current situation in the city.

However, a BBC report monitored in Monrovia yesterday, said the dissident LURD have attacked Klay in Bomi County, which is some 35 kilometers north of Monrovia. Also, the provincial city of Tubmanburg in the county came under rebel attack at 4:49 am. on Saturday.

The BBC quoted Defense Minister Daniel Chea as saying that though government was incapacitated by the lack of ammunition due to the UN imposed Arms Embargo; the GOL has vowed to change the situation, adding, "We have not lost hope.

The Inquirer - Wed. May 13, 2002

© Robert W. Kranz  09-02-2002