Another Peace Talk on Liberia Begins in Ghana
…As ECOWAS hosts Meeting in Accra
As the search for lasting peace in Liberia continues, a meeting to review the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA), is expected to commence today in the Ghanaian Capital of Accra, ECOWAS Executive Secretary’s Special Representative to Liberia, Ambassador Francis Blain has disclosed; as Patrick K. Wrokpoh reports.
Accra was the venue of the three-month marathon peace talks that gave birth to the CPA and the formation of the NTGL headed by Charles Gyude Bryant, last year.
About the called meeting today, Ambassador Blain said it is being convened under the authority of the current ECOWAS Chairman, Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kuffour.
Although the agenda items for the meeting are unclear, Ambassador Blain
told this paper that the meeting is aimed at reviewing the peace process.
He did not say exactly what are those issues that will be reviewed at the meeting, but reports circulating in many quarters suggest that the former warring factions want some changes and adjustments made in the National Transitional Government of Liberia.
The ECOWAS SGSR said the regional body is shouldering the cost of this latest peace meeting on Liberia which is expected to be attended by representatives of the three former belligerent parties and the NTGL.
However, this meeting on the Liberian peace process is being convened
at a time when the leadership of the main former rebel group, Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD), has divulged that it has
complained to about violations of the CPA to ECOWAS by the NTGL Chairman
Charles Gyude Bryant.
Already, Chairman Bryant left the country yesterday to participate in the meeting having received a formal invitation from the ECOWAS Chairman.
NTGL Chairman Bryant delegation to the meeting, according to his Information Officer Spencer Brown, includes Blamo Nelson who is the advisor to the chairman on the scrupulous implementation of the peace agreement.
Representatives of the country’s three belligerent forces the Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD), the Movement for Democracy in Liberia(MODEL) and the former GOL are also in Accra Ghana to participate in today’s meeting.
As the meeting kicks off today, many Liberians who spoke to this paper
yesterday, expressed their opposition to rumors in some quarters that the
latest peace meeting would seek to change the transitional government or
its officials in some key positions.
They rather view the latest peace meeting as a waste of time or as an attempt to stall the implementation of the peace process with the aim of prolonging the transition period.
Meanwhile, registered political parties in the country have expressed disappointment as it relates to the invitation extended to the warring factions to review the Comprehensive Peace Accord without the involvement of other major signatories to the agreement.
According to a release signed by ten political parties, they view this attempt as a ploy to delay the peace process which is already on course.
“To review the Comprehensive Peace Accord requires the total involvement of all signatories to the agreement in order to avoid unnecessary stalemate in the peace process.
“In order to keep the peace process on course, the political parties and other major stakeholders are requesting ECOWAS to, without delay, extend invitation to all the signatories before the commencement of the scheduled meeting for the purpose of reviewing the CPA:, the release noted..
Signatories to the document include Liberia Equal Rights Party (LERP); National Reformation Party (NRP); Liberia Unification Party (LUP); True Whig Party (TWP) and New Deal Movement (NDM).
Others are Free Democratic Party (FDP); United People’s Party (UPP); Reformation Alliance Party (RAP); National Democratic Party of Liberia(NDPL), and Labor Party of Liberia (LPL).