I’m Here To Monitor CPA’s Implementation, Discuss Elections Issues
-Says ECOWAS Facilitator
By: C. Winnie Saywah
Posted June 8, 2004
ECOWAS’ Chief Facilitator Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar says his presence in the country at this time is to demonstrate the importance ECOWAS and the International Community attach to the electoral process of the transitional arrangement.
Addressing a news conference at the Roberts International Airport upon his arrival yesterday in the country, Gen. Abubakar said his visit is a continuation of the monitoring of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) especially the electoral process.
Gen. Abubakar said, as all Liberians are aware, much of the reasons for the crisis have been attributed to the disputed elections and electoral process in the country.
The ECOWAS Chief Mediator said the international community is prepared to discuss with Liberians and their institutions the first options for a free and fair electoral process that will usher in a new government in January 2006.
The former head of state of Nigeria, pointed out that as it is in any country that is emerging from crisis, there still exists few problems which continue to arise with regards to the implementation of the CPA, and much of such problems have to do with the interpretation of the document more than anything else.
He said ECOWAS and the international community, in the usual manner, will do all to address those issues at bar but all stakeholders need to be met so as to arrive at a successful compromise.
Though the Liberian peace broker’s visit this time is to a large extent based on specific issues, Gen. Abubakar shall be principally meeting with all stakeholders to include the National Elections Commission in the Transitional Arrangement.
Lt. Gen. Abubakar told newsmen that it is the hope of ECOWAS that this time as Liberians face the incoming electoral period, they will get things right and move on to peace and stability.
He then reiterated that the international community has been kind and patient therefore it is an opportunity which needs not to be wasted rather all must be continue in every effort as it is done so far to consolidate peace and security in the country through the scrupulous implementation of the CPA.
He praised UNMIL for the progress made in the CPA particularly the DDRR process since his last assessment visit in the country last March.
Gen. Abubakar said Liberians must realize their own destiny, to live together in fulfillment of their transformation as it is said “in union strong, success is sure”.
Meanwhile the chairman of the ECOWAS mediation team is expected to meet with Chief Justice Henry Reed Cooper, representatives of the warring parties and Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson today.