Joint Monitoring Committee Meets In Monrovia

By J. Wesley Washington

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted September 23, 2003

The first meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), established to monitor and verify cease-fire violations, took place on Wednesday, September 17, at the ECOMIL Headquarters.

The committee which is chaired by ECOMIL includes equal representation from the three belligerent parties (LURD, MODEL, GOL), as well as representatives of the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and the International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL).

Though the meeting was held behind closed doors, the EU Charge d’affaires, Geoffrey Rudd disclosed that it centered on ascertaining from the belligerent groups, the respective limits of their various controlled areas for easy monitoring of cease-fire violations.

“MODEL and GOL representatives held fruitful discussions with the team and have promised to report back within a week, the exact and detailed location of their respective positions,” Mr. Rudd disclosed.
The main rebel group, LURD did not attend the meeting.

A LURD official, who preferred not to be named, when contacted by The Inquirer said, “the information to attend the meeting reached us at short notice but we needed adequate time to prepare.”

Earlier at his Monday’s press briefing, ECOMIL’s force commander, Brig. Gen. Festus Okechukwu Okonkwo emphasized the need for a committee to monitor violations of the Cease-fire Agreement signed by belligerent parties in Accra, Ghana.

He said that in the absence of the JMC, it becomes difficult to institute punitive measures against those parties that violate any portion of the agreement.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.