UNMIL Assures Monrovia Residents
By: I. Solo Kelgbeh
Posted October 13, 2003
Monrovians and residents of the Liberian capital’s suburbs have been given the assurance that their areas will be gun-free by the end of October 10, 2003. The United Nations Mission in Liberia’s Chief of Information, Margaret A. Novicki reiterated the disclosure made recently regarding the "weapons-free" environment in and around the Liberian capital.
Addressing a corps of journalists at the beginning of a two-day confab on ‘The Challenges of the Media’, held in the library of USIS, Madam Novicki said the 72-hour ultimatum given recently to make Monrovia and its environs guns-free is not for jokes.
She said parties to the Liberian conflict have been told unequivocally that a "New Day" has come to Liberia.
The UNMIL Chief of Information maintained that the international peacekeepers have the mandate and propensity to make all the parties to the Accra peace accord comply.
Although Madam Novicki did not say if there was problem in getting the capital and its environs free of guns, she assured residents of the fullest cooperation from all the concerned parties.
"We have control of the air and other means to quell any ugly situation. This mission is presently the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world", Madam Novicki said.
She said UNMIL’s force commander, Gen. Daniel Opande, is holding meetings with all the warring parties to ensure that they comply unconditionally to the peace accord.
She said the High Command of UNMIL has told the LURD forces’ Chief of Staff to let all of its men to adhere fully to the ultimatum.
"On 8th October, Gen. Opande met and flew with LURD Chief of Staff Gen. Sheriff to Bong and Nimba. Gen. Sheriff met GOL forces Nimba commander, Gen. Adolphus Dolo. And Gen. Opande made the two commanders to understand that the war was over", she noted.
The UNMIL’s Chief of Information also said that the generals were asked to inform all their fighters to comply with the peace accord.