Chambas says ECOWAS deems peace in Liberia a priority

Freetown- Sierra Leone (PANA) -- ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohammad Ibn Chambas is touring the sub-region to consult leaders on how lasting peace can be restored to the Mano River Union countries, particularly Liberia, which groups Guinea and Sierra Leone in Union.
Chambers said the first aim would be to negotiate a cease-fire in Liberia, followed by the creation of conditions for sub-regional disarmament, beginning with the LURD rebels and other armed militias in Liberia and increase security and safety for Liberians.
He expressed the need to reform the security system in Liberia to bring about assurances and arrangements that would ensure transparency in the political process and preparations to allow for an internationally monitored and supervised elections in the country next year.
He told Sierra Leonean President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah on Thursday that the peace in Sierra Leone was "fragile" as long as the situation in neighbouring countries was unstable, according to a government spokesman in Freetown.
Presidential spokesman Kemoh Kanji Daramy said Chambas warned that the war in neighbouring Liberia could put pressure on the peace in Sierra Leone through the influx of Liberian refugees or a spillover.
Daramy said Kabbah expressed support for an ECOWAS proposal aimed at ending the conflict in Liberia between government forces and the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
"Any initiative to bring peace to Liberia and (neighbouring) countries is highly appreciated," he quoted Kabbah as telling Chambas.
Chambas, who consulted with Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure and President Charles Taylor of Liberia before visiting Sierra Leone, left for Guinea Thursday in continuation of his mission.

23 august 2002 09:09:00

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