ECOWAS Parliament wants a Liberian peace Conference

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- The ECOWAS Parliament Monday called on the sub-regional leaders to urgently convene a peace conference on the situation in Liberia, where rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) are fighting the government of President Charles Taylor.
Speaker of the Parliament, Ali Nouhoun Diallo, made the call while speaking with journalists in Abuja on the resolutions and decisions of the first ordinary session of the Parliament, which ended in the Nigerian capital at the weekend.
The 105-member Parliament also decided to send a "goodwill delegation" to Taylor to press for the adoption of the peace option in the resolution of the conflict.
Diallo said the Parliament, during the session, condemned the raging war in the country and lent its support to efforts of the Heads of State of the sub-region to resolve the conflict.
At a meeting in Cote d'Ivoire recently, ECOWAS leaders decided on a two-pronged approach (cease-fire and dialogue) towards ending the fighting.
The Speaker urged the Liberian leader to provide a conducive atmosphere for the dialogue to commence.
"Leaders of the sub-region should begin to understand that they owe to the people, peace and safety before any other thing," he added.
Diallo said the Parliament's delegation to Liberia would also intervene in the case of some journalists reported arrested in the course of their work.
"Journalists are the greatest custodians of democracy.
If they are gagged then the very essence of democracy will be defeated," he said.
During the session, the Parliament also discussed the management of water resources, energy problems in West Africa and the distribution of petrol and gas to non-oil producing countries.
Other issues were food security, good governance, anti-corruption, and the role of the Parliament in the monitoring of elections and conflict prevention.

17 june 2002 19:02:00

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