Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- The seventh ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission meeting took off in Accra on Thursday with a call for measures to help Liberians end the carnage in their country.
"Liberia must be helped to effect total and complete disarmament," ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas told the meeting.
The two-day gathering is expected to focus on a draft proposal for a Multi-national Stabilisation Force for war-torn Liberia and the disarmament and demobilisation of combatants there.
The meeting, being attended by all the 15 chiefs of staff within the sub-region with the exception of Guinea, Niger, Liberia and Sierra Leone, will consider the number of troops to be contributed by ECOWAS member states, logistics and a proposal to the US to contribute to the force.
There have been proposals to have a force of 5,000 troops of which the US, which has historical ties with Liberia, should contribute 2,000 personnel, logistics and money.
The meeting on the theme: "Promoting Sub-Regional Peace and Security" is being held behind closed doors.
Chambas suggested an "arrow-necked" stabilisation force similar to that of Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire.
He said the protracted Liberia crisis was linked to the destabilisation of the sub-region, especially in countries like Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone in the Mano River area.
Chambas said a stabilisation force would end the carnage in Liberia and facilitate the provision of food, shelter and medicine to the internally displaced persons and other humanitarian needs.
He expressed concern about the huge flow of arms to Liberia and the recruitment of child soldiers and mercenaries to fuel the conflict in that country and create instability in neighbouring countries.
Chambas re-affirmed the determination of ECOWAS and the international community to kick-start a military solution to the Liberian crisis by referring to existing protocols and principles that condemn unconstitutional means of governance.
He warned the Liberian Government and the two rebel groups, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Development (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), that there was no way any of them could win a military victory.
The Chief Mediator of the ECOWAS brokered peace talks on Liberia, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said at least 500 Liberians have been reported killed in the latest ceasefire violations with a countless number internally displaced.