Konare wants ECOWAS Summit to address violence

Monrovia- Liberia (PANA) -- ECOWAS outgoing Chairman and Malian President Alpha Oumar Konare, wants the 20-21 December Summit in Dakar, Senegal, to tackle violence in the sub-region.
"The position of ECOWAS has been clear.
We can't accept violence, no force of arms.
We will make it clear at the pending Summit," Konare told journalists after closed-door talks Monday with Liberian President Charles Taylor, outside Monrovia.
The Malian leader said ECOWAS must continue to oppose the use of arms to depose democratically-elected governments in the region.
"ECOWAS must ensure that all countries adhere to this principle.
We must condemn all armed groups and encourage parties to dialogue," he said, shortly before his departure from Liberia.
Konare said the Dakar ECOWAS Summit would strive to consolidate the efforts of the 15 member States for the lifting of UN sanctions against Liberia.
Liberia is under sanctions for its alleged diamond-for-arms deal with Sierra Leone's rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF).
Senior Liberian government officials, including Taylor, their spouses and accomplices, have been barred from travelling out of the country, while Liberia's diamond trade has been halted for one year.
A recent review of Liberia's compliance with the requirements for lifting the sanctions has worsened the matter with the verification mission recommending additional sanctions to include the country's timber trade and escrowing the maritime funds.
Meanwhile, Taylor has expressed regrets to Konare about his inability to be at the Dakar Summit due to "prevailing situation in the country," an apparent reference to the war in the north against dissidents.
The Liberian delegation to the Summit would be led by Foreign Minister Monie Captan, who has already travelled out of the country.

18 december 2001 13:18:00




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