Liberian crisis: opposition parties urge govt to support ECOWAS

Monrovia- Liberia (PANA) -- Liberian opposition parties have called on the government to support the ECOWAS peace move aimed at ending the country's on-going crisis.
Since the eruption of fresh fighting, there have been calls from a cross-section of the population on President Charles Taylor's government to co-operation with ECOWAS, which is trying to broker a cease-fire.
But the government, which earlier appealed to the sub-region for help has made an about-turn after ECOWAS leaders called for dialogue between the government and the dissidents, to pave way for a cease-fire.
The war between government troops and the dissidents have been raging for nearly four years now, internally displacing thousands of Liberians and forcing many others to flee the country.
In separate releases issued in Monrovia Thursday, the opposition parties urged government to heed ECOWAS' call for a cease-fire, because war-weary Liberians preferred "ballots to the bullets," as a way of attaining State power.
The statements were issued by the True Whig Party, the Unity Party (UP), the Free Democratic Party, the Liberia People's Party (LPP) and the National Democratic Party.
The UP said the government and dissident Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) group, should put down their arms and dialogue, while the LPP said it welcomed the intervention by ECOWAS.
Meanwhile, the private Inquirer Newspaper, has also added its voice to the plea for government to coo-operate with ECOWAS.
In its editorial Thursday, the paper urged Liberians to encourage dialogue, noting that it was "disappointing to hear disgusting comments from certain quarters regarding ECOWAS proposal.
" "The Liberian government should continue to take the lead because it is more accountable to the people than the dissidents," the paper added.

23 may 2002 13:21:00

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