Liberian papers focus disarmament of fighters

Monrovia- Liberia (PANA) -- The huge task of disarming Liberia's estimated 40, 000 combatants and the looming threat of resumption of hostilities in neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire consumed editorial pages of Liberia's two leading private dailies on Thursday.
The Inquirer and The News Newspaper ran the editorials as the 7 December date for the start of disarmament of fighters of three warring factions-LURD, MODEL and the former government of Liberia-draws nigh in Liberia.
"Disarmament is no joking matter," The Inquirer headlines its editorial.
The paper noted the reasons given by the three warring factions for walking out of disarmament talks, but stressed that nothing can supersede cooperation by all parties to ensure the successful implementation of the disarmament process.
"The disarmament of the warring factions is a sine quo non for the restoration of perennial peace to this country, which has been going through a fratricidal war for years.
This is a glorious opportunity, which we must not allow to slip away for that would be to the detriment of the country.
Hence, let all Liberians ensure the success of the disarmament process," The Inquirer observed.
The News Newspaper sees direct relations between the silencing of the guns in Liberia to ending the conflict next door in Cote d'Ivoire.
It urges the transitional government and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) "to take serious note of this and do all they can to defuse the situation in Cote d'Ivoire," where pro-government militant youths are demanding French buffer troops to leave the country.
The paper then offered this advice to Ivorians: "Experience has shown that wars, such as the one looming over you, never ends on the battle fields, rather, they always end on the negotiating table after the country has been destroyed.

04 december 2003 22:00:00

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