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29.01.2004 General News

Reports from Liberia are encouraging- Kufuor

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Accra, Jan. 29, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday said reports from Liberia had encouraged the organisation to offer more assistance and support to the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL).

"Reports received from Liberia has encouraged us to stand behind you", President Kufuor told Mr Charles Gyude Bryant Chairman of the NTGL who paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

Mr Bryant, on his way to Washington to attend the donors conference on Liberia, made a stop-over in Accra to brief President Kufuor on the situation in Liberia.

President Kufuor was optimistic that the donors would offer their full support to Liberia and Foreign Ministers from the Sub-Region would be in Washington to make the meeting successful.

Mr Bryant said it was necessary to brief the ECOWAS Chairman on the situation in Liberia and progress made in the implementation of the Accra Agreement.

Speaking to newsmen after closed-door discussion with President Kufuor, Mr Bryant was hopeful the donors would come to the aid of Liberia in her reconstruction plans.

He said the priority of the NTGL was security because the combatants acquired new skills and the security of the country should be secured before education and other priority sectors would be tackled.

In an answer to a question, Mr Bryant said the situation in Liberia was stable and deployment of troops and disarmament would begin within 30 days, adding, " everybody is going about his work in peace".

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Liberia signed by the factions in Accra on August 18, 2003, required the establishment of the NTGL on October 14, to manage the transitional process of the war-ruined country for two years to pave the way for general election in October 2005. The elected government would assume power on January 6, 2006.

The Agreement provided for a general framework for the peace process including the composition of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.

It is estimated that after 14 years of conflict, 250,000 people had been killed and more than 500,000 others driven into exile.

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