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18.05.2006 General News

Liberia's Legislature appeals to Ghana

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Accra, May 17, GNA -- The leadership of the Liberian legislature has appealed to Ghana to use its goodwill to secure the lifting of UN sanctions against that country to enable it quicken its reconstruction process.

Mr. Edwin Snowe, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the president protempore of the Liberian Senate, Mr Isaac Nyanibo, made the appeal through Ghana's Foreign Minister Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Ghana Mission in Monrovia.

Nana Akufo-Addo was in Monrovia to attend an ECOWAS Foreign Ministers' meeting, which also called for the lifting of sanctions against Liberia.

The UN Security Council has slapped economics sanctions covering arms importation, export of timber and diamond, as well as travel bans on some individuals believed to be close to indicted president Charles Taylor.

Mr Snowe himself is among those under travel ban. The two leaders expressed concern about the continued imposition of the sanctions against their country, saying it ran contrary to international efforts to rebuild Liberia after 14 years of civil and political conflict.

Mr Snowe also questioned the basis for the sanctions in the first place. "It is unfortunate -- because it was a situation where you did not have the opportunity to face your accusers," he said, adding that he wished they were given the chance to exonerate themselves from whatever charges levelled against them "If there is anyone of us, seen or considered to have committed any crime, they should make us face the law, instead of using selective sanctions against Liberians," Mr Snow said and urged Ghana to help in getting the sanctions lifted.

"We want to see Ghana involved," he reiterated. In his response, Nana Akufo-Addo recalled a statement put out at the end of Foreign Ministers' meeting, calling for the lifting of sanctions, and assured the two that, Ghana was part of that decision and would continue to support all efforts at getting the sanctions lifted. At the meeting was Ghana's Ambassador to Liberia, Maj-Gen Francis Adu-Amanfoh, Mr Ebenezer Appreko, Acting Head of the Africa-AU Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms Carolyn Offe and Mr Amanor Mante, both of the Ministry, and Mr Japhet Ofosu-Appiah, Counsellor at the Ghana Mission in Monrovia.