Guinea + 2 more

Liberia: Taylor sues for peace in Mano River Union

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Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) - Liberian President Charles Taylor Wednesday stressed the need for member States to ensure peace in the restive Mano River Union (MRU), grouping Guinea, Sierra Leone and his country.
He said people within the economic grouping were "one people with common culture, tribal and long historical ties" binding them.

"If there is peace in one (MRU) State, there would be peace in the other, and when there is war in the other, there would be war in the others," Taylor said at the State House, while receiving the letters of credence of Sierra Leone's new ambassador to Liberia, Patrick James Foyah.

Foyah said he was "optimistic" that working together, the governments and peoples of the MRU sub-region could achieve peace, based on sincerity, sacrifice, honesty and a commitment to ending conflicts in the region.

The new envoy replaced Kemoh Salia Bao, who was recalled by the Freetown government last year for reportedly writing a letter to the UN said to be sympathetic to continued imposition of sanctions on Liberia.

The UN sanctions bars Taylor and a number of his officials and their wives from travelling abroad, except for meetings of the UN, African Union, MRU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The UN also banned the export of rough diamonds from Liberia over the country's alleged diamond-for-arms trade with the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone.

Liberia has consistently denied the allegation and challenged its accusers to show evidence of its links to the RUF.

The MRU region has seen more military conflicts among member States in the last decade than economic activities for which it was founded about 30 years ago, with the three countries trading accusations of destabilising one another.

Pan African News Agency
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