Liberia

JPC Briefing Paper 4/12/96

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published
JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMISSION NATIONAL CATHOLIC SECRETARIAT
Box 3869 Ashmun Street, Monrovia
BRIEFING PAPER

NOVEMBER 20 - DECEMBER 4, 1996

The Latest Abuja II Accord signed by Liberia's warring factions in August this year provides a guideline for disarmament to begin on November 22 and conclude on January 31, 1996. The process commenced with jubilation and November 22nd was declared a Disarmament Holiday in Liberia. After about 11 days, it was reported that about 2,258 of the questionable 60,000 combatants have turned in their weapons. It is gradually losing momentum [and] a number of events and accusations among factional leaders have contributed to this:

a. On November 27, fighting was reported to continue in the Southeast around Grand Gedeh County between the Liberia Peace Council (LPC) and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). ECOMOG moved into Tappita to create a buffer zone. The NPFL agreed to withdraw from the town of Tuzon to Toe Town to enable ECOMOG's deployment. It is not clear which group provoked the fighting.

b. On November 22 at about 4:00 P.M. fighting erupted between ULIMO-J and ULIMO-K in Bomi County. Several civilians were killed about 20 houses burnt in Borbor Town; 2 ULIMO-J fighters (Thomas and Kpor) were abducted along with several civilians.

c. There have been constant accusations made by the NPFL against the LPC and AFL. The [NPFL] claims that there are plans by both groups to eliminate their leader. Both groups are accusing the NPFL of hatching new plans to attack their positions and interrupt the schedule of disarmament.

d. The government as a collective has not made concrete efforts to contribute financially toward incentives to the combatants. In the face of this, widespread corruption has been institutionalized with reports of cash deposits in homes of ministers, purchase of 60 new vehicles and other acts of economic pillage.

e. The International community needs to re-assess its strategies regarding incentives for ex- combatants . Factional loyalists intend to use the issue of incentives to becloud the objectives of disarmament.

OTHERS
a A new ECOWAS Envoy has bee appointed. He is Alhaji Tefewa Belewa of Nigeria.

b. A military delegation arrived on the 27th of November [from] Niger. It is expected that this was an assessment visit intended to create the basis for the commitment of troops to ECOMOG.

Signed:
Samuel K. Woods II
Director, JPC

(Distributed by Africa Faith and Justice Network; P.O. Box 29378;
Washington, D.C. 20017 Tel. 202 832 3412; Fax 202 832 9051;
email: afjn@igc.apc.org.)