Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Elections Set for September May Be Delayed

Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Elections Set for September May Be Delayed

Article excerpt

A team of international experts visited Liberia from 26 May to 4 June for consultations on a timetable for presidential and general elections scheduled for 7 September. Unless the Liberian National Transitional Government, the Elections Commission and the Liberian parties took drastic measures, there was a serious danger that they would be unable to hold the elections on schedule, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali reported on 24 June (S/1994/760).

Should the Liberian parties fail to maintain their commitment to the peace process, he would have no alternative but to recommend to the Security Council that the UN involvement in Liberia be reconsidered.

With the full installation of the Transitional Government, progress had been made in the implementation of the 25 July 1993 Cotonou Agreement--the basis for achieving lasting peace and stability in the country--the Secretary-General stated.

The Transitional Government, which held its first meeting on 13 May, was a most important building block for the future, he added. However, the various Liberian interests and, in particular the leaders of the warring factions, had not yet addressed national reconciliation with the necessary resolve, compassion and commitment.

Their lack of resolve had led to increased suffering, especially among the displaced population. The UN Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) could only assist the Transitional Government and the parties in bringing peace to their country, but the main responsibility was with them, he stressed.

Delays in implementing the Cotonou Agreement could not be allowed to continue, the Secretary-General went on. A total of 3,192 combatants had been demobilized three months after the start of the operation.

Recognizing that employment was a major incentive for ex-combatants to return to normal life, the World Food Programme had initiated a food-for-work programme involving 1,200 ex-combatants in a National Volunteer Scheme of labour-intensive tasks.

The Security Council, in a 23 May statement, noted with satisfaction the full installation of the Council of State of the Liberian National Transitional Government (LNTG), as well as indications that the Transitional Government had begun to assume its responsibilities throughout the country. …

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