Magazine article UN Chronicle

Peace Process at Standstill despite Accra Agreement

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Peace Process at Standstill despite Accra Agreement

Article excerpt

Despite the signing by the Liberian parties of the Accra Agreement on 21 December 1994 and the coming into force of a cease-fire one week later, the civil war that had inflicted so much suffering on the Liberian people had not come to an end, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali reported to the Security Council on 24 February. On the contrary, the peace process was once again at a standstill, he said.

Two months after the Agreement's signing, the Liberian factions and political leaders were still haggling over the composition and chairmanship of the Council of State and had not shown that they were genuinely committed to the fulfilment of their obligations, he said in a ninth progress report (S/1995/158) on the UN Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL).

The main bottleneck concerning the Council of State was the inability of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Coalition forces to agree on their joint nominee, the Secretary-General reported. Nominees from the other parties included: Charles Taylor, President of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL); Alhali Kromah, Chairman of the Alhali Kromah wing of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO-K): and Oscar Quiah, representative of the Liberia National Conference (LNC).

With the failure of the Liberian parties to implement yet another agreement, the Secretary-General said, the time had come to consider how the international community could continue to assist in the search for peace and stability in Liberia.

Tracing the history of the five-year-old conflict, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had first deployed its Monitoring Group (ECONOMOG) in August 1990. Since then, numerous peace agreements had been concluded, only to be broken. The most important, signed in Cotonou on 25 July 1993, assigned to ECOMOG the primary responsibility of assisting the Liberian parties in the implementation of a detailed peace plan, providing for a seven-month transitional process leading to a free and fair election.

UNOMIL, established on 22 September 1993 by Council resolution 866 (1993), was entrusted with the task of observing and monitoring the implementation of the agreement.

When the current UNOMIL mandate expired on 13 April, the Security Council would have to choose between a number of options, depending on whether the political stalemate continued or whether the factions would finally make the compromises necessary to rescue Liberia from its long ordeal. …

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