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For Two Decades Of Peace: U.S. Applauds Liberia

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By E. Geedahgar Garsuah

MONROVIA: The United States (US) Government, through its embassy near Monrovia, has commended Liberians for keeping the peace of the country since the Accra Peace Accord in August 2003.
In a press statement issued in Monrovia recently, the U.S. Embassy said, Liberia, as a country, should be proud of its achievements, assuring that America remains a strong traditional partner.
“As Liberians celebrate 20 years of peace and democratic governance, which occurred due to the enormous sacrifices of ordinary Liberians — women, youth, civil society, and religious groups — to end the brutal civil war, your country should be proud of this achievement. The United States continues to be a strong partner of Liberia,” the statement contains.
It can be recalled that in August 2003, warring factions, including former President Charles Taylor’s regime, agreed and assembled in Ghana to broker peace following years of brutal carnage.

Taylor was by then opposed and heavily fought by various armed groups including Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), two rebel factions that reportedly invaded the country through the borders of Guinea and Ivory Coast respectively.
LURD was commanded by Sekou Damate Conneh, a former businessman in pre-war Gbarnga, Bong County, while MODEL was headed by Thomas Yayah Nimely, who hails from Grand Gedeh County.
Conneh led his erstwhile LURD rebel faction from Guinea through Lofa and onward to Bomi County before hitting Monrovia, where his faction captured the Freeport of Monrovia (main sea port of entry and economic hub) and created more hardships for residents while Nimely marched along with his then fighting force from Ivory Coast to Grand Gedeh, and onward to Grand Bassa County.
After months of terrifying bloodshed involving many innocent people and, coupled with mass destruction of properties, LURD, MODEL and Taylor’s then embattled government, as well as political parties, civil society and pro-democracy organizations signed the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement on August 18, 2003.
Taylor had, by then, agreed under intense local and international pressure including strong call by United States former President, George Bush, for him (Taylor) to immediately resign and leave the country. Hence, on August 11, 2003, President Taylor resigned and subsequently departed Liberia for exile in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, then headed by President Olusongan Obasanjo.
Taylor was in exile in Nigeria before his arrest back on the Liberian soil in 2006, after which he was transferred to the Republic of Sierra Leone for prosecution on war crimes charges levied against him by the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone including recruitment of child soldiers, murder, rape, crimes against humanity, among others.
He was found guilty and sentenced to fifty years imprisonment in Britain.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard University graduate who once worked with the World Bank, became President of Liberia in 2006 following the October 2005 elections.
She ran the affairs of the country for two consecutive six-year constitutional terms. She was succeeded by ex-global soccer legend, and former Senator of Montserrado County, George Manneh Weah, who was elected President in 2017.

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