As U.S. Lift Economic Sanctions On Liberia, Former Rebel Leader Lauds Effort

Following the lifting of economic sanctions against Liberia by the United States Government, former rebel leader of the defunct Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), Sekou Damate Conneh as lauded the United States Government for this move.
In a written communication to this news outlet, Mr. Conneh now a businessman residing in the West African state of Ghana said, “Today, I stand with the Liberian people as well as call upon the Liberian government and all stakeholders in Liberia to express our thanks and appreciation to the United States’ President Barack Obama, the United States government and the American people for removing Liberia from the “U.S. economic sanction list” on Thursday, November 12, 2015.  The United States government, through the White House, cited Liberia’s efforts in maintaining peace as well as Liberia’s drive toward national reconciliation as the foundation behind the lifting of such sanction.  

As a principal signatory to the 2003 Accra Peace Accord that restored legitimate governance in Liberia in 2006, I am more than ever before inspired to continue to push the agenda for peace and national reconciliation.  I also want to thank the Liberian people for being steadfast in protecting and maintaining peace despite the numerous hardships the country and many of the people continue to face. My profound thanks and appreciation go out to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her government, our lawmakers, the judiciary, civil society groups, the Liberian media, religious groups, both Christians and Muslims, and women and youth groups.

I also want to thank Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, Dr. George Boley, Ambassador G.V. Kromah, Chief Cyril Allen and others for their quiet role in maintaining our national stability.  I urge President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to reaffirm her government’s commitment to fostering lasting peace and the national reconciliation process by concrete action. I also urge all politicians, our lawmakers and others to focus on developing Liberia and reducing corruption rather than making inflammatory remarks that pose serious threats to our national reconciliation and ongoing peace process.

The peace we all enjoy today in Liberia comes from a lot of sacrifices and commitments that we all made as Liberians. Therefore, it is important for us to maintain those commitments for the good of our country and people. We also need to ensure that as a government and people we must seek out ways that can make our brothers and sisters in refugee camps in West Africa and in exile in far away nations to return home by desisting from acts that destroy faith in one another and our government.

Once again, I would like to sincerely single out the effort of Mr. Jones Nhinson Williams for his continuous support for processes that advance Liberia’s national interests–– from highlighting Liberian issues globally to engaging in quiet diplomacy that continues to make our nation relevant around the world. His efforts and commitment to strengthening Liberia’s peace and enhancing national reconciliation as well as presenting Liberia as a nation of the future, without self-seeking attention, is remarkable.  Since the end of the Liberian conflict, Mr. Williams has continuously work with various Liberian stakeholders in the country in pursuit of a better Liberia while still working to help Liberian refugees and immigrants abroad.

Lastly, I urge President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her government to set up a national taskforce to be headed by Mr. Williams with the aim of advancing Liberia’s peace and national reconciliation process.  Mr. Williams appeals to all groups in Liberia, Christians and Muslim as well as the various tribal groupings, and has built an international reputation as a patriot and visionary. I am committed to work in supporting such a taskforce to foster national reconciliation nationwide,” the statement from the former rebel leader concluded.

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