20: Resolution on Liberia

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 19th Ordinary Session held from 26th March to 4th April 1996 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

Recalling the Abuja Agreement signed by all the parties to the Liberian conflict under which the Heads of the Warring Factions were allocated seats on the Governing Council of State in the hope that such a arrangement would facilitate and ensure disarmament of their fighters, a prerequisite for free and fair elections,

Taking note that the Council of State of the Liberian Transitional Government, created in pursuance of the Abuja Agreement, has been installed into office and that the government including the judiciary and the legislature has been freely constituted and is now functional,

Considering however, that notwithstanding the establishment of the Council of State, the Warring Factions have refused to disarm, and that Liberia, contrary to the Abuja Agreement, still remains fragmented and partitioned among warring factions, and hostilities still exist, all of which have the potential to derail the peace process and prolong the suffering of the Liberian people and the strain on the West African sub region,

Considering further that if peace is to be restored to Liberia, a civil government installed through a free and fair elections, and democratic institutions established with respect for human rights and democratic institutions established with respect for human rights under the rule of law, Liberians themselves, and with the support of the international community, must exert efforts to cease all hostilities, disarm their combatants, have them encamped, demobilised and re-integrated into civil society,

Endorses the Abuja Peace Accord as the best means for the cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace to Liberia and calls upon all parties to this Agreement to co-operate in good faith in its implementation,

Calls upon the Warring Factions to take all necessary steps to disarm their fighters, co-operate with the West African Peace Keeping Forces (ECOMOG) AND United Nations Observer Mission to Liberia (UNOMIL) and have fighters encamped, demobilised and re-integrated into civil society so as to pave the way for a free and fair general elections,

Call also upon the Council of State to extend its authority over the whole of Liberia and to guarantee genuine respect for the rights and liberties of all its citizens and residents, and in this regard to observe the independence of the judiciary,

Further calls upon the Council of State to take all necessary measures to fight against impunity and ensure that all perpetrators of crimes against the Liberian people are brought to justice,

Appeals to the international community, especially the United Nations, to facilitate Liberia’s transition from war to peace by enhancing the capacity of the West African Peace Keeping Force to encamp all combatants and to keep the peace through the provision of financial and logistic support; and to alleviate the suffering and the daily struggle of the Liberian people for survival through the provision of humanitarian relief and medical supplies.