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U.S. Department of State
96/01/29 USUN Press Release #011(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
 
 
 
 
FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY                  USUN PRESS RELEASE #011-(96) 
CHECK TEXT AGAINST DELIVERY                          JANUARY 29, 1996 
 
 
Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, United States Permanent 
Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in Liberia, in 
the Security Council, in Explanation of Vote, January 29, 1996 
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Mr. President, I am pleased to see the distinguished member of the 
Liberian Council of State, Mr. Kromah, having just seen him a few days 
ago in Monrovia.  The United States supports extension of the UNOMIL 
mandate until May 31.  This support, however, is not without 
reservations.  During my recent visit to Monrovia, I was impressed by 
the progress that has been made and by the stated commitment of the 
Council of State to implement the Abuja Agreement.  This assurance has 
been repeated here today in the Security Council by representatives of 
the Council of State. 
 
But unfortunately, today we have also heard the distinguished member of 
the Council of State offer as the representative of Liberia offer many 
different explanations for his country's many  problems.  As the 
representative surely knows from my visit, the United States and the 
international community can offer a helping hand, but only Liberians can 
pull themselves out of the horror of war.  I wish to reiterate here what 
I made very clear in speaking with all parties in Liberia:  the United 
States and the international community will not tolerate further delay.  
Now it is time for action.  The forces of peace and reconciliation must 
demonstrate that they are more powerful than those that would wreak 
further destruction on the innocent Liberian people.  Now it is time to 
implement the key operational provisions of the Abuja Agreement -- 
getting the fighters to give up their weapons and rejoin society, 
especially the 4,000 to 6,000 child soldiers.  As this resolution makes 
clear, there must be strict implementation of disarmament and 
demobilization, with no delays and no deviations from the Abuja 
agreement. 
 
Mr. President, the United States recognizes the contribution that ECOMOG 
is now making to bring stability to Liberia.  We call on the ECOMOG 
commanders to deploy their forces as quickly as possible to help create 
the conditions necessary to promote the peace process.  The United 
States also calls upon the Council of State to redouble its efforts to 
rapidly move the peace process forward. 
 
I also commend the contributions and sacrifices being made by UNOMIL 
personnel in Liberia.  The United States expects UNOMIL to follow 
through on all their responsibilities, including investigating and 
reporting to the Secretary-General on human rights abuses, major 
violations of international humanitarian law, and humanitarian 
assistance activities.  I urge UNOMIL and ECOMOG to maintain close 
operational contact to ensure that they can effectively accomplish their 
difficult missions. 
 
Mr. President, adoption of this resolution extending the UNOMIL mandate 
is an important demonstration of the Security Council's commitment to 
restore peace, stability and the basic conditions for normal life to the 
Liberian people.  But this commitment demands equal goodwill from the 
Liberian side.  During this period, my government will closely monitor 
implementation of the Abuja Agreement, which is Liberia's best chance to 
achieve peace and justice and the key to continued international 
support.  We will view with special interest what the Secretary-
General's Interim Report will say on progress in this regard. 
 
Monrovia is a city of startling contrasts - destroyed buildings housing 
thousands of displaced persons, laundry hanging from the windows of a 
trashed foreign ministry.  At the same time, busy people trading and 
trying to make a living.  Most impressively, NGO's projects providing 
training for a new life - farming, masonry, plumbing.  These contrasts 
are a stark as the difference between the past and the future.  My 
impression from being there is that people are ready for the future and 
the leaders must not delay in letting them have it.  Only then will 
there be a true renaissance in Liberia. 
 
In the presence of one of the members of Liberia's Council of State, I 
wish to re-emphasize the crucial role that Liberia's leaders must play 
in this process.  Their failure to act will endanger further assistance 
from the international community.  Their neighbors in West Africa and 
the entire international community have created an opportunity for peace 
and a return to democracy.  They must seize it now. 
 
Thank you Mr. President. 
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