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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 22, 1996


Ambassador Dane Smith, the President's Special Envoy to Liberia, will travel tomorrow to the region for consultations aimed at restoring momentum to the peace process. The United States is deeply concerned by the continued violence in Liberia and lack of progress in implementing the Abuja Peace Accord. Recent fighting in various parts of the country and increased weapons flows into Monrovia and the countryside threaten the peace process. Thousands of innocent men, women and children continue to fall victim to random factional violence.

Despite initial promising signs, the Council of State (COS) in recent months has failed to uphold its commitment to the principles and guidelines agreed at Abuja in August on disarmament, demobilization and the timely holding of national elections. In particular, the factions have not disengaged and prepared for disarmament, nor are they presently cooperating with each other or with the West African peacekeeping force (ECOMOG). The United States calls upon all Liberians to recommit themselves immediately to peace.

The United States has strongly and consistently supported efforts to end the war and return Liberia to peaceful, democratic civilian rule. The United States, along with other donors, is providing important logistic support to the ECOMOG peacekeepers as well as substantial humanitarian assistance. We continue to support the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to achieve full and timely implementation of the Abuja Peace Accord. However, continued U.S. support and engagement depends on respect for the cease-fire and substantial progress by all concerned parties in upholding the Abuja Accord.

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