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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 3, 1996


The United States Government welcomes the inauguration today in Monrovia of the new Liberian Council of State Chairperson, Ruth Perry. Her selection, coupled with the other important decisions taken at the August 17 ECOWAS Committee of Nine Summit, offers renewed hope for the successful conclusion of the troubled peace process in Liberia. The United States urges all Liberians, especially the faction leaders, to seize this opportunity.

The latest Abuja Summit established an amended timetable for implementation of the 1995 peace accord and provides for an immediate cease-fire, disarmament and demobilization of factional fighters, and internationally-supervised elections for a democratic civilian government by May 1997. The United States calls upon all faction leaders to honor their commitments made to ECOWAS leaders and to extend their full cooperation to the West African peacekeeping force (ECOMOG), humanitarian relief organizations, the United Nations and others working to support the peace process in Liberia. In addition, the United States commends ECOWAS leaders for creating a mechanism to verify compliance by Liberia's warring factions and for their stated readiness to take tough measures against faction leaders that fail to comply with Summit decisions.

The United States has strongly and consistently supported efforts to end the war and bring democratic governance to Liberia. We look forward to working with Chairperson Perry and the other Council members to support implementation of the peace process.

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