The former spokesperson for the disbanded rebels – Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) Mr. Joe Wylie is urging all ex-fighters from the Liberian Civil War to join him in propagating sustainable peace in Liberia.
Mr. Wylie, whose name had been linked to various subversive activities by several previous administrations, including the Doe regime, denounced violence, saying war is not, and will never be the best solution to disagreement or conflict among Liberians,.
Speaking to this paper in an interview on Tuesday, 18 October during a day-long peace festival held at the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia, he said it’s about time every Liberian strongly support peace because it will enable the country to move forward in terms of growth.
“War should not be the remedy in solving our problems, it does not help any country at all,” said Wylie whose voice was popular on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s “Focus on Africa” news program between 2002 and 2003 during LURD rebels vicious attacks against the regime of ex-President Charles Ghankay Taylor.
He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Defense under a peace accord brokered among various Liberian factions in Accra, Ghana late 2003. The LURD rebels were feared by most Liberians for its brutal tactics of shelling Monrovia with mortars, which resulted to the death of thousands of residents, mainly women and children.
Mr. Wylie said the drawdown of the UN Mission UNMIL does not in any way mean Liberia cannot protect its territory areas, stressing that with the unity among Liberians, it will actually help the country maintain the more than ten years of peace it continues to enjoy.
The ex-rebel spokesman said he remains fully committed to making sure peace is championed throughout the length and breadth of Liberia so that the world can understand Liberians are actually ready for development.
He called on the National Elections Commission to exercise every caution in making sure the 2017 elections are conducted without any future embarrassment. “Let’s not allow the 2017 elections to be characterized by frauds, but rather in a transparent way,” he emphasized.
Also speaking, Liberia’s Cultural Ambassador Julie Endee urged Liberians to embrace peace and unity. She said peace can only be sustained if all citizens surround themselves with love and unity whether in difficult or good times.
“Liberians must unite through peace, by living together, by respecting one another,” she added. Amb. Endee noted that while it is true that everyone comes from diverse backgrounds, to maintain peace in Liberia, there is a positive need that everyone lives together as brothers and sisters for the sack of the country.
She said the way Liberians want to see Liberia during the elections period and after elections depends on how each citizen will conduct himself or herself, saying “Elections will come and go, but Liberia will still remain our country.”
However, the Liberian cultural said enjoying ten years of peace does not in any way mean there are no difficulties, but every citizen has a mindset for peace, and that is why the nation continues to sail peacefully.
By Zee Roberts -Editing by Jonathan Browne