Government and rebel delegates have selected a businessman, Gyude Bryant, to head Liberia's interim post-war administration.
The new administration is due to take over in October.
Mr Bryant, chairman of the Liberia Action Party, is a leading figure in the Episcopal Church, one of Liberia's main religious denominations.
Can the new leadership be successful ?Will the peace deal create a new Liberia? Can the humanitarian crisis in Liberia now be resolved?
Thank you for yor e-mails. This debate is now closed. The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
I first of all want to thank the Lord for restoring peace in my country. I am a Liberian who fled to exile since 1990 when I was just 6 years of age and knew nothing, but now I am a man of 19and want to return home. So I personally think that the peace accord will surely put an end to the unreasonable fighting in Liberia. Thanks to the Nigerian Ecomog and the U S marines as well for their help. I pray that we will return home and live happily.
Sebastian B., Buduram refugee camp.
I do not trust these rebel leaders. This is the replica of the former ruler. These people seek their greed for power and have no sympathy for the Liberians they wish to rule. I think the UN should have put in mechanisms for a provisional government as it did in Botswana and other countries. This would create an atmosphere of freedom and not one where the people vote because they are afraid.
Christopher Jallah, Orlando, USA
As a former diplomat in Liberia, I must voice two reservations. First, one must be hopeful, but realistic about the ephemeral value of these "peace deals," recalling that during the 1989-1997 civil war, no fewer than twelve such agreements were signed by the warlords to "share power" - each and every one of those accords was duly hailed and each and every one tragically broken in turn. The average life expectancy of these previous agreements was barely five months. Second, while realpolitik forces us to deal with armed movements, it does very little for the cause of the rule of law when deals are brokered in back rooms by military strongmen that set aside constitutional provisions ratified by the people. Liberians went to the polls in 1997, thinking that they could go again in 2003. Now, in exchange for the promise of peace, they are being told that they will have to wait a few more years, during which time power will be shared - by self-appointed "leaders" whose only claim to authority is, essentially, "might makes right."
Dr. J. Peter Pham, New York, New York (USA)
I am glad that Liberians can sit and put together a comprehensive peace agreement that will eventually bring peace to Liberia. To all Liberians, that international community has given us another chance to restore lasting peace once and for all. But I have a message to all politicians and the Liberian citizenry as a whole. The constant removal and change of leaderships in Liberia is not the solution to our problem. The problem of Liberia today is deeply rooted in our culture. Deceit, lack of integrity and the flagrant violations laws, are the constant reminder of Liberia's nightmare. To save Liberia from another blood bath, it will be wise enough for us to tackle our problem from the grass root level. As long we fail to do this and look at leadership change as quick fix solution, the problem of Liberia is bound to persist.
May God bless Liberia.
J. Duwar Kollie, Jr.,
Palm Coast, FL USA
I pray that the current peace deal help create a new Liberia. However, let us not forget: Liberia's problems started more than four years ago. Most of Liberia's problems started when the Liberian Settlers failed to treat the Liberian Natives as equals, and as people worthy of respect, integration, fair and good treatment. The Natives, on the other hand, also failed to see and treat the Settlers as fellow Africans and Liberians. Both the Settlers and the Natives need to acknowledge their past failures, seek forgiveness and reconciliation from each other.
I pray that the new Liberian governments begin to consider and try to solve these foundation issues that have resulted in Liberians destroying themselves and their country for so long. When these core issues are solved and when all Liberians are reconciled, integrated and given equal opportunity in all areas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then Liberia will be positioned to blossom and grow into a nation that is truly beautiful and prosperous. May God grant this gift to Liberia.
Eddie Lee, Liberia
In Africa we do not have any such thing as a peace deal. We just stop hostilities while we are regrouping, usually along tribal lines. It is only a matter of time before Liberia decides to go back to war. The peace will not last, unless the new government finds something to unite the nation under. This is not possible in any African nation.
Gonzo J Moyo, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
It is very difficult to determine if this new peace deal will create a new Liberia free from war at last. However, Liberians can only hope and pray for whatever semblance of peace it brings. It is much easier to sign a peace deal than to implement one. The proposed make up of the interim government after the deal has been signed is an indication of what lies ahead. Let us all hope and pray that the rebels have truly transformed themselves and have decided to adhere to international laws and peace agreements.
Sulay Kemokai, Chicago USA
Creating a new Liberia is one thing, but making sure that president Taylor doesn't return back to Liberia with his boys is a big issue. The UN and the USA should make sure that Taylor stays where he is as I am sure the Liberians don't want him back there. I do think that the humanitarian crisis in Liberia will be solved if the Liberians are willing to reconcile their differences and develop a new Liberia with the help from the UN and the United States. I'm also hoping more Liberians would return back to their country to help.
LK, Minneapolis USA
As a Nigerian national, I am appalled at the whining and begging of the Liberians. America owes you nothing and America did nothing. Nigeria spent 13 billion dollars in Liberia the last time ECOWAS peacekeepers arrived, Nigerian soldiers and Journalists died to help keep the peace. Now Nigeria was the only country that stood up and gave Taylor a way out. Where are the thanks, all I see is a country with no heroes and no pride begging the Americans to help. The Americans will leave in October but it is the Nigerians and the West Africans who will stay. Sometimes I feel our efforts as a regional power are wasted.
New York CIty, Manhattan
I believe Peace will finally come to Liberia this time around. The contending fighting forces have learnt that no one can ever win a rebel war. In fact every body is a looser. Liberians must have learnt from the demise of Jonas Savinbi, Foday Sankoh and more vividly the political demise of Charles Taylor. To me it is no surprise that the rebels agreed to the peace deal, because pushing their luck further by refusing would have been the beginning of their own demise. Once peace holds the people are going to resolve never to allow anyone to drag them to the mud. It has happened in Sierra Leone it will happen in Liberia. People power will henceforth prevail.
Israel B.K. Jigba, Freetown, Sierra Leone
It is my wish that the US will play a major role in the restoration of peace and unity in Liberia, by assisting with the financing of humanitarian groups and individuals who are specialised in the area of psychological and physiological restoration, equipping them with the tools necessary to rebuild and restore not only the infrastructure/organisation/configuration/formation of the country, but the development and positive grooming of the minds of the people, as well. I also wish that more Liberians would be willing to go back home to assist in the rebuilding of our country.
Notwithstanding, our arms are now open to whoever can assist us with the development and rebuilding of our country.
May God bless the West African peacekeeping force and God bless the USA.
Jmoms Jets I, Monrovia, Liberia
We are all tired of this long lasting war that has continuously destroyed our lives and darkened our future. The willingness of us all to resolve our conflict as evident by the departure of Mr Taylor, the withdrawal of the rebels from the city and the warm reception given to the international communities is a clear indication that our crisis is leading to a peaceful resolution. What is required of us is to live by our promises and be willing to reconcile our differences. That will help us in the healing and rebuilding process of our beloved country.
Frank F. Carter, Ohio, USA
I believe that if a UN coalition of African nations work with the Lurd and the government of Liberia, that peace can be restored. A representative from the US would be alright as long as they provided just diplomatic support as needed to clarify sticky points. The peace plan should only be carried out by African nations under the auspices of the UN. Also, Charles Taylor should not be allowed to return under any circumstances. Remember Napoleon and the trouble he caused.
David Richardson, Vacaville, CA, USA
Let us all remember that peace will not by any means be an immediate result of Taylor's stepping down, but hopefully US and West African troops can ease the transition towards tranquillity in Liberia. The US should have a larger role in this, because of the "claims" Bush has made to assist Africa.
Ayodele Adesanya, Illinois, USA
I don't think so, especially by those threatening words of Charles Taylor, "God willing, I will be back." But if there is a need for Peace, then the present Interim government and the rebels need to learn how to forgive and forget about their past differences. They need to come and sit down together and sort out things not as rivals but as Liberians. It's about time the government and the people of Liberia take Charles Taylor off their minds and lead a new life to the fullest.
Calgary, Alberta Canada.
Charles Taylor should not be in exile - he should be en route to the International Criminal Court for his involvement in Sierra Leone.
Why is he given the red carpet treatment, a fan farewell, and a personal promise to return? (I could blame US diplomacy but they are always caught in a catch-22)
Daniel Papineau, Montreal, Canada
You think of peace in Liberia...well let's try. But we need to know what was the cause of the war first.
Peter Madata, Mwanza City, Tanzania
Yes, there is progress as Mr. Taylor steps down. Yet I am still questioning the ability of the other groups to refrain from wanting to see it as a victory of their own, hence their right to step up and lead. If that should happen, that would be a real misfortune to Liberian and Africans alike.
Massamba, Boston, US
Taylor was once a rebel who was armed and became president. Now the rebels are armed and soon they will be leaders. Until the relationship between rebels and arms dealers is cut like an umbilical cord there shall be no peace in Liberia and Africa.
Cecil Nsambila Mbolela,
The war in Liberia like most wars in Africa is really about control of a commodity wanted by the West. In Liberia, as in Sierra Leone, it is war over the DIAMOND TRADE. There has been some effort to get blood diamonds off the market, but unless these issues are tackled with more political courage by the west, I fear we have not heard the last of men like Charles Taylor and the shady diamond dealers of from the Lebanon, Europe and America.
Rev. Doye Agama,
Peace could easily be restored in Liberia so long as all Liberians rebel groups are honestly willing to abandon their guns, come together & give full cooperation to the peace process to save innocent citizens from unnecessary suffering & with the help of UN life would come back to normal eventually.
Wake Forest, N.C, USA
Neither LURD nor MODEL should have a say in the interim government because doing so would only be rewarding them for causing some of the atrocities.
Now Liberia stands on the threshold of real history. If LURD Or MODEL must be taken seriously, they must now prove themselves as legitimate political body, and not just a group of revenge filled gunmen.
Afana Atuanya, Silver spring, MD, USA
Since Mr Taylor had already left Liberia, I think the peacekeepers should stand their ground and don't let any group to cause problems for the Liberian people again, because we are tired of seeing our brothers and sisters dying. My advice to ECOWAS, UN, and the US, is to put some kind of pressure on the rebel to fulfil their promises they made to leave the port and go back to their old position. I end with this: May God Almighty bless Liberia and restore peace to my dearest country. Thanks
Dashiki Vah, Trenton, NJ, USA
The first of many steps has been accomplished. That is, Charles Taylor has stepped down and has left the country. Now that Charles Taylor has left Liberia, my fellow Liberians, let's us rise to the occasion and 'Put Liberia First'. Let's build a country that our kids and unborn kids will be proud of. We can do. "What men have done, men can always do!"
I don't thick there could be any peace in the country because as Mr Taylor left the country yesterday, he handed over to the deputy who the rebels are also asking to quit, so who is going to be the president without war? All the youths in Liberia have been used as weapons during the war, they carry guns everyday and don't see anything bad in that, so if we opted for the youth, are they not going to end up like Taylor. We should not forget that Taylor led the group that overthrown Samuel Doe with the hope that he will be a good president. The fact is that Liberia has fought its future, and it's a shame to the African continent.
Adewunmi Adeyinka Isaac, Nigeria
I am a citizen of Liberia and I am only 15 years of age. Since the war broke out in 1990 I have never set an eye on father, but I am sure one day we, the Liberians, will have peace and we will not know what to do because in this world no one can predict the future, so in my opinion "SAY WE WILL HAVE ONE DAY TO COME"
Jackson Selly Junior, Accra-Ghana
I think Mr Taylor had made a good move in the interest of the Liberian people and his country. Now it is left with Washington and President Bush to play their part. We all know that peace cannot come in one day. Now that Taylor is no longer in the picture, Liberian politicians have to put their differences aside to work for the common good of the Liberia and Liberians. We all know because of disunity among the politician this is while Taylor won the 1997. Let's remember that the politician are the cause of what we are going through today. If this continues we are not going any where.
Let us remember that restoring peace to Liberia is a process and not a one-time event. Taylor's stepping down and going into exile is one aspect of this process, ridding the government of corrupt officials and civil servants, overhauling the entire monetary system, ensuring disarmament, installing an interim government come up with a sound reintegration and reconstruction plan are other more crucial aspects of the process. We have to be cautious in how we perceive peace and what constitutes a peaceful nation or we will find ourselves back in the wilderness again.
Musu Stewart, Liberia/US
I think the only way for there to be lasting peace in Liberia is for the international community, as headed by the UN, to oversee a transitional government that will help to restore the faith and confidence of the battered citizens of Liberia. As far as the United States having a responsibility for Liberia, I agree to some extent, but I also feel that Liberia must also be the responsibility of the whole African and international community as well as Liberians themselves. Thank God Charles Taylor is gone, but who knows what is to come if his former VP is left to govern. The rebels will only continue and I do not think that they have all Liberians best interests in mind either.
Salt Lake City, USA
I think Mr Taylor is a criminal and should not be allowed to get away with murder, it defeats the essence of democracy. The only way Liberians can expect peace is to take stock of their 14 year old civil war and demand that the instigators be brought to Justice It is for the Liberians themselves to forgive and not outsiders who did not come to their aid for 14 years.
Ochieng George, Osaka Japan
I think what president Taylor have done is quite excellent. Few presidents could afford to act like that. Concerning peace it depends on the rebels and the new administration. If they put the interest of the country as first priority, peace will come. Removing a president alone cannot bring peace. The rebels and the government have to forget their differences and work for common goal. Again the people of Liberia have role to play not the peacekeepers. Because when the troops leave, fighting may resume claiming more lives. Peace should be the responsibility of every Liberian.
I am a Liberian. I believe the departure of Taylor is not going to bring total peace, but at least 65% peace will be on hand. Total peace will only be restored if all those that committed crimes against the Liberian people from 1980 to present can be brought to justice. Furthermore, if all groups can sit together to settle their differences lasting peace will come. Again Taylor going is one important step; but the other steps must be taken.
Arthur Wongbaye, Monrovia, Liberia
Peace cannot be achieved in a flash; but the stepping down of the ignoble President Taylor and his subsequent exile will be to a very large extent facilitate the achievement of a lasting peace. This will also be feasible if foreign vested interests do not interfere in how Liberia is run to suit their foreign policy interests. We have had enough puppet governments in Africa, so let peace come to Liberia for; they have suffered too much in this hell on earth.
Raymond Osei-Boadu, Kumasi, Ghana
I am a Liberian living in the US I think that its a good thing that President Taylor is leaving but we are still not certain that our country is in good hands. I want to know how much help America is willing to give after president Taylor leaves?
Raymond Reeves, Minnesota, US
I believe that genuine peace can only return to Liberia if the UN and the US provide true leadership to the peace keeping efforts. I commend the African Countries for their efforts but because the had been to Liberia in the 1990's and applied the African solution that failed to bring about peace. They instead created and supported Charles Taylor who has brought massive destruction to the social fabrics of the country and the citizens of Liberia. I don't believe that African leaders are committed to peace in Liberia so they should not be left alone to find a solution to the Liberian crises.
Cleveland Ohio, USA
Thank God West African leaders moved quickly to stop further loss of innocent lives in Monrovia. As a Nigerian, I support the effort to use our troops to save lives in Liberia. If Nigeria with all her socio-economic and political problems can still manage to add the Liberian crisis to her burden, then the US has no moral excuse for staying off their shores and watching them die. The cost of operating in Iraq's hostile theatre for one day, would pay for the peace operations in friendly Liberia for one year.
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
The United States is obligated to commit their troops in Liberia because of the historic ties between these nations. If Mr Bush cant commit his troops to bring peace to this troubled part of the world, he should at least underwrite the cost of this peace-keeping mission. It is estimated that it will cost one third of the monthly cost of the US engagement in Iraq. Ecomil should be commended, and I am sure they will do a good job.
Mohamed Jalloh, Maryland, USA
Peacekeepers can help stop the bullets from flying. However, true prosperity for the masses and a government free of greed and corruption will be necessary to keep a long-lasting peace. The probability or even possibility of that happening is anyone's guess.
I am very glad that the ruthless reign of the tyrant Charles Taylor is about to end. What is even more important now is for Liberians to pick up the pieces and learn to better govern their society.
Harris Jones, United States
If Mr Taylor quits now that will make history in Liberia. He will be a first leader to succumb to the protests of the masses in Liberia and in Africa in general.
Bill, Dakar, Senegal
Yes, peace can be restored to Liberia. Liberia can have genuine peace if only the United Nations and the United States step in and appoint an administrator to take over for about 3 - 5 years and rebuilt confidence. Right now, all parties in Accra are just gravy seekers and do not have the country's interests at heart.
After Afghanistan and Iraq I can see why the US can be a little gun shy about getting involved in another conflict. The fact that peace keepers are on the ground is a big boost. I think that having African peacekeepers rather than Western ones is better. Also, the people of Liberia want peace is a big boost. Lets see if the rebels stop shooting and Taylor leaves.
Russ B, USA
For a better future for Liberia and its people US must impose a leader for a government of national unity. Such leader must be an American to head the brief transition period, just like Iraq. He will be welcome by the Liberian people. Liberia is not Iraq; US soldier will be in total peace on Liberian soil.
Nathaniel Dave Williams,
Liberian in exile / Asia.
I think it's pathetic the way the Liberians keep bawling for American intervention. For those who look on the US as a sort of "big brother", I hope this is a wake up call. The US and the West in general don't care about you. If there is going to be any peace in Liberia, it can only happen through the efforts of Liberians themselves and with help from their African brothers. Let's free ourselves from colonial mentality and take charge of our own affairs.
Kelechi, Lagos, Nigeria
How about the western arms dealers stop flooding Africa with weapons? Simple really isn't it?
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand
The West African peacekeepers will make a big difference because Liberians want peace. However, restoring peace depends on the seriousness and commitment of the international community. Liberians welcomed the involvement of their neighbours in this conflict because Taylor extended his madness beyond their borders. But the international community must ensure that after the departure of Taylor, nobody including neighbours should continue to fuel the conflict in Liberia. If this is not addressed I'm afraid that the sub-region has a long way to go to enjoy peace.
John Williams, Upper Darby, PA, USA
I think the US role in Liberia is not needed at the moment. Already the peacekeepers from the neighbouring West African States are capable of getting the job done without the US.
I think peace can be restored to Liberia only when Charles Taylor leaves and we, Liberians, consider one another.
Varfee A. Dukuly, Norway
Obviously, the US is suppose to be the first country that supports Liberia during its hour of need, but these days international diplomacy has shed itself of morality, there is this belief that since there is no oil in Liberia the US has nothing at stake. I think and feel that the Nigerians can and will liberate the Liberians from their present predicament as they were able to in the most recent past.
YUSUF A, Nigeria
Hopefully peace will be restored to Liberia. Every country that is able should contribute some peacekeepers and money; everybody has a moral obligation to help. However, we live in a cynical, realistic and materialistic world, money talks and charity usually starts and 'ends' at home. I hope that the West African peacekeepers will make a difference and help restore peace to Liberia.
KW Yee, Malaysia
I am very much confident that the ECOMIL Peacekeepers will make a big difference. I differ with those who have so far discredited our African brothers for their previous intervention into Liberia and therefore have doubts about the present mission. Brave ECOMIL and thank God for you. Equally, I believe the US intervention is also a moral obligation. During the 1st, 2nd and cold-war, Liberians and Liberia served the US's interest and therefore, their participation to bring peace to Liberia is highly anticipated. Our ECOWAS brothers are capable, but they need to be beefed up by a superpower- AMERICA.
Liberia desperately needs peacekeeping force and an international intervention to establish a legitimate government to replace Taylor's clique which set itself the guardian of such peaceful nation. Liberia is a rich country and they do not deserve this. As an Iraqi born who has been through similar events know how much do the Liberians need outside help! The international community must simply stop tolerating people like Taylor and treat them like politicians!
UK (IRAQI BORN)
It can be restored if Charles Taylor steps down as president and bring to table all the rival parties in order to settle their differences and understand that war is destroying Liberian lives and economy. They must start to work together in order to build their country
Faztudo Langisse, Mozambique
I believed that Ecomog through Ecomil can in the shortest possible time bring peace to Liberia. My advice is that Mr Taylor should please leave our country for long lasting peace.
Liberian in Ghana
Every country in the world was staunchly opposed to US fighting in Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people. But now that another country is in dire need of assistance, as the Iraqis were, the entire world is now insisting that it is America's moral obligation to help; all of these countries are hypocrites. America has no obligation to Liberia and should not try help. As we can see what happened in Mogadishu when we tried to help, the Africans were so grateful they mutilated the bodies of American Rangers and dragged them through the street.
Patrick Wakefield, USA
The crisis in Liberia is quite different from the Somalia episode. As the world can see Liberians are welcoming peacekeepers, and, not killing them like the Somalia crisis. Therefore, the US has no legitimate reasons not to go into Liberia. The US has the moral duty to go into Liberia and keep the peace, which will prove to the whole world that she values life, democracy, and the pursuit of happiness over and against oil rich countries.
Sando Moore, II,
Rhode Island, USA
I hope the new Liberian government will request a long term US military presence, a naval base perhaps. Otherwise violence will return to the region in a few short years.
President Taylor stepping down and going into exile is just a start of the solution. The international community, particularly US and UN, should be willing to support the restoration of sustainable peace financially, morally and should provide the necessary logistics. However, a salient issue of concern is for the warring factions and all Liberians in general to forget about war as a means of redressing politico-economic and social problems. We are tired of war in the sub-region and will want to forge ahead with development in a peaceful and stable environment.
Yes, peace can return to Liberia if all parties play their role. The US should rise to the occasion by proving peacekeepers to back up the bulk of African troops to be sent there. Nigeria has the military capability but lacks the equipment and money. The US should pay for the African troops and their deployment too. Only then can the sufferings of the innocent civilians in Monrovia would have a respite. They deserve our assistance. That is the only moral thing to do
C J, Nigerian
Its high time Africans leaders show they can resolve conflicts too. Where is the so called African Union? Where is Mr Mandela? Where is Paul Biya and Mr Eyadema? Liberia may have historical ties with the US but is still an African creation. Are we going to fold our arms and wait for America and Europe every time conflict breaks up in the continent?
America should intervene but should be warned not to side with one faction against the other-let it be neutral. ECOWAS cannot stand alone because the so called rebels AND government forces have no respect to fellow African leaders; hence a need for a superpower (America).
The US has a morale obligation to restore peace in Liberia, if they are concern about humanity instead of self interest which means money country like Iraq.
Issa Teah, Liberia
Peace can be restored to Liberia. It will only take the commitment of all the parties involve to restore peace. The Government of Liberia and rebels need to put the country first and be truth to all their promises of bringing peace to Liberia. I have confidence in the African peacekeepers and I am sure they can do the job.
E. Zodia Chelleh,
In world history we have seen what US American intervention leads to. Alone intervention in Africa- open and secret-have always ended in a dead end street to more suffering for the population. It is time that we Africans start solving our own problems with our means, of course also in accordance to a more a less independent institution as the UN.
Yes, peace can be restored in Liberia only if Charles Taylor leaves Liberia. And also, preparations are made for free and fair elections.
Hassan Timbo, Sierra Leone
We couldn't ask for more, may God bless the peacekeepers. We appreciate every effort. Thank you and may God bless you. We want peace...
Natasha N Worjloh, USA
My husband is on one of those warships sitting off the coast and I feel like they need to go in and help. They have been trained to help people in these kinds of situations. Even though Nigeria has been sent in, I strongly believe that the US needs to intervene.
The US is not obliged to intervene in Liberia, but it should. For peace and security around the world, the US should act to ensure that Liberia does not become a failed state that could become a haven for terrorists.
Michael D. Henderson, USA
We want our peacekeepers to stay in Liberia till the conflict ends.
Abraham Geezay, Liberia
Yes, the peace keeping force will indeed make a vast difference. Thank God for Ecomil. May God Almighty spare their lives as they're sacrificing theirs to save ours.
Jassie Fletcher, Liberian/USA
Thank God that the West African peacekeepers have now begun arriving in Liberia. I think that they will help save numerous lives. May God Almighty bless their efforts. The US marines are just off the Liberian coast and it's not late for them to go in and help the ECOWAS peacekeeping force. God will bless them if they do.
Eddie Lee, Liberia
Peace can definitely be restored to Liberia. Nothing lasts forever. I am especially thankful to God for our West African brothers who have taken up the offer to do so. May God bless their effort and bless Africa.
Musu Stewart, Liberia/US
I suggest the US in conjunction with the UN should try to intervene into the present situation in Monrovia and Buchana. President George Bush once promised to help us by sending at least a peacekeeping force to Liberia. the land of freed slaves. Our ancestors founded the place. Why do we fight among ourselves? I am appealing to President George Bush to use his good offices to at least send an interim presence to facilitate the welfare of the people. I am once again appealing to Mr Kofi Annan to please help stop the conflicts for we have been in exile for a long time - since 1990.
Eric Richardson Tobby,
Liberian in Ghana
Of course troops should go in. The problem here is that the US has no credibility. The leadership now only pretends to be a benevolent entity after their lies to get a war in Iraq. Plain and simple, people around the world, including the US, support international forces helping people depose of despots. When the world community brings the proverbial hammer down on oppression what chance do dictatorships stand?
Todd X, USA
The Liberians came from slavery in America to build their own free nation. They have though the right to decide their own destiny without interference. Let them handle it themselves, if they can.
Look, I don't know why we are still waiting for
troops to save innocent lives ?? Please, for God sake, move in now!
I think an international force should go into Liberia to bring this nonsense to an end. For God's sake, Liberia is a part of the UN. I don't understand why the US stood by guarding their precious embassy as innocent lives were taken as they watched. Our ancestors worked very hard in this country before leaving for Liberia where they settled. They worked in sweat, blood and tears.
The intervention of international force in the Liberian situation is long overdue. The longer the delay, the more lives are being lost.
US leadership of the international force will instil more confidence and ensure higher security in both the civilian population and armed combatants.
Andrew, Liberian in the US
These people are asking for our help, and our historical ties with this country instils a sense of responsibility in my heart to them. I think we should definitely help them to sort it out.
I think Mr Taylor does not want to quit power as he has promised, his intention is to procrastinate the handling over of power until the expiration next January. In my opinion, the only way Mr Taylor would quit power in Liberia by the use of force. He has no respect for anybody, including President Bush and West African leaders, let alone his "own" Liberian people.
Liberian in NY
The mind boggles at how quick the European community is to say which conflicts the US should and shouldn't get involved in. Where's the clamouring for the French, the Belgians, the Dutch or the British to go in? Obviously the rest of the world cares deeply about slinging mud at the Americans, but beyond that I doubt they care at all for the poor Liberians.
The comments on this page simply prove how inept and impotent the UN really is. For if the UN had any power or respect in the world, there would not be this overwhelming expectation for the US to intervene and handle things. This situation is exactly what the UN was formed to prevent or resolve.
I think it is a disgrace that the United Nations and the US have done so little to date to relieve the suffering of the people of Liberia. George Bush and Tony Blair were more than happy to put a case together to invade Iraq, although the evidence of weapons of mass destruction has proved as ever elusive. Had Liberia been a nation rich in oil perhaps the White House would have taken a different view! I am glad that the Nigerians have taken the lead in putting together a peace keeping force. Let's hope that they are given the support they require to get Liberia under control as soon as possible.
The United States will not go into Liberia right away, due to the history created in Somalia 10 yrs ago. However, they would take a chance and go into an unjustified war with Iraq. If the United States went into Liberia 13 days ago, they would have been seen in a whole new light.
Susan e, Canada
I was in Liberia for the first half of the war. from what I saw, ECOWAS peacekeepers, had more babies by the Liberian women; and did more stealing from the war torn country than keeping peace. We (Liberians) do not think that the U.S is responsible for our problems or is compelled to rescue us; all we are asking and begging the U.S for is the presence of their troops while ECOWAS is in Liberia and before Charles Taylor leaves the country. Please. If Taylor leaves before the peacekeepers arrive in Liberia, there will be as much killing as there is now. So please help us.
Liberian living in the U.S
I think an international force should go to Liberia because we are not ready to rule ourselves, we are traumatized from the war. Even though the world owes us nothing, they should do it for humanitarian reasons. We have no respect all over the world we need to gain our respect back.
Marcia Iyotunde Gooding,
I believe Peacekeepers should go to Liberia to restore order and organize an election that will bring a lasting solution and sanity to Liberia. Lots of lives have been lost due to power thirsty hooligans whose motives are nothing but to destroy a Country that was formed on Liberty and love of God.
Ijeoma Abanobi, Liberia
As far as I can see, the US has done more than the UN so far. It has sent advisory group and has a thousand troops off shore. But the question still is what are they supposed to do? In the past Peace keepers were supposed to do nothing. If fighting breaks out, they are to do nothing, unless they are fired upon. So what good are they?
The UN should handle the deployment of peacekeepers to Liberia. Because a few towns have the names of last century's American politicians and five percent of the population are descended from repatriated slaves from the US doesn't mean they need Americans to come in and shoot the place up. America is not the world's policeman, and they are certainly not skilled at peacekeeping. Keep them out of Liberia and things will settle down if the UN handles the problem.
Peter K, Canada
What role shall women play in the international intervention in Liberia? An all male, ten person advance team has now been sent to Monrovia. It is a mistake that women were not included in the advance group. Speaking from my own professional experience in international missions, civilian mediators, military "order restorers" and humanitarian workers should be sent, side by side, from the beginning of intervention. And yes, the United States has an historic debt to Liberia that we (Americans) need to start repaying.
Marian Douglas, Italy
Why is everyone asking the US to lead the intervention process? Liberia is a victim of US cold-war politics when it's last democratically elected president William Richard Tolbert was murdered in 1980.
Liberians have always thought they had a special relationship with Americans. We deceived ourselves. We Liberians also believed that the Americans knew how we felt about them. We held them in high esteem and they let us down. The most disappointing thing was them suspecting that we would treat them like they were treated in Somalia. I hope Liberians will learn a lesson from this American experience.
We should learn to settle our disputes amongst ourselves, and that begins with learning how to forgive, forget and co-exist. If we don't do this, the guns will not remain silent after the peacekeepers leave. This is common sense and we do not need a PhD to realize this. A high illiteracy rate in Liberia does not excuse us from thinking rationally.
I cannot understand all the fuss about the US not sending their troops to Liberia. The sooner Africans start to realise that the world could not care less about our problems, the better for us
There is no doubt that the U.S. should send military aid to stop the carnage in Liberia. Besides the deep-rooted historical ties to the country, we have used the it as one of our many international stepping stones to economic success. Besides the economic ties to the country that we have exploited, we must be concerned with the basic humanitarian principles that the free world fights for every day. The choice is simple, we can either choose to fight for oil, or fight for human lives.
Adam Wilson, USA
Americans often pride themselves on notions of liberty, fair play and helping others. This issue troubles me not so much because of the nature of the conflict but to because of my country's lack of compassion and conviction in helping a nation that we have had a hand in its unique origins. America has been more that egger to take part in military actions in both Europe and the Middle East often under circumstance where we were not wanted. One can't help but be aware of the appearance of bigotry in this event.
I do agree that Liberia's continuous problems are manmade. However, the West is significantly responsible for providing material and ideological support to those Liberians who see the guns as their only means to power. The US has always sought to play significant roles in Liberian affairs and should be directly involved in resolving this crisis. Also, the present bunch of Liberian political leaders is a disgrace to Liberia and Africa. To see them unable to put their country first after twenty years of violence is completely outrageous.
The failure of the United States government to send forces to Liberia to stop the killings of innocent civilians, should served as an example to those Liberians who look at the Americans as a traditional friend. Americans lives are not better than those in Liberia - we all have red blood running through our veins. The Americans do not have friends but interests. I want all Liberians to wake-up to this fact, and know that the rebuilding of their country rests squarely on their own shoulders.
I believe an international interventionist force is essential to halting the ongoing carnage in Liberia. Charles Taylor's exit (after the arrival of peacekeepers) is welcome. However, no one should assume that would be the end of the problem. Why can the rebels not wait to unseat Taylor through elections? Their leaders are nothing but selfish and wicked people who are profiting from the carnage. They want power, or a piece of Liberia, only to enrich themselves. The international community must resolve the problem by aiding ECOMOG to crush them and declare their leaders war criminals.
J. Opoku Agyei, Ghana
Those who think that Africans should only resolve the conflict in Liberia either lack any prolific paradigm or have not followed the Liberian conflict for the past decade. Of course, Africans tried solving the Liberian conflict in 1990s but failed miserably. African leaders' failure to end the conflict has resulted in depressingly cataclysmic events that have unfolded in recent weeks killing hundreds and displacing thousands. Certainly, this is grim testament of how feeble this theory is. If the international community can end the 13 year-old war in Liberian, there is nothing to be arrogant about. Indeed, as a Liberian I welcome help from other countries outside the region.
No external force should go to Liberia until it is clear what their task is. There cannot be peace 'keeping' unless there is peace to be kept. In Liberia the job is surely peace 'making' and external intervention will involve casualties
and subsequently a long-term presence. Unless the US and others see the problem in these terms and say so clearly to their parliaments and public opinions they should not become involved on the ground.
Sor John Killick, United Kingdom
I'm flabbergasted that the US is always blamed for the ineptitude of African leaders. The Liberian situation should have been resolved by Liberians in a peaceful manner. If the elections that brought Charles Taylor to power were free and fair, and if we Liberians believe in the rule of law, then opposition candidates should have waited for the next general elections rather than resort to guerrilla warfare to achieve their goals. I am not a supporter of Charles Taylor, but we have to face the facts - that in hindsight a mistake was made by the Liberian people to vote him into office. We are tired of Liberians using the gun as a conduit to political power. Long live Liberia, Long live the people of Liberia!!!
Liberia is a member of the international community, and also one of the founding members of the United Nations. There should be no question of an international force going there. They should have been there in the first place. The arrival of the 10 military experts to the Liberian capitol, is a blessing to the Liberians in Liberia and those of us here in the United States and other parts of the world. Thank God the Nigeria and the rest of the west African countries for their help for our people.
A Liberian, living in the United States
I worked in Liberia for a year. American troops without a doubt would make a difference. Americans are deeply respected. Our military could easily handle any issues. With that said, African nations repeatedly turn to Western, former colonial powers when they dig themselves into a hole and expect us to bail them out (Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone for example). Later we are accused of trying to re-colonize them. This is a problem the Liberians created for themselves. We could have intervened a decade ago but did not. We should now, but only with the condition that Charles Taylor leaves or it should be our first order of business when our troops touch down.
The United States should have no role in the current Liberian imbroglio. Let Liberians and other African countries and governments deal with this problem that is in our backyard. If African countries can't govern themselves, well, they should say so and allow the West to take over the day-to-day administration of their countries. It is getting to be old and tired news: we mess up our countries and our institutions and then ask France, Britain or the USA to bail us out. What is happening in Liberia, and in three-dozen other African countries is man-made - not natural disaster. We broke it; we should fix it! If we couldn't govern ourselves - why ask for political independence?
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde, USA/Nigeria
As the debate continues more people are dying. I am not sure why it is that the UN has not mobilized a force to bring calm to Liberia. However the obvious solution is so hard to avoid, and begs a very powerful question. As West African nations struggle to organize a peacekeeping force of 1500 troops, there are approximately 150,000 American soldiers in Iraq. It would not by any means weaken the American forces in Iraq if the US could send a peacekeeping force of a few thousand troops to Liberia. The US presence alone would likely calm things down in a matter of a few hours, allowing for political discourse to take control again as the primary form of resolution. So the question becomes why not? Why is it that bringing freedom to the Iraqi people, without their request, is so important to the White House? While the Liberian people are begging for the US's help, and their calls fall upon deaf ears?
Why isn't the EU sending troops. It's kind of funny that when the US goes into a country like Iraq they complain and when the US doesn't go into Liberia they still complain. Somehow I'm not surprised.
These are very hard times for the people of Liberia but at a time when Africans are struggling to show that Africa does not have to be treated as incapable of working for its own prosperity, it is very important that this situation be handled by African countries. Countries in the West do not come to Africa to beg for help; neither do I think African countries should wait on the West to help them whenever a crisis like this happens. It is a disgrace to see many African countries still incapable of standing on their own feet. Shame on African politicians and so-called leaders! Shame!
David Tonghou, Cameroon-USA
I agree with Eyob, Ethiopia (below). African countries should be allowed to resolve their own problems. However, if we are serious about peace in Liberia, we must consider the wider picture. The system we live under means that developing countries like Liberia are dominated by institutions like the World Bank, when it comes to policy making decisions. It is also necessary to consider that the World Bank is based in US and that its clients are rich western countries. It is necessary to consider that the World Bank is a financial institution. It is the job of the World Bank to assure profits for its clients. It is naive to expect such a system to solve the problems of Liberia or any country in Africa. Only by having true democracy in the west, can we solve the problems of the developing world.
I'm really proud that our African leader's have now discovered that we Africans should, and are supposed to, solve our own problems.
Let me add that, if we depend on America and the so called developed world to solve our problems then we are just being childish. We should try and sit down as Africans discover why we are under developed and find solutions to our problems. We can do it because South Korea, Japan and the rest they were all under developed and has really made it. Thank you
There is always the same problem with sending US troops to keep the peace- if the US sends troops, it is criticised for being a bully and in imperialist power. If it doesn't, then its criticised for being interested in only economic gain or control of oil, For each action in Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo, the US was criticised for acting or not acting. No wonder American are confused and disappointed with US allies in Europe and the third world!
Yes. For the sake of peace and the promotion of civilization throughout Africa the international force should go to Liberia. I also believe now that our African brothers mainly in the sub region should lead the force. Richer countries should help to fund the effort. People may not understand but the US has been a part of Liberia's problems for a very long time. Let the doubters go and inquire from their former presidents and congressmen. The truth will come to light one day.
Musu Stewart, US/Liberia
The question is, can the powers that be in Liberia and the African community end this problem as soon as humanly possible? If yes, then let the African powers solve it to avoid further criticism of/between western nations. However, what appears likely is that the powers in African cannot end this problem as soon as possible, because of the socioeconomic burden intervening in a war carries. It therefore becomes the moral and ethical responsibility of the international community to end these atrocities.
History and destiny has assigned to the USA the role of being the sole defender of human rights, democratic values and political freedoms. We Africans don't trust Europe due to our past with them.
Yes, with particular emphasis placed on an "international" force. Liberia, like every nation, deserves the chance to grow economically, politically and peacefully. If that requires the intervention of an international body, then so be it.
History has repeated itself. The US had failed to recognize Liberia as an independent nation in 1847, she had failed to intervene in the early '90s when the crisis had just begun, she has let us down once again while children and the innocent have died. It is high time Liberians accept the indifference from Washington and look other ways; It is high time the world understood the complexities of US Policies or if I may say Political-Economics. Liberia's political and social catastrophes could have been avoided had there been oil in Liberia.
Amin Modad, US
It is truly heart wrenching to see Liberia in such brutal civil conflict. But President Bush will stick to his guns by insisting that Charles Taylor must step down before sending any US military forces. He has brutally ruled the Country people (who are indigenous to the region and overwhelming majority in Liberia) with a bloody iron fist for more than a decade. If he is unable to rule all of the people in Liberia fairly and with equality then he must step down as President. UN International Forces should go in and try to negotiate a cease fire along with ECOWAS. Africans must learn to set aside their ethnic hatred and prejudice. Their constant tribal warfare and blood shed is destroying the whole country. Their must be constructive discussions on how to rebuild their country, achieve political stability, and economic growth. Moreover, they need to stop blaming each other for past coups and atrocities because all are guilty of such acts. I will continue to pray for peace in Liberia.
The idea of direct US intervention for the reason of "former slaves" is a non-starter. The US owes no one for something that took place 150 years ago. We do because we want to do, not because some countries bitter about Iraq demand it. The cold, hard fact staring us in the face is Liberia is not a threat to our national security. There were no Liberians on those airplanes that invaded our sovereignty and attempted to thwart our economy and destroy our great cities. If we intervene in Liberia it will involve UN forces. Remember the blue-helmets? It is time they did what they were designed for.
John, Texas, USA
Yes! US should intervene. When Bosnia and Kosovo had similar problems, the Europeans alone did not resolve the issue. The US and the International community intervened to help resolve the Ethnic bloodshed. What is wrong with sending US troop to Liberia?
Liberia-live in the U.S.
There is one major difference between Liberia and Iraq -- and it has nothing to do with oil. The US went in to Iraq to fight a war. The war is already being fought in Liberia. The US did not create this problem. The US did not cause this war. The US did not kill these people. They are killing themselves. Stop blaming the problems of the world on the US and take some responsibility for yourselves.
I am sorry to see Africa is once again in turmoil. I hope the people of Liberia will pass this difficult time through their courage, patience and faith. I wish them the best. However, it is so naive to think that the US or UN will come and rescue Africans. Thus, it is time for us to pressure African nations through African Union to get the act together and send troops to Liberia. Most African countries have well equipped troops to fight each other, and I am sure they can pull together to save the lives of Liberians.
I feel the comparisons between the Iraq crisis and Liberia are unfair. There are obvious national interests in dealing with Iraq - terrorism in the region, oil, threat of WMD and an Iraqi government that systematically killed who ever they wanted.
Liberia is more a civil war. Now, I do agree that something should be done. This would be a perfect opportunity for the UN to prove its worth; they clearly have not done a good job in places like Kosovo and Somalia. The fact is there is not enough of a national interest for the US to act unilaterally.
Mike Daly, USA