SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT
CHARLES TAYLOR; HOPES EVENT MARKS BEGINNING OF END
FOR LIBERIA’S “LONG NIGHTMARE”
NEW YORK, 11 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General welcomes the decision of President Charles Taylor to resign office, and expects that he will immediately leave Liberia, as he had promised to do. The Secretary-General hopes that this development may at last mark the beginning of the end of the long nightmare of the Liberian people; and, with that in mind, he strongly urges all parties in Liberia to observe the ceasefire, and to allow humanitarian assistance to reach the population in all parts of the country.
He also urges all Member States to give whatever assistance they can to the Liberian people in restoring security and stability, notably, by supporting and contributing to the multinational force authorized by the Security Council.
The Secretary-General notes the progress achieved by the Liberian parties in the negotiations in Accra, and believes that all of them should now make every effort to reach agreement quickly on a process leading to a transitional government which can bring about national reconciliation, and, in due course, enable the Liberian people to choose a fully representative leadership through free and fair elections.
He wishes to express his appreciation for the efforts made by African leaders -- notably, Presidents Chissano, Kufuor, Mbeki and Obasanjo -- to resolve the crisis. He particularly thanks President Obasanjo for the timely deployment of Nigerian peacekeeping troops, and the former Nigerian head of State, General Abubakar, for his able facilitation of the Accra talks. He hopes that the regional leaders will remain closely engaged, and will do whatever they can to maintain stability and help Liberians reach a peaceful resolution of their differences.
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