Sant'Egidio Sees Reason for Hope in Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia, OCT. 22, 2003 ( The inauguration of Liberia’s new president raises hopes that the country is leaving behind its long civil war, says a Catholic group that works for peace.

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Mario Giro, a delegate of the Community of Sant’Egidio, was in Monrovia last Friday for the inauguration of Liberia’s new president, Gyude Bryant, appointed as a result of the recent peace process.

Giro’s presence in the inauguration ceremony underlines the role played by Sant’Egidio during the peace talks.

Rome-based Sant’Egidio contributed to the peace agreement in the framework of the Economic Community of West African States and other international organizations.

Sant’Egidio helped to mediate the peace talks, held in Accra, Ghana. It organized peace discussions, especially with representatives of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, the main armed opposition force headed by Damate Conneh.

As a result of these discussions, held in Rome between January and August, LURD decided to accept the conditions of the Accra peace agreement.

Last August, the Sant’Egidio Community reported that it did not cease its efforts «for a negotiated agreement even during the weeks of the siege of Monrovia, when it seemed that the conflict might break out in a new civil war.»

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