“Liberia Concerned About Situation in Guinea,” Vice President Boakai

Saturday, 18th September 2010

Abuja, Nigeria - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N.
Boakai says the situation in neighboring Guinea is a threat to the fragile peace in Liberia, and is urging the international community to put their acts together to restore sanity to the troubled country.

He observed that the age-old rivalry between the Mandingoes and Fulas was revived when two candidates from these two ethnic groups qualified for the now postponed run-off presidential election, thus making the situation in Guinea volatile.

Addressing a closed door session of the one-day Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Guinea Bissau in the Nigerian political capital Abuja Friday, Vice President Boakai made an impassioned appeal to ECOWAS, the AU, UN and other international partners to intervene in the Guinea situation without delay to ensure it does not escalate  further.

Also speaking at his Transcorp Hilton suite Saturday, when the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho paid a courtesy call on him, Vice President Boakai said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is equally concerned about the situation in Guinea, has pleaded to the President of Burkina Faso Blaise Campoare who is also ECOWAS Mediator on the Guinean crisis, to use his influence to bring the situation in Guinea under control.

Speaking during his visit to Vice President Boakai, the ECOWAS Commission President informed the Liberian Vice President that the sub-regional grouping has instituted measures aimed at ensuring an immediate resolution of the Guinean conflict.

Ambassador Gbeho said ECOWAS is dispatching a team to Conakry on Saturday to let authorities there know the sub-regional group’s position on the situation in that country.

He said ECOWAS realizes that the lack of credible leadership in Guinea makes the situation in that country one of ‘free-for –all’, and an incentive for would-be coup makers to seize power.

Ambassador Gbeho used the occasion to inform Vice President Boakai that ECOWAS has evolved an Agricultural Development Plan to ensure food self-sufficiency in the sub-region, and has asked all member states of ECOWAS to advance national Agriculture Development Plans.

He informed Vice President Boakai that the ECOWAS authority has set aside US$900 million to support the program, and hoped Liberia has already developed an Agriculture Development Plan.

Ambassador Gbeho hoped West African countries would follow the example of Malawi which has been transformed from a country that imported 43 percent of its food to a food exporting country within the space of just five years.