‘ Liberia Committed to Peace in MRU Basin’ –Vice President Boakai

Wednesday, 13th August 2008
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has pledged the Unity Party-led Government’s commitment to working with the government of Sierra Leone for peace in the Mano River Union basin.

He said in terms of similarities of culture and language, Sierra Leone is the closest country to Liberia, noting “This is why we have always had Sierra Leone as our closest ally and have considered the boundaries dividing us as linking points”.

Vice President Boakai made the pledge Wednesday when the newly accredited Sierra Leonean Ambassador to Liberia, Rev. Marie Jilo Barnett paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office.  

He said Liberia welcomed the reactivation of the Mano River Union and its expansion to include Ivory Coast, noting that this was the best way forward to regional peace and stability.

He said the Liberian Government also appreciates the close working relationship between Liberian and Sierra Leonean security to ensure “our common borders are not used to destabilize our two countries”, noting that, “Peace in Liberia is peace in Sierra Leone”.

The Liberian Vice President stressed the need for countries of the Mano River basin to begin to chart a new course for the future after the recent dark past, so that citizens of the sub-region would benefit from their resources.

“We would like to see freedom of movement, peace and stability and development including construction of roads, provision of electricity and pipe borne water in countries within the sub-region,” Vice President Boakai emphasized.

He hoped the ban on the exportation of certain commodities from Guinea to Liberia would be lifted noting, “We do not want petty things that will divide us”.

In remarks earlier, Ambassador Jilo Barnett thanked the Government of Liberia for the warm reception accorded her in Liberia.

She observed that Liberia and Sierra Leone are divided only by boundary, noting that Liberians and Sierra Leoneans have similarities in culture and language.

She said she would continue to count on the cooperation of the Liberian government in maintaining peace and stability in Liberian and Sierra Lone.