From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
ACNS3561 Episcopalian named as transitional leader for Liberia
"Anglican Communion News Service" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 26 Aug 2003 17:46:38 +0100
ACNS 3561 | WEST AFRICA | 26 AUGUST 2003
Episcopalian named as transitional leader for Liberia
The new leader for the transitional government in Liberia was named on
21 August after a 72-hour selection process in the country's capital,
Monrovia. Charles Gyude Bryant, 54, who has been described as a
"mild-mannered businessman" studied economics at Cuttington College and
is chairman of the board of trustees of the Episcopal Church in Liberia.
Backed by both the rebels and the government, Gyude Bryant aims to lead
Liberia into peace after 14-years of violent conflict. The
administration will assume control from 14 October until the elections
take place in October 2005.
Mr Bryant told the press that he was not surprised at his election and
that the people of Liberia needed a neutral person who had no political
association with any of the warring factions. "I will play the role of a
neutral and healing character to cool down the political tension which
has characterised Liberia for more than a decade," he said. "I will cut
off the hate and anger which have eaten deep into the people's way of
Calling for a "cooling off period" to end a civil war that has destroyed
the nation's infrastructure and created a huge refugee problem, Mr
Bryant acknowledged that the government faced monumental problems. Among
these are 450,000 displaced people living in Monrovia amid a crippling
scarcity of food, water and medicine; an 85 per cent unemployment rate;
and thousands of still-armed combatants.
He said his priorities were to work with the United Nations to hold
elections, to demobilise fighters, to establish and maintain order, and
to restore basic services, such as electricity.
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