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PRESS RELEASE NO. 23
Tenth Assembly Urges UN to Send Stabilization Force to Liberia
to Our Rescue," Lutheran Bishop Harris Pleads to International
Canada, 28 July 2003 – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF),
holding its Tenth Assembly here, has called upon the United Nations
to send a stabilization force to Liberia to prevent Government
forces and rebels from attacking each other, and protect civilians.
statement released by the Assembly’s Policy and Reference
Committee, the LWF "urged the UN Security Council to
immediately mandate the deployment of a multilateral stabilization
force to separate the warring sides, to protect civilians, and to
disarm and demobilize all fighting forces."
statement came after a heart-rending briefing on the current
situation in Liberia by the head of the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL),
Bishop Sumoward Harris, and Ms Comfort Freeman, representing the
to Harris, innocent civilians have continued to die due to renewed
fighting between the warring parties who have said they will not
stop until US troops arrive. "We welcome President Bush’s
intervention of sending his men here but by the time they arrive,
many more Liberians will be dead," said Harris.
25, the US president ordered 2,000 of his troops to head toward the
war-stricken nation and help restore peace and stability.
appealed to the international community to listen to the voice of
Liberians, saying, "We have been crying for so long. Now it is
time for the international community to come to our rescue."
expressed hope that the African Union (AU) would intervene and send
in peace keeping troops to quell the more-than-a-decade war in the
West African nation. "It is our hope that African leaders
through the AU will move in and guarantee full and decent lives for
their fellow Africans," he said.
also a founding member of Liberia’s Women in Peace Building
Network (WIPNET), noted that Christian and Muslim women in the
country have come together to pursue peaceful solutions for the
have written statements and presented them to the government and
rebels, demanding unconditional cease-fire," she said.
to a regular country situation report by Charles Pitchford, LWF
representative in the country and director of the Department for
World Service program in Liberia, 600 civilians have been killed in
the past week as a result of indiscriminate mortar and small arms
than 20 bodies were piled up outside the US embassy protesting that
America is dragging its feet with respect to sending troops,"
the report further says.
adds, there is no movement in Liberia and the humanitarian crisis is
Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place
21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the
Healing of the World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
There are around 820 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth
Assembly including 380 delegates from the
133 churches with full membership and three associate members. The Assembly is the highest
decision-making body of the LWF, and meets normally every six years.
Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by its Council that meets
annually, and by its Executive Committee.
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