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National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL)

High Points of Gyude Bryant Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Achieving Peace in Liberia

  • The NTGL is trying to create a new day for all Liberians and foreigners who choose to live in Liberia.

  • Restore Social Justice where people's basic rights are protected

  • Respect Civil Liberties

  • Rebuild infrastructure and give back to the people their wealth & their property

  • Demonstrate that we can truly manage our country soberly and efficiently, so that our children can live decent lives and become productive citizens and help to build Liberia

A description of "The Liberian Case"

We've been through a civil war. The peace conference in Accra established the NTGL and this is their mandate.

  1. Disarm the combatants

  2. Rehabilitate them into their communities and with their families

  3. Bring back home all refugees and ensure that internally displaced persons go back to where they normally live.

  4. Ensure that Liberia becomes gun free, so that there will be no intimidation, extortion, and harassment through the barrel of the gun, so that come October 2005 people can vote their consciences and have a government of the people.

I represent a government of a few, because a few of us sat together representing the people, and selected this government. That is why I choose to be called Chairman and not President. I do not have the people's mandate; I have the mandate of a few.

During the course of the 15 years we destroyed our country, virtually everything was hit. Whether it was the church, the state, private homes, all, looted destroyed, burned, name it. Values, if there is a word worse then decadence, those are the values we carry.

  • Adults are raping 4 & 5 year old little girls
  • Sewer spilling into Broad Street, Carey Street and Randall Street.
  • No safe drinking water
  • Housing destroyed
  • Schools destroyed
  • Hospitals destroyed. A week before I came here, 10 days before I left the country, the Health Minister rushed up to the Mansion, and said I need to see the Chairman urgently. What is the problem? Chairman I regret to say that we've run out of anti-retroviral drugs

    How can that happen? Because of the war we have lost track of our stock levels and there's been so many things to do, the supervisor just came in and said that we don't have one bottle on the shelf and that if we don't get some in 2 days, people will start dying by the dozens. That's how bad it's been.

Malaria, Pneumonia, Asthma, just name them. In my annual message, I had to report on the mortality rate, and it is something like 10% of every 1000 births. Child mortality. It's just bad, our county is torn apart. But, we came back; we try to restore hope and the people as usual, demonstrating their resilience. You know Liberians they are hard to be kept down. They are like a mushroom, every time you press them down and move your finger, they sprout up.

We've tried to strengthen that resolve. We are trying to restore hope and sustained that hope with paying the people. We've put electricity in the Central city. Water is running through Bushrod Island and so tankers can go to certain collection points around the city and take waters into displace camps and into neighborhoods in Mamba Point, Sinkor, Paynesville, or wherever.

Commerce is coming back. We've been able to use Moneys that we've raised through Customs and the Maritime system to pay salaries, pay foreign diplomats, some of whom had not been paid for 12 years. Civil servants in Monrovia and iberia had not been paid for 4 years. At Christmas it was bright, people were on the streets rejoicing, they had enough to eat, they had new clothes to wear, their kids had toys. And so it is coming back. But we need you, all of you Liberians here, we need you to help.

Let me thank you also for the help you sent to your relatives and friends back home. It helped to sustain them through very very difficult years. I remember having a head on tussle with the central bank because there was a Western Union branch, for procedural flaws the central bank had close them down just before Christmas. The one bank that was dispensing funds through Western Union, queues were running from Ashmund Street, to Broad Street into Randall Street. I called the Central Bank government, and said I don't care what the procedure is, open that branch and let the people get their money for Christmas, so they open it and the people got their money from you all, so I want to thank you, sincerely thank you, for that kind of help.

Schools are beginning to open; we've made it compulsory for primary education (0 - 6 grade). It is a felony if you have kids in your home and you don't send them to school, because they don't have to pay school fees.

We've opened some of the health centers at JFK and in New Kru Town there is a new hospital. We are trying our best to see how soon we can expedite the opening, assist the Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians to open up Phebe Hospital. We are trying get other hospitals open around the country as the UNMIL troops go out and say it is safe, so that when we repair those facilities, we can be assured that nobody is going to come back and loot them again. That's what's happening in Liberia.

The plan we presented to the UN on Friday is intended to reconstruct basic, basic, infrastructure.

  • It is first intended to disarm the combatants and put them through some rehabilitation and then try to reintegrate them.
  • It's intended to bring back all the refugees and reintegrate them to their communities, including the internally displaced, get them back to their villages, help them open up their cash crops businesses. Opening up their farms and open up the roads.
  • Significant amounts are going to go into secondary and primary education
  • Significant amounts will go into health care with some hospital works.
  • Other amounts will go into the infrastructure. Expanding the electricity, water supplies and sewer treatment plants.
  • Others still will go into strengthen Liberian Entreprenurship Especially at the farm level so that we can expand the cash crop business. Be it the oil palm business or the rubber industry, where people can get their farms going again.

We hope that you here can complement that effort by bringing people, first yourselves and then your friends to invest in Liberia, so that we can use the private sector as the locomotive to really take Liberia off.

We want to build a small, efficient and productive government sector, where we will have the rules and regulations and protection, of citizens and friends, and leave it to the private sector to drive the economy. We have stood firm about trying to politicize the central bank. I strongly believe and you know the sector I come from, that we should keep the monetary sector away from politics. I've resisted every attempt by everybody to politicize the central bank. We will not do that. We will keep the central bank independent. It will decide the supply of money we have on the market, how big or how little it will be, and we will have a free and open monetary system, where if you come and invest in Liberia, you will be free to repatriate your profits or whatever sums of it you choose, without permission of government, and we will continue to support the free and open market system. It has been that way for a long time and we will keep it that way. In short, that's your home and that is what we are trying to rebuild.

Gyude Bryant - Chairman, NTGL

Harry S. Greaves -
Economic Advisor to the Chairman, NTGL

 

Reports and Status on the National Transitional Government of Liberia