By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Saturday December 24, 2005
Liberia’s president-elect, Madam Ellen Johnson -Sirleaf has said in Freetown that she believes in the rule of law and justice but indicated that what is paramount now to her is to reconcile Liberia.
She was answering questios from journalists at State House last Friday during her one day visit to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone on whether her government will hand over Liberia’s former Presdient Charles Taylor to the Special Court in Sierra Leone to answer to 17 counts indictment.
“I have held fruitful consultations with other Heads of State in the sub-region and my visit to Sierra Leone is a continuation of those consultations. What is important at this stage is to see how to carry out justice without returning to war. I am also here to thank the government and people of Sierra Leone for hosting their Liberian brothers and sisters during Liberia’s time of war and to apologise for the wrongs done to the people of ths country”, she told journalists.
Madam Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf later met with a cross-section of Women`s organisations in Sierra Leone. She promised to work closely with the Mano River Women Peace network, MAWOPNET, a women `s organisation comprising women of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Sierra Leone`s Minister of Gender, Social Welfare and Children`s Affairs, Madam Shriley Gbujama congratulated Madam Sirleaf onbehalf of the women of Sierra Leone for her successful election as president of Liberia. “Your ascension to that enviable office has inspired other African Women to stand up and challenge men in whatever capacity,” she stated.
Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf later met with senior staff of UNAMSIL before she returned to Liberia.