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Cardinal Backs Action to Bring Stability to Liberia

posted on 28 July 2003
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor today (Monday 28th July) urged the government to use its influence in the international community to bring stability to Liberia. The Cardinal's call follows meetings between the Bishop's Conference for England and Wales and Archbishop Francis of Monrovia and the recent announcement that US warships are being sent to Liberia. The Cardinal said:

'Last week, when he met Chris Mullins, the Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Archbishop Michael Francis pressed the case for military intervention by US forces to prevent catastrophe in Liberia.

'Currently tens of thousands of displaced persons are stranded in the centre of Monrovia. These impoverished and vulnerable people have no access to running water or guaranteed food supplies. Many hundreds will die of cholera or dysentry - that is if they do not die in the cross-fire between the government and rebel forces.

'Archbishop Francis is the most respected and independent voice in Liberia. He has called on the US to lead a military intervention to bring peace to his country and failing that he has suggested the EU should take a lead role. I think he is right. Time is not on our side. Thousands may die if action is not taken within days.'

Notes:
Leading relief agencies have called for military intervention to precede emergency humanitarian assistance. Denis Viénot, President of Caritas Europa last week called on the European Commission to initiate 'immediate, firm and decisive political and military action by the international community to enforce an end to the violence and to restore peace to Liberia'
Contact Details:
Austen Ivereigh
Telephone: 020 7798 9045 or 07905 224860
posted on 28 July 2003

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