- Title: LIBERIA: GYUDE BRYANT TAKES OATH AS LIBERIA'S NEW INTERIM LEADER
- Date: 14th October 2003
- Summary: (W7) MONROVIA, LIBERIA (OCTOBER 15, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. WIDE OF EXTERIOR OF CAPITAL BULIDING 0.03 2. SLV UNITED NATIONS SOLDIER 0.06 3. WIDE OF GYUDE BRYANT ARRIVAL INSIDE BUILDING 0.11 4. WIDE OF GYUDE BRYANT AND GHANA PRESIDENT JOHN KUFUOR ON HIS RIGHT AND NIGERIAN PRESIDENT OBASANJO ON HIS LEFT (3 SHOTS) 0.21 5. VARIOUS , OF GYUDE BRYANT TAKING OATH OF OFFICE (2 SHOTS) 0.37 6. SMV OBASANJO AND KUFUOR CONGRATULATE GYUDE BRYANT 0.45 7. WIDE OF GYUDE BRYANT AT MICROPHONE 0.49 8. SCU SOUNDBITE: (English) GYUDE BRYANT SAYING: "Let us now work together to move our country forward toward an era of sustainable peace and human development." 0.59 9. WIDE OF HALL /PEOPLE LISTENING 1.02 10. SCU SOUNDBITE: (English) GYUDE BRYANT SAYING: "No group of any kind shall use Liberia for either terrorism or destabilisationof another country." 1.14 11. WIDE OF GYUDE BRYANT SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM 1.25 12. WIDE OF EXTERIOR OF WOMAN SINGING AFTER CEREMONY OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT 1.29 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th October 2003 12:00
- Location: MONROVIA, LIBERIA
- Country: Liberia
- Reuters ID: LVA1W7VSUZ1W16UWSNKPHU71I9GG
- Story Text: Gyude Bryant, a low-profile businessman, took office as Liberia's interim leader on Tuesday with a mission to
disarm fighters and usher in a new era of peace in the West
African country after nearly 14 years of war.
Bryant was sworn in as head of state on Tuesday
(October 14) at the parliament building in the
battle-scarred seaside capital Monrovia, where at least
2,000 people were killed in street fighting before exiled
pariah leader Charles Taylor fled.
"Let us now work together to move our country forward
into an era of sustainable peace and human development",
Bryant said after his inauguration witnessed by U.N.
officials, rebels and the presidents of Nigeria and Ghana.
"No group of any kind should use Liberia for terrorism
or destabilisation of any other country," Bryant said.
Troops from a United Nations force that is building up
into the world's biggest U.N. peacekeeping effort took over
the streets and whirled above in helicopters to ensure
security for the ceremony.
More than 200,000 people have died in fighting since
1989 in the country that was founded by freed American
slaves more than 150 years ago as a haven of liberty.
Taylor pledged his support for Bryant in the first
statement since his flight two months ago allowed warring
factions to sign a deal ending a tribe-tinged struggle that
has poisoned the region.
The former leader has long been blamed for fuelling
conflicts in the region and breeding a generation of young
In his hour-long speech on Tuesday, Bryant called for
the "radical renewal" of Liberia based on the end of
lawlessness, corruption and injustice. He pledged his
"absolute and complete" commitment to restoring peaceful
relations with neighbours Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra
Bryant was picked by warring factions as a neutral
consensus builder, seen as someone who could manage likely
tensions within a government that will bring in rebels,
Taylor loyalists and civilian politicians.
An even bigger task will be disarming thousands of
young fighters inured to murder, rape and pillage. After
that the government will seek to get hundreds of thousands
of displaced civilians home and pave the way for elections
Bryant has been barred from contesting those elections.
Peacekeepers have already restored basic security in
Monrovia. A U.S. Marine task force sent to help has already
sailed for home after judging that the situation had
Liberia, which before its conflict was one of Africa's
wealthiest countries, has been given fresh hope since the
departure of Taylor, who handed over to his former deputy
Moses Blah as caretaker president.
Taylor is in exile in Nigeria, a fugitive from a
U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone that wants to try him for
crimes in a civil war linked to Liberia's own struggle.
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