Accessibility links

Liberian Rebels Begin Filling Top Transitional Government Posts

Liberia's main rebel group has nominated the head of its negotiating team to be the country's new Justice Minister. The candidate, Kabine Ja'neh, is from the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. The portfolios for Finance and Transport are also expected to be allocated that group.

Meanwhile, the president of Liberia's second-most prominent rebel group, Movement for Democracy in Liberia, has also been put forward for a cabinet post. Thomas Nimely Yaya has been nominated to take the portfolio for Foreign Affairs. The group is also expected to take the strategic portfolios for Mines and Energy.

Other political parties and representatives of non-political groups will share six additional ministerial posts.

The incumbent Defense Minister, Daniel Chea, who led the government's fight against the rebels, says he does not yet know who will take his job in the new transitional government. But he said he is committed to working to bring peace to the country.

"I cross all the lines of divide between the different rebels and insurgents. I know everybody on all sides of the divide so I can still make myself useful," he said. "I have given that commitment to the new Chairman. What ever I can do, I will continue to work because what is more important in the best interests of our country would be total disarmament."

Mr. Chea was echoing the views of Liberia's transitional President Gyude Bryant, who was sworn in Tuesday.

Mr. Bryant will also be working with a 76-member transitional parliament. In all, hundreds of nominations will have to be made to create a carefully balanced power-sharing government that is expected to pave the way for elections in 2005.