Monday, May 28, 2007

Nigeria`s Obasanjo honoured by Liberia, Sierra Leone

MONROVIA, Liberia, 05/27 - Nigeria`s outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Liberia and Sierra Leone Saturday to receive top honours for his country`s role in helping quell civil wars in the two west African states.
His swansong tour of the two west African nations comes three days ahead of the swearing-in of his successor, Umaru Yar`Adua.
Obasanjo first visited Liberia`s seaside capital Monrovia where he held talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who bestowed on him the Knight Great Band Order, Liberia`s highest civilian order.
"When we found ourselves tearing each other apart, you took the lead to put yourself, your nation, and your people at risk," said Sirleaf, Africa`s first woman president.
Nigeria, west Africa`s military powerhouse and one of the continent`s top oil producers, contributed the largest contingent to west African and UN peacekeeping forces in Liberia, wracked for 14 years by back-to-back wars.
Obasanjo then went on to Sierra Leone where he was given a similar award by President Tejan Ahmed Kabbah for Nigeria`s military involvement in helping stop a brutal 10-year civil war that officially ended in 2001.
Receiving the Grand Cross of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Obasanjo said: "It is my hope that the longstanding relationship between Sierra Leone and Nigeria will continue particularly with the incoming new leader."
Sierra Leone`s Revolutionary United Front rebel group murdered, enslaved and mutilated civilians during a decade-long reign of terror that killed up to 200,000 people.

Link to AngolaPress - News