Catholic support for US role in Liberia
Catholic Relief Services - the Caritas organisation in the US - has joined the country's Bishops Conference in strongly encouraging President George W. Bush to support the deployment of an international stabilization force for Liberia.
"This is a most urgent matter," the relief agency said in a press statement."
Catholic Relief stressed that the US deployment cannot wait for President Charles Taylor's departure, which itself could unleash even more chaos and bloodshed.
Catholic Relief Services said its staff in the Liberian capital of Monrovia have reported armed men robbing and threatening to kill civilians believed to have advocated Taylor's exile.
Archbishop Michael Francis of Monrovia has stated his belief that if Taylor leaves the country before security forces arrive, government and rebel forces "would destroy the capital." Archbishop Francis also has called for US intervention.
Last week Bishop John Ricard, Chairman of the US Bishops Committee on International Policy, wrote to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, Condoleezza Rice, urging a decisive response to the "urgent" situtation in Liberia.
Catholic Relief Services | Liberia | Statement on Liberia by Catholic Relief Services President, Kenneth F. Hackett
President Bush tells Vatican Radio Liberian president must go (Catholic News Service)
US Bishops: Letter to Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, on Liberia
Taylor calls for US peacekeepers (BBC)
11 Jul 2003