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Gyude Bryant, Liberia’s Sixth Transitional Leader, Dies at 65

The former chairman of Liberia's last

transitional government, who played a pivotal

role in guiding the country from civil war to

the election of Africa's first female president,

has died.

Gyude Bryant died Wednesday at the John F.

Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia after a

protracted illness. He was 65.

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Bryant led Liberia's sixth interim government

from October 2003 to January 2006 as the

consensus choice of the three major warring

factions — Liberians United for Reconciliation

and Democracy (LURD), Movement for

Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), and Charles

Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia.

Chief Cyril Allen, chairman emeritus of

Taylor's National Patriotic Party and principal

negotiator during the Accra peace talks, said

Bryant was a level-headed individual of good

temperament who worked closely with the

country's warring factions and the United

Nations to transition Liberia to democracy.

"He did not have enough time through a

period of two years to make any significant

impact, but the role he played was the role he

should have played, to transition the country

to democratic elections. He did that

successfully and I think he should be given a

lot of accolades for that," he said.

Allen said Bryant was chosen to lead the

transitional government because he was

viewed as a neutral person.

"I think he was nominated and accepted by

the three warring parties, including former

President Taylor, because he was a neutral

person who was not involved with any of the

warring parties," Allen said.

Allen said, although Bryant was at times

frustrated by the actions of the dominant

warring parties, he kept his eyes on the prize,

which was to work with the international

community to transition Liberia to civilian

democratic rule.

"I think he was level-headed and had a good

temperament, and was willing to work along

with the international community to bring

some semblance of peace and democracy to

Liberia. He will go down in history as one of

the champions of the peace and democracy

that we enjoy today," Allen said.

Allen expressed regrets that neither the

Liberian government nor friends of the late

Bryant in West Africa did anything to help

Bryant receive proper medical care during his

ailment.

"Not being a party of the government of the

day, people might think that I'm just being

critical, but I don't think he was given the

recognition that he should have been given. I

don't think he was given the kind of support

and accommodation that he should have had

as a former leader," Allen said.

Bryant was questioned by police in 2007

regarding alleged corruption during his time

in office. The government dropped charges in

2010 when it failed to prove the case that

Bryant's government had embezzled more

than $1 million.

Allen said Bryant presided over a government

made up mostly of individuals who owed their

loyalty to warring faction leaders and not to

him.

He said the prosecution of Bryant was an

example of a witch hunt.

"No one had any loyalty to him as an

individual. Everyone that was in the

government was handpicked, and each person

was the lord of their ministries and agencies

of government, and they carried out acts of

corruption that he could not control," Allen said.

[VOA NEWS]
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Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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