Gyude Bryant died Wednesday at the John F.
Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia after a
protracted illness. He was 65.
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
"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
"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
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.