Voluntary Disarmament: Silence Of The Authorities
By Gbe Sneh
January 9, 2004
Why is there silence on the part of the appropriate organs of the peace accord? This is directed at the office of USMIL, the Transitional Government, and the members of the governing council, i.e.. the factional bosses now sitting in the Legislative Branch. Obviously a clear violation of an important segment of the peace accord has occurred.
The announcements of self disarmament of fighters by factional commanders, if not investigated and dealt with, by rounding up the executors and charging them with sabotage, only amounts to the following:
That the factional elements of the Legislature, by acquiescence, have endorsed such deviant acts, and are up to some ominous plans;
That the Transitional Government is exhibiting a serious sign of weakness. After all, several counter productive issues have been brought to its attention, and we are still waiting for a response to a single one of them;
That the office of UNMIL is taking it’s mission rather lightly.
The implications of voluntary disarmament are self-evident! A few articles to the effect have presented highlights. Factional Self-Disarmament May Not Be Good for Liberia (By Mohamedu F. Jones) Individual and Voluntary Disarmament: A Contravention to the Peace Accord (By Theodore T. Hodge). However, in brief, they amount to rendering to a farce the entire DDRR segment of the peace process. To avoid having the Transitional Government to sit like a lame-duck in enforcing the accord in the interim, it has been propped up by an entire contingent, UNMIL. Why haven’t any of these two units come forth condemning these acts of sabotage?
To the factional bosses sitting in the government they are showing weakness in their abilities to contain their forces, through their field commanders. It’s needless to say that the brunt of this matter falls flush on their shoulders. Yet, none of them has come out to say “fuen” about what’s going on. What is the populace to think? Are we to just play dumb and again, chalk up this scenario to a mere lack of communication, or are we to be real to think that it is all in line with a grand sinister plot to unveil itself in the near future.
It is equally astonishing that the media forces on the ground have neglected to challenge the appropriate authorities to seek their positions on the issue. This is no time to sit back and let any cracks in the entire peace process turn into “potholes”. Get out your note pads, tape recorders, cameras, and run them down until they give you answers. We want Democracy? These then, are actions that must be taken! Doesn’t it frighten you to hear from the World Community that “this is Liberia’s last chance”? What then are you waiting for? Do you have to be reminded: that you are the “first targets” of these very guns that are at issue; that you are the first to be run out of town with these same guns that we are talking about? You have the best opportunity ever to practice your trade. Why are you behaving like you are afraid? For the sake of the nation, especially for yours, wake up and do your job!
It’s a long road to total peace. Many hurdles such are these unfortunate attempts to derail the process await us on the horizon. We must be ever vigilant when they occur, and be prompt to seek answers to questions that will arise.