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ULAA Demands Taylor's Resignation
Concluding its rally and conference on democracy which brought together hundreds of Liberians, this past weekend, to the City of Newark New Jersey, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), in collaborations with other Liberian organizations, passed a string of resolutions, which among others, called for the resignation of Charles Taylor as President of Liberia.

War in Lofa County does not justify killing, torture and abduction
"One of the ATU [Anti-Terrorist Unit] members told the others: He is going to give us information on the rebel business. They took me to Gbatala. I saw many holes in which prisoners were held. I could hear them crying, calling for help and lamenting that they were hungry and they were dying.

Liberians Rally for Sanctions, Democracy
Hundreds of Liberians, under the umbrella of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, ULAA, Friday (April 27, 2001) urged the United Nations to impose sanctions on the Liberian government.

Dissidents Poised to Take Taylor's Wartime Stronghold
Liberian dissidents fighting to arrest and try President Charles Taylor for war crimes against the Liberian people are sid to be in control of Salayea. Salayea, the location of the Lutheran Training Institute (LTI), is about fifty miles from Taylor's wartime strongehold, Gbarnga. Since the dissidnets started their war efforts in 1999, this is the first time that they have moved beyond Zorzor in Lofa County.

Liberia's Unfinished War
"The harder they come, the harder they fallI am a tough guy. Y'all go sleep! I am not kidding", President Taylor frequently thunders, leaving little doubt that the flames of war he ignited in 1989 will keep burning as long as he is around.

Spanish Greenpeace Supports Embargo on Liberia's "Wood of War"
The Spain-based environmental movement, Greenpeace, has added its voice to the call for sanctions to be imposed on Liberia for aiding and abetting the ongoing crisis in Sierra Leone. In a recent statement issued by the group, the "wood of war", Greenpeace agrees with the findings of the UN Panel of Experts Report on Sierra Leone, and further reinforces the point that there is a direct relation between the destruction of the Liberian rainforest and the traffic of arms.

Teahjay's Tangles Multiply
Two weeks have passed since President Taylor's loyal media consultant, and former deputy Minister of Information, Milton Teahjay, mysteriously disappeared. Since then, Teahjay's political party leader, G. Baccus Matthews, has succeeded in burying concerns about his fate - whether he is dead or live. Through bizarre and unsubstantiated assurances, there are now doubts as to what has happened.

UN Appoints Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Assess Progress of World's Women: United Nations, New York - Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), today announced the appointment of two independent experts, Elisabeth Rehn (Finland) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), to spearhead the organization's efforts to assess progress of the world's women, particularly those affected by conflict.

Taylor Seizes Abidjan Ambassador's Residence?
The official Liberian embassy residence in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire, has reportedly been seized by President Charles Taylor and transformed into a private property.

Knocking on Conte's Closed Doors
With Liberia's anarchy unending, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has joined the chorus for Mano River Union heads to meet to sign another meaningless peace agreement. "The recent escalation of fighting in Lofa County in northern Liberia, which has caused the displacement of several thousand civilians, underscores the need to address the underlying causes of this growing instability," Annan said.

Liberia's Lone Star Lonely Atop
Liberia's Lone Star defeated Sudan today, April 22, 2001, in what is considered the most monitored soccer match on the African continent this weekend.

Saddam's Oil & Taylor's Timber
This May brings to an end the UN Security Council deadline for Charles Taylor to comply with its preconditions or face sanctions. Whether the Council will reward a man it describes as "the single most destabilizing force in West Africa," and thus vindicate him for his regional destabilization plots, is left to conjecture in this world of political wheeling and dealing.

Questions Mount Over "Probe" in Massaquoi's Death
President Taylor's decision to name a commission to investigate the circumstances around the death this week of Sports Minister Francois Massaquoi has been greeted with skepticism and anger, since all commissions in similar circumstances have remained dormant.

Clash of Values & Kabbah's Awakening
Just when Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah is counting his days in office with elections due in about six months, he has decided to do what he should have done during the past four grueling years, and that is to tell Liberia's Charles Taylor to learn how to mind his own business, which is destroying his country, a job he has already completed with marvelous applause from his cheering clique. Although belatedly, Kabbah has begun to defend the honour of his country against a man that has been unrepentant in dishonoring it.

The Folly of Charlatans
The tragedy of West Africa must be seen in the willing acceptance of its frivolous and opportunistic elites to take for granted the lies and prevarication of any charlatan who comes masquerading as leader, liberator or pundit! This has its genesis in a political culture that places more emphasis on forms and symbols than on substance and deals. Against this background, we see some of the most ridiculous political misfits asking for a postponement of the sanctions against the Taylor regime without a critical look at the travesty of governance in Liberia which brought this about.

Contradictory Accounts of Minister's Death
As in the case of the missing former Deputy Information Minister J. Milton Teahjay who Police confirmed and later denied arresting, contradictory accounts are emerging in the death of Sports Minister Francois Massaquoi, reportedly killed this week when dissidents opposed to the Taylor regime opened fire on his helicopter. President Charles Taylor, in a nation-wide broadcast, said the helicopter was "police helicopter", instead of earlier accounts that it was a "civilian helicopter" in which Massaquoi was flying to distribute "humanitarian" help

Teahjay "Found" in Taylor's "Pepperbush?"
The stupefying story around Milton Teahjay, the missing former Deputy Minister of Information and Media Consultant to Charles Taylor - allegedly reported executed earlier in the now familiar pattern of secret executions, indicates the level of entrenched state-backed Mafia power which criminal logging sharks now wield in Liberia. Conflicting and unconfirmed reports from Monrovia mainly from Teahjay's political "comrades" within the regime say he is alive and out of the country. But the tale of the missing mouthpiece of one of the most tyrannical regimes in Africa continues.

"Coups" & Building Tyranny
From its founding in 1822, politics in Liberia has been defined as one's ability to destroy opponents and entrench tyranny. Thus framing opponents in coup d'etats, throwing concocted treason charges on them, have all been key strategies aimed at silencing opposition. Failing and crumbling regimes benefited from this destabilizing political tactic for decades, and evidence is that Charles Taylor has fallen back on it for his political survival.

Taylor Hangs Democrats to Woo Angry Republicans
For over a decade, Charles Taylor cleverly applied the dictum that "everyone has a prize". Thus he proceeded to deceive leading Americans into buying his deceptive machinations that have plunged Liberia and the West African sub region into difficult-to-escape mess. He hoodwinked his fellow warlords into dancing to his tune, only for the lucky ones to end up in the dungeon of exile. He blinded greedy politicians into believing his is a regime of "laws and not of men." He fooled gullible and naïve Liberians so intensely into believing he had the solutions to the nation's multiplying problems of poverty, illiteracy, and violence that they sang, "You killed my ma, you killed my pa, [but] I will vote for you."

Joint Statement Issued by UPP, LPP
Following the mysterious disappearance of J. Milton Teahjay, and reports of threats on the lives of opposition leader Togba-Nah Tipoteh, and human rights activist James Verdier, and the recent clampdown on the students of the University of Liberia, the U.S. branch of the United People's Party and the Liberian People's Party issued the joint statement below over the weekend.

Missing Minister's Family, Party Chief Clash
As the mystery around the disappearance of former deputy information minister J. Milton Teahjay enters its second week with fading hopes of finding him, family members and the former leader of Teahjay's political party, Mr. G. Baccus Matthews, have clashed on the man's fate. Matthews claimed family members had informed him that Teahjay was safe, a claimed denounced by the family in a statement released Thursday.

Security Fails to Find Ex-Minister
A team of state security men sent to search for the missing Deputy Information Minister Milton Teahjay has reported their inability to locate him. Police Boss Paul Mulbah dispatched a team of Special Operation Division (SOD) officers and plainclothes security to Nimba County over the weekend. Upon its return, the team reported that it could not find traces of Mr. Teahjay. The team returned only with security personnel assigned at the border points in Nimba County.

ECOWAS' Unfolding Shame
Leaders of the West Africa's regional organization ECOWAS have finally ended one of their talkshops with clearer indications that majority of member countries have decided to side with Charles Taylor's destabilization regime.

History Will Remember Taylor As A Greedy Assassin
The recent attack on the students of the University of Liberia, death threats to Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh of the Liberia People's Party and to James Verdier of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, and the mysterious disappearance of J. Milton Teahjay, have provoked statements and press releases from opposition and human rights figures.

Disappearances, Denials & Doubletalk
The omen of uncertainty around the presumed execution of Milton Teahjay, former deputy information minister and media consultant to Charles Taylor, sacked for "acts inimical to the security of the State", is unfolding with ugly rapidity. Earlier commenting on Teahjay's fate, Taylor announced that, "One of those bent on destabilising Liberia has been arrested while attempting to leave the country secretly." One of the President's Police sources confirmed his remarks, revealing that, "All that I can tell you right now is that Teahjay tried to leave the country in a suspicious manner, so he is being held by the State security for preliminary investigation."

Avoiding ECOWAS' Executioner's Knife
All signs point to disarray within West Africa's regional organization, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as leaders converge in Nigeria to ponder on the crisis unfolding within the Mano River states (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). Both Presidents Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and Lansana Conte are boycotting the conference. Their reason: Liberia's Charles Taylor destruction of their countries and ECOCOWAS' nonchalant and partisan position.

Poverty and Africa's Good "Samaritans"
It was a fascinating scene, scores of Dutchmen and women, along with other Europeans, brainstorming over Africa's multiplying woes in the city of Utrecht recently. Under the theme "Aandeel Afrika" or "Interest Africa," Dutch politicians, including the energetic Minister of Development E.L.Herfkens, among others, diagnosed Africa's multiple problems of poverty and the absence of democratization, all with the well-intentioned aim of arriving at solutions for Africa. The symposium showed that when it comes to rescuing Africa, "Good Samaritans" are limitless.

Teahjay Executed?
The Sam Dokie/Enoch Dogoleah paradigm of secret police executions followed by state denials, is covering the fate of Milton Teahjay. Taylor announced Teahjay's arrest immediately after his arrival from Taiwan. The Police confirmed the arrest. Hours later, the same Police said it had no information of Teahjay's arrest by the Police or any other security agency in the country. But unconfirmed reports from Monrovia say the controversial former Deputy Minister of Information, has been killed by a team of 4 members of the presidential Anti-Terrorist Unit. Reports said the killers were in turn killed.

Opting for Shame and Poverty
When Liberians went to the polls in 1997 and endorsed Charles Taylor as their leader, their desire for doing so was tied to one dream: peace and stability in which they could pick up the pieces and move ahead to build their shattered lives. Three years after their decision, the opposite has become their option. Instead of peace and stability, anarchy rules, not only in Liberia, but beyond its empty borders.

Police Gives Conflicting Accounts of Opposition Figure (
Liberian police said the government has neither arrested nor detained opposition politician Milton Teahjay who was recently dismissed as media advisor to President Charles Taylor.

Tipoteh Targeted by Taylor's Security for Elimination?
In an interview with BBC on Friday, a prominent Liberian politician, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, standard bearer of the Liberian People's Party (LPP) expressed concern of threats to his life allegedly being orchestrated by government security officers. Commenting on the nature of the plan, Dr. Tipoteh said the plan was to take effect soon based on a meeting held last month, according to information he had received.

Echoing Sounds of Dissent (Editorial)
Various voices within Liberia and outside are now resolved that Liberia's current political and economic paralysis is firmly linked to policies of abuses, theft and plunder instituted since Charles Taylor became president. With this, despite the unprecedented level of repression, voices of dissent are multiplying, some coming from within the President's once loyal and ever- cheering team.

Democracy, Western Deception and the African Buffoons
The bipolar international political system promptly ended in the 1990s, thus setting the stage for a new international political system with new sets of demands: democracy, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and economic reforms. Since then, democracy continues to develop in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin; South and Center America. The rejuvenated political leadership of Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America with vibrant political oppositions, and viable political institutions are turning past economic failures into success.

Afro-Pessimism and African Leadership
It is most likely that when one reads a story in the foreign media or eavesdrops on foreigners talking about Africa it will be a rueful tale of doom and gloom. Sometimes, as an African living in a foreign land it is hard to hold my head and keep my chin up for fear of being identified and called on to answer for the ills wrought on Africa by people who have no relations to me. There were a number of times when I received sorrowful looks that seemed to be reminding me how lucky I am to be away from Africa.

A Statement Submitted to House Sub-Committee on International Relations
The US House International Relations Committee's Africa Sub-Committee, invited The Perspective newsmagazine to participate in a Hearing held on Liberia on March 14, 2001, on the theme: "Confronting Liberia". While we didn't testify, The Liberian Democratic Future (Publisher of The Perspective) was allowed to submit a statement which would form part of the Committee's record.

Refugees must not be forced to choose between death in Sierra Leone or death in Guinea (Amnesty International Press Release)
Amnesty International today called for a vigorous international presence in Guinea to protect hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees and Guinean civilians caught in a vicious six-month old insurgency in Guinea.

Open Letter To President Taylor
I write this letter as a concerned, common citizen of that once "haven of rest" nation called Liberia, where races of all nationalities, religious, and ethnic background merged years gone for peaceful co-existence, happiness and refuge. I am appealing to your good conscience to please step down. I strongly feel, sir, that it's the only patriotic thing to do especially for a person who had continuously expressed genuine concern and love for his country many years prior to ascending to the nation's highest office.

ULAA Responds to President Taylor
The leadership of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), which once pursued a policy of "active engagement" with the Taylor's government, hoping that it could help transform and influence his administration in pursuing more people-centered policies that could improve the living conditions of the Liberian people, has made a radical about-face by adopting a more aggressive posture towards the Taylor's regime. The new policy or approach comes in the wake of recent public hearing held on Liberia few weeks ago by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa.

Alibis for Anarchy
West African rulers are intensifying their campaign of giving Taylor a face-lift in killing deserved UN sanctions. They will be converging in Abuja this month to mop out strategies in how to hoodwink the UN to see Charles Taylor as a redeemed man, a self-described "compassionate Christian, father of 7 and grandfather of 3" who recruits tens of thousands of others' children in his marauding rebel army and must now face punishment as like-minded African rulers bark on his behalf.

Ordeals & Pretenses
The ordeal of the four Liberian journalists, indicted for "espionage" and thrown in jail, is finally over after over six humiliating weeks of illegal detention. Just as they were arbitrarily arrested, so were they arbitrarily released, with expectation that they will pay homage to their abductors and promise never to sin again by exposing theft.

War Crimes Tribunal Or Truth & Reconciliation Commission
As horrendous as the war atrocities and abuses may seem and despite the loss of lives, dehumanization, destruction of properties, social upheavals, etc., that have occurred during Liberia's turbulent history leading into the 1990 civil war, I think it would be in the long term interest of Liberia's social, political and economic stability if we adopted the South African formula of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Alleged Trap for Opponents Leaked
With journalists randomly charged with espionage and thrown in prisons, frequent disappearances and summary executions, leaked and usually credible reports on the inner plans of Charles Taylor's Government have become common. Bombarded with periodic leaks from Liberia, editors of The Perspective face difficulties in verifying the authenticity of leaked stories. Understandably, most sources fear for their lives and prefer anonymity.

Dutch Rights Group Wants Burkina Faso's Aid Reviewed
With sanctions against Liberia pending, the Dutch Justice and Peace Commission has petitioned the Dutch Government to review its economic assistance to Burkina Faso if that country remains involved in regional destabilization as documented by the UN Panel of Experts Report on the crisis in Sierra Leone.

The Unwanted Liberians
Reports of violent clashes between Liberian refugees at the Budumbura camp outside Accra and Ghanaians, leading to several arrests, indicate one of most important aspects of Charles Taylor's failures since he became President four years ago. The optimism that hundreds of thousands of refugees scattered around West Africa and elsewhere would return en masse after elections has turned to despair, and signs are that their misery may not end soon.

The Dilemma of Liberian Refugees
Forced migration has been a phenomenon in recent human history, both internal and external displacement of people, escaping conflicts in their native land and seeking asylum-freedom and liberty. The cases in point are: on the onset of the Gulf War, over two million Kurds were forced into exile; the Rwandan Hutus exodus was much rapid where over million sought political asylum in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo; then in Kosovo, within a matter of hours close to half a million people were uprooted.

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