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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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
The official Liberian embassy residence in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire,
has reportedly been seized by President Charles Taylor and transformed
into a private property.
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,"
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.
& 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.
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
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
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
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
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.
& 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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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"
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.