The Conspiracy Of Silence: The Liberian Dilemma
By R. Wesley Harmon
July 24, 2003
The world watches quietly as thousands of Liberians are slaughtered daily by marauding band of killers and thieves, which goes under the banner of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, LURD. As this tragedy unfolds on the streets of Monrovia and elsewhere in the country, the leaders of this callous bunch of killers, Kabineh Jan’eh, Joe Wylie and Charles Bennie are in Accra, Ghana participating in “peace” talks with other Liberians, politicians and civil society, under the aegis of The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and The International Contact Group on Liberia, ICGL, as well as the European Union.
Preach peace, but pursue war! This is a page right out of Charles Taylor’s rebel handbook. This strategy worked so well for Charles Taylor it landed him in the presidency. Sekou Damante thinks it will work for him, thus catapulting him to the top slot in Liberia. What he fails to understand is that the dynamics of power in Liberia are different today than what they were when Taylor was using this trick. In today’s environment, there are more powerful players who are asserting their voices to ensure that terrorist like Mr. Damante are not rewarded, when their only claim to fame is the killing of innocent civilians, women and children.
The compounding of the tragedy of the slaughter of the innocents is the conspicuous silence of those Liberians who would lead us. Our would-be leaders are all in Ghana vying for leadership roles in a possible interim government, which would lead the country to general elections. The officers of LURD are also, supposedly, participating in this process. What’s outrageous is the fact that no one seems willing to call for the indictment of Sekou Damante Konneh and his lieutenants for the crimes they are perpetrating against innocent Liberians under the guise of trying to force Mr. Taylor out of office. The LURD is guilty of the same crimes for which they are trying to remove Mr. Taylor. The evidence will show that they looted every village and town they passed through, raping and killing women and children, conscripting children forcibly into their rag-tag militia. They are embarked on the final leg of their destructive journey, the final destruction of Monrovia. They want to completely destroy the portion left by their nemesis, Charles Taylor.
Hooray for the Liberian women who went to the conference center and prevented the conferees from leaving until they arrived at a settlement that would bring lasting peace to our war-torn country. More of us need to take such stance, not only in Ghana, but also in Liberia. Civil disobedience could be a way to have the voices of the people play a more meaningful role in the future of our country.
Why aren’t more of our people speaking out? Why is The Union of Liberian Association in the Americas, ULAA, so silent at a time when they should be speaking out against the atrocities being meted out by LURD? Why are Winston Tubman, Charles Brumskine, Cletus Woterson, as well as other Liberian politicians, so silent? It is said that, “To whom much is given, much is expected”. Why aren’t these people calling press conferences to denounce the barbaric actions of the LURD? How can they expect the Liberian people to entrust their future to them when they fail to speak on their behalf when they are being slaughtered daily by ruthless men? Young boys heads are blown off, women and children are blown to bits by the missiles launched by LURD’s forces; all for the sake of power.
We need to deny them the privilege of serving in a government of the people, by the people, because they can’t represent the people that they are killing daily. Until we are willing to take a stand against tyranny, Liberia will continue to be terrorized by the likes of LURD and other would-be power-hungry thugs.
Indict Sekou Damante Konneh, Babineh Jan’eh, Joe Wylie, and Charles Bennie
May God Bless Our Land, Liberia And Save Her People.