Detained Lawyers Released
After serving more than three months in jail because of their refusal to apologize to the National Legislature, and withdraw statement issued, which referred to the imprisonment of fellow lawyers and former president of the Liberian National Bar Association, Counselor Emmanuel Wureh, as "unconstitutional", the Liberian government freed two detained lawyers this passed Monday, December 24, 2001, according to press report.
It's Time for Taylor to Go
The Liberian people and the international community have hoped that President Charles G. Taylor would redeem himself from the atrocities he committed as a warlord by instituting good governance in Liberia and exhibiting good neighborliness in the West African sub-region .
Arguably, there are three types of people in this world; there are those who see a problem and say, "nothing can be done about it"; then there are those who wait on others to do it for them; and finally, there are those that will see a problem, and immediately begin to find solution to it because "that is the right thing to do". The Perspective finds itself in the latter category.
Happy Anniversary, NPFL!
It was exactly 12 years ago that Liberians and West Africans came to believe that a group of Nimba warriors led by Charles G. Taylor was launching a revolution to liberate Liberia from the military dictatorship of Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe. In certain quarters in Monrovia, people danced and sipped champagne. As the war moved towards the capital, it became evident that the killing spree and destruction of property of "Chucky" and his evil army was not just targeting Doe and his men, but would kill and burn everything on its way.
Who Really Believes Campoare Will Support Ellen Over Taylor?
Who really believes Campoare will support Ellen over Taylor? You are even dumber than you look. The trick is to "support" the opposition in an election that Taylor would win. An election victory over credible opposition, would give Taylor a mandate that he could NEVER have if the opposition never contested/participated in the election. The rest of the world would be powerless to advocate the removal of Taylor. The OAU and ECOWAS will then congratulate their brother-thug for his "democratic" election, and pledge anew to work with him. At which time, the true democrats in the OAU like Campoare, Ka-daffi, Eyadema (30 years), Moi (150 years) and the other assorted lifers will all pledge their support.
Dissidents Overrun Government Forces, Capture Zorzor and Salayea
The Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) has made some gains in recent days .. According to Liberian government Defense Minister Daniel Chea, the dissidents overran government forces on December 19 in a battle for the control of Zorzor.
The Last Friend on the Block...
If news coming out of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, is any indications, the regime in Monrovia is about to lose one of its staunchest allies in the sub-region. President Blaise Compaore, in the last few years, and under pressure from many humanitarian organizations and the international community that linked him to the humanitarian crisis in Mano River Union, has been taking his distance from the regime in Monrovia.
African Leaders, the Mass Media and Democracy
In every free democratic society as defined supra, the mass media is cognizant that the government is accountable to the people. Therefore, it makes a commitment in bridging that gap by providing information of essence and relevance. Such information centers on foreign policy issues, the economy, education, and civil rights. The availability of public information affords the people the opportunity to better understand the government, its direction, role and impact on the their daily lives. This commitment is based on ethics and morals, upon which the media is oblige to be honest, sincere, critical and give laurels where and when expedient.
A “Dirty War” of Political Terrorism Against Certain Liberians
In the United States of the 1950’s, Senator Joe McCarthy reigned. He was very powerful. He had a simple tactic to obtain and consolidate his power - identify certain people as “Communists,” and then “challenged them to exonerate themselves from the charges if they are not [Communists].” This has since been recognized as a form of political terrorism.
Taylor's Aide-de-camp Arrested, Government Denies Coup Attempt
As government forces battle dissidents in Northwestern Liberia, Monrovia is replete with rumors of a coup attempt to overthrow the Taylor regime. According to the unconfirmed information, several members of Taylor’s dreaded Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) and some opposition politicians have been rounded up.
The Press and Human Rights Records of President Taylor: A Survey
An Open Letter to President Charles Taylor
Since Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) Government came to power in July 1997, freedom of expression and the press have suffered constant abuse and censorship. This period can be considered as the most dramatic and darkest moment in history of the Press in Liberia.
President Taylor: I have the honor to present you my compliments. Mr. President, this letter serves both to inform you that overwhelmingly Liberians of all ethnic backgrounds in and out of Liberia have unquestionably lost confidence in your leadership. Approximately 99% of the Liberian Population no longer wishes that you steer the affairs of this nation of ours. And it also serves as a public indictment of your conduct since you took the oath as President of Liberia.
Former Senator Bankrolling Dissidents?
Former Senator Charles W. Brumskine, once an ardent defender of the Taylor regime, has been linked to LURD, the dissident group fighting to unseat President Taylor. Mr. Brunskine was later chased out of Liberia by Taylor's armed groups. The statement that the former Senator is raising funds to bankroll LURD was purportedly made by Representative Sando Johnson. In the past, similar allegations against opposition leaders led to treason charges.
Beware of the Terminator Technology
Do you remember how our parents in rural Liberia obtained rice and other seeds to plant in upcoming farming seasons? Basically, this is how they managed: At the end of each harvest, they would save some of the rice, beans and other seeds to be replanted in the next farming season. And if the present harvest was not enough to allow for any seed saving, they would buy or borrow seeds from those neighbors who had better harvests and saved seeds. This age-old traditional practice of saving farming seeds is not unique to Liberia and other African societies. In fact, according to some estimates, 1.4 billion rural farmers in the developing world depend on saved seeds.
Stabilizing the Liberian dollar and Consumer Prices
Since this year, the Liberian dollar has been performing poorly against the US dollar, after it had been relatively stable during 1998-2000. According to official data published by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), cited in the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) third quarter Country Report, the dollar's quarterly average exchange value fell above L$44:US1 in the first quarter of 2001, while the monthly average and end-period rates for April were L$46.42:US$1 and L$48.50:US$1, respectively. This was the first time that the dollar fell to such highs since it lost its fixed official parity with the US dollar at the end of 1997.
The 2003 scheduled election in Liberia is less than two (2) years away. So, every able Liberian and his brother and sister are lining up and positioning themselves to run for the presidency of Liberia. Some of the jockeying by the wannabes includes suggestions to have a conference with Charles Taylor to discuss the problems of Liberia. The real motive behind these suggestions to meet with Charles Taylor, in my opinion, is to see if Charles Taylor will endorse anyone of the wannabes. How soon we forget! It has been over four (4) years since Charles Taylor came to power. During that time period, there have been meetings, seminars, discussions; you name it, on the problems of Liberia. Did those meetings make any difference?
Why Go To Abuja? Peace Talks And Other Issues...
The last time Liberians met in Abuja, Sani Abacha was President of Nigeria. The NPFL and ULIMO-K had just set Monrovia ablaze, killing some 3,000 mostly innocent people in their attempt to arrest Roosevelt Johnson and take over the government. Hundreds of Liberians, including Tom Woeweyiu, the late Francois Massaquoi and Lavela Suppuwood traveled days and nights on the leaking and very unsanitary appropriately named cargo ship Bulk Challenge. Liberia was traumatized. ECOWAS leaders met and decided that Liberians needed to get their acts together. At the time, Wilton Sankawulo, former English instructor at the University of Liberia, author of the Night and the Rain, a gloomy story about murder and greed, and former speechwriter for Samuel Doe was Chairman of the Council of State II.
The Crop Genetic Resource Rights Debate
As an ideological and policy force, globalization is driven by two contradictory tendencies. Whereas it seeks to convert the resources of nation-states into "global property" by removing them from under domestic state control, through deregulation, and bringing them under global management, it also promotes their expropriation and monopolization by private multinational corporations.
"In the Cause of the People"
The recent news coming out of Lofa County about renewed fighting between forces loyal to the beleaguered Taylor government and the so-called dissident group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), is very disturbing to say the least.
Liberians are Weary of Self-proclaimed Liberators
The Perspective distributed an article titled "Overdue Credit" by Tarty Teh a self-proclaimed LURD member on Monday, December 3, 2001 in the article, he seemed to have suggested that the armed group called Liberians United for Democracy and Reconciliation (LURD) is not given credit in its efforts to unseat Charles McArthur Taylor from power. He also claimed in the article that LURD has been extremely "careful in navigating civilian population" as evident by the infrequency of ''unholy mention of LURD activities by the international media''. He also stated that he "cannot believe that LURD has not committed atrocities that could end us on the front pages of the world media".
Pastoral Letter Takes Government of Liberia to Task
The outspoken Catholic Archbishop, Michael Kpakala Francis, has issued his yearly pastoral letter commenting on a wide-ranging issues affecting the Liberian society. The Catholic prelate has often used his pastoral letters, which represent the church?s views and thinking on the social, economic, political and moral underpinnings of the Liberian society, to call attention to these issues and their impact on the Liberian people.
Pat Robertson and Liberian Gold
When reading the response Pat Robertson sent to The Washington Post regarding his business links with the government of Charles Taylor one can but feel the need to write him and inform him about the conditions of Liberia. It is rather strange that a man of the caliber of Robertson claims that he never heard of the atrocities of the bands of criminals and hoodlums Mr. Taylor unleashed on Liberia in the 1990s. Pictures of Liberian men, women and children flashed across television screens day and night before events in the Gulf took over. May be someone needs to bring him old newsreels from the 1990s
The UN Tribunal for Rwanda: The Untold Story of a Tribunal in the Image of the ''International Community''
Justice, it is said, must be seen to be done. For societies to surmount challenges facing humanity, universally recognized basic principals of respect for the rule of Law and human rights must imperatively be the basis on which values to guide human relations are anchored.
Often it is when these principles are violated that the world becomes an unsafe place for humanity due to the negative consequences which follow.
Freedom and Relativity
We Bush Grebos have a saying that whatever brings palm nuts to town is called a basket. But the container in which some praise was delivered to me would make even a Bush Grebo man stop and take notice.
An Overview of Current African Conflicts
For the past thirty years at least, since the end of the independence struggle of the 1960s, Africa has been plagued by all kinds of disasters. Drought, famine, malaria, Aids, it has been one after the other. But with all the malaises the continent has confronted in its path to growth and maturity, none is greater than the man-made disasters. The greatest harms done to Africa and its people were African made. These derived from problems of governance and the greed of power. It is either an Ojukwu in Nigeria seeking to carve a republic of his own out of the great Nigeria or a Dr. Savimbi in Angola, fighting an ideological war at a time when most people don't even remember the divide between East and West ideologies.
Pat Robertson Engages in Illegal Mining Operation in Liberia
Over the past few months, columnist Colbert King of the Washington Post had used his columns to expose Pat Robertson's dealing in Liberia. In a series of articles King had sketched out Robertson's profit motives, and his quest to strike it in rich gold in Liberia, which has overriden any morality of doing business with one of Africa's most notorious tyrants.
A Time to Take Stock
Last week, President Taylor launched a national crusade in concert with the religious community to bring what he says is "Genuine reconciliation" and healing to the Liberian nation and people. Whether this introspection is reflected of change, or another cleverly maneuvered stagecraft is yet to be seen.