Why Are You Drawing Back Now? Hand Over The Weapons And Let’s Step Into The Political Arena


By Gbe Sneh



The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

December 4, 2003


"The full package must be disclosed. It is not a hidden agenda. The people that are going to be disarmed must know what is in the package for them," Nimely said. (courtesy IRIN)

"All we want is that the (peace) accord should be respected by all parties and once that is respected, once the government is fully seated, we will be able to participate fully in the disarmament process." This one is by Cheaye Doe. (courtesy IRIN)

Here we are trying to rebuild our nation. Alumni associations abroad, civil organizations, school administrators, school teachers, parents, students, all on the ground, the international community, are all hustling to get our country moving forward, towards reconstruction, rehabilitation of kids, and reconciliation. School bells are chiming, calling on the boys and girls, young men and young women, all who have not had any quality education for countless years. School administrators and teachers are willing to make the sacrifice amid daunting odds - dilapidated school buildings, scanty school materials and teaching aids.

One would think these efforts would get the full support of the leadership. But, NO!

You’ve just read the above quotes highlighting where their interests lie. Reward Packages and Jobs, that’s their concern. Has it occurred to these engineers of mass national destruction that due to the manner of conduct of their so-called liberation exercises that it is the people that have suffered the most, and thus should (the people) have claims to compensation, if any? Sensitivity to the plight of the people, a plight directly correlated to their waged wars is nonexistent. How much more must they be rewarded? Don’t they already enjoy dominance of the government per Peace Talks?

You can bet your last dollar and win, that the latest move by the warring factions, in their refusal to disarm unless certain preconditions are met, is nothing but a delay tactic to buy time to loot whatever is not bolted down while the guns are still in their possession. For rebels, giving up arms is the last thing they would want to do. Picture a drug addict grappling with withdrawal symptoms, and you’ll see a rebel anguishing over handing over his arms. They will use even the shortest line in Book Of Excuses to retard or even do away with disarmament. We saw Mr. Taylor do that; let’s not repeat it. Now it is not just the civilian population, but the little boys and girls that have sacrificed their childhood and adolescence for them, that they are holding hostage.

Majority of these kid militias are war weary. Some of them have realized that they have been spared their lives, given the dangerous missions that were forced on them, having been used as grunt forces. How many of their friends did they not see fall by the way side at the front lines? Hope And Dream Gunned Down! How many of these kids, during lulls in the siege on Monrovia did not divulge that they were tired of fighting, and that all they would like is a chance to get an education, or a vocational training of some sort? Granting these kids the opportunity to fulfill these noble and courageous desires ought to take precedence over the size of “packages” for arms they turn in, and the extent of the dominance exerted by their bosses over the government. So, show them that you care for them. REWARD THEM by giving up the arms, now, so they can learn something in a peaceful setting rather than amid mined fields, AK’s, grenades, bazookas, cutlasses, and butcher knives.

How much caring for these kids did we see exercised by the grown-ups who, by the use of force, plunged them into such an abyss that only time will tell if they ever will be able to crawl out of? If the faction bosses, at all, have any feelings for these kids, they would have taken the initiative to assert some discipline once the peace accord was signed, thereby sparing them the further loss of lives of their comrades. Instead, what we see throughout the countryside are run-amok rebel splinters of marauding, looting, rapist gun totters - more Hope And Dream Gunned Down.

To the faction brass. What are you afraid of? Is it that your worst nightmare is about to come true? You know very well that you cannot have it both ways. That you cannot deem yourself as being equipped to venture into the political arena, and at the same time be holding and hiding arms. The day has finally dawned. It’s time to show the leadership skills that you have dreamed of possessing while you were in the bushes. It’s time to show the people that you want to lead that you really care, and that you are capable. Like we say in Liberia, “Stop Drawing Back.” Stand Up And Be A Man!

CAUTION: No AK’s, No Grenades, No Bazookas, No Pistols. Oh, almost forgot, also, No Cutlasses, No Butcher Knives! In case you don’t know, in this theater, the only fighting tool you are allowed is your ability to debate issues facing the nation. How good are you at transforming common sense into sound decisions and policies. How good are you in influencing the masses? Speaking of PRECONDITIONS. These are the universally set preconditions for stepping into the political ring.

TIME’S UP. Turn in all those arms, hiding not even a single bullet.

The people are betting that you cannot rule without brandishing weapons, without the use of force. It’s time for you to call the peoples’ bluff. Give Up The Weapons! You declared the war over FOUR MONTHS AGO!
...”en you say you wan ruu the contray”? Yeah?

Ok, then turn in the arms and let’s step into the political arena.

STOP Drawing Back. Turn In The Weapons, Now!