ECOMOG will Maintain President Taylor in Power

By Winsley S. Nanka

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 21, 2002

It is not surprising that Liberia's Foreign Minister Monie Captan stated during a PANA interview last Friday that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) may intervene in Liberia if the rebels fighting to unseat Liberia's kleptocratic ruler, Charles Taylor do not agree to a negotiated political settlement.

Why ECOWAS now? President Taylor and his cronies in Monrovia are finding new ways everyday to legitimize their illegitimate regime. Be not fooled my fellow Liberians, the idea behind dictator Charles Taylor to now call for ECOWAS is not to protect the Liberian people, but to help preserve him in power.

It can be recalled that few years ago, Mr. Taylor and the former Honorable President of the Liberian Senate, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine asked ECOMOG (ECOWAS military wing) to leave Liberia under the so-called status of forces agreement. The reason for asking ECOMOG was that Liberia is a sovereign state; therefore it does not need a foreign army to protect it.

Mr. Taylor and his legislature executed the removal of ECOMOG from Liberia despite warning signs of political instability in Liberia. History has shown that when nations emerge from national or civil wars, their social, economic, political and military infrastructures are fragile. Therefore, they rely on powerful nations to help them establish stability. Japan, Western European countries and Lebanon are examples of countries that have used foreign troops to help establish stability.

President Taylor is not concerned about maintaining stability in Liberia. He is inviting West African forces to protect his regime for several reasons:

1. He wants to use the presence of the West African Forces to maintain himself in power. The West Africans will protect Mr. Taylor because they recognize him as the "democratically'' elected president of Liberia.

2. Mr. Taylor will use the presence of the West African forces to repeat the election debacle of 1997. In 2003, Mr. Taylor will send his thugs around the country to intimidate the 'opposition' politicians and the Liberian electorates under the watchful eyes of the West African forces. Therefore, submitting the Liberian people to vote for Taylor.

If the West African political leadership cares about the plight of the Liberian people, why did it dismiss the very same proposals advanced by representatives of Liberian political interest groups in Abuja? If the West African leaders care about the condition of the Liberian people, why have they not condemned the barbaric repression of the Liberian people since Mr. Taylor came to power? The answer is simple. West Africa is replete with leaders who violate the constitutional rights of their citizens at will. Therefore, the violations of the Liberian people civil and constitutional rights by Mr. Taylor and his thugs in Monrovia are normal acts of governance, the West African style.

Liberia needs the international community 's help to put pressure on Mr. Taylor to resign as ruler of Liberia. Liberia needs the international community's help in the formation of an interim government under the auspices of the United Nations. Liberia also needs international security protection under the command of the United Nations during Liberia's transition to democracy. Liberia does not need the of the West African leaders’ help. Their assistance will further the dictatorial rule of Mr. Taylor.

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