Ethnic Cleansing: Taylor's Unending Quest

By Zar-Zar Bargblor

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 1, 2002

The assassination in Ghana of General Alfred T. Glay, former Aide-de-Camp to President Samuel K. Doe, allegedly by Taylor's thugs and the previous mysterious deaths of other Grand Gedeans in the Ivory Coast, give credence to those Liberians who strongly advocate that ethnic cleansing is at work in Liberia. The Taylor Government only progress since the 1997 general elections, it seems thus far, is the killings and murdering of Krahn tribesmen. Never before has collective guilt been implemented and put into practice in Liberian body politics. Nearly five years after the elections that were supposed to end Liberia's nightmare, instead, the “elected” government has created mass exodus of Liberians.

The Camp Johnson Road genocide, the continued witch-hunt, harassment, intimidation and torture of innocent Liberians, particularly members of the Krahn ethnic group, human rights groups, and the press have the potential to plunge Liberia into another vicious civil conflict. The flame of atrocities, which Taylor ignited in 1989, and which raged the country is still smoldering and could easily be rekindled. Taylor must be stopped now before it is too late. Reports upon reports of people being dragged from their houses in Liberia by the police never to be seen again continue to reach us here in the United States. The existing of various torturing camps in Gbatala, few miles away from Gbarnga, Bong County is a grave concern. In The Washington Post, January 10, 1999, it was reported ".... an obsession with security among Taylor and his people that is leading his government to build a heavily policed state in which overlapping security agencies show too little respect for law and human rights." One is left to wonder, why has the international community been silent about the ethnic cleansing taking place in Liberia?

The United States must raise a moral standard of individual accountability if she wishes to solve the problem of Liberia, poly-logism cannot. The evolutionary process-taking place on the African continent ought not foreshadow raising a moral barometer upon which to scrutinize actions of political leaders such as Taylor. True, African societies are not as developed as the West. But, the moral laws of God, which govern mankind, exist in the hearts of Africans in the same way as Americans and Europeans. That much is undeniably true. And to raise Liberia from her present dilemma, it is here one should begin. These laws must be established, commonly understood and accepted. Their infractions, especially by those in political leadership positions ought not be swept under the rug. Those who believe that they are helping Liberia by endeavoring to reform Taylor are hurting the cause of freedom and democracy, which they advocate for Liberians.

The honest truth which I am quite sure the West will be forced to reckon with (hopefully sooner than later) is this: a person who thinks the only way to show his manhood, or usefulness to society is to wage a war against his own people by causing the death of over 250,000 people, displacing more than half of the population-in order to rise to the top and lead them is a sick man-"beyond the pale". This is why many thoughtful Liberians continue to question the mental status of those who continue to do business with the Taylor government. They need to realize: those who cause the total disintegration of the fabric of the Liberian society are morally incapable of raising it back up. To continue to give credence to such a government is therefore morally wrong. Dictatorship, the antithesis of freedom is the belief that only the ruler is wiser. He knows best what benefits his subjects. This is the flawed ( President Tubman) political legacy that Taylor is trying to perpetuate.

Those who want temporary peace to prevail in Liberia will continue to placate Taylor government, by rewarding its actions. Those of us who want lasting peace, freedom and democracy say: "we cannot see when right will triumph in Liberia, but we will continue to stand against those who seek to become our masters by using guns and intimidations to win the support of the people". History indeed serves one useful purpose: "to make us wiser. And those who cannot learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat it".

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