"By Their Fruits, We Shall Know Them"
It is certainly true that once a person becomes dishonest, he or she will forever be a dishonest person. And each passing hour confirms that indeed this is exponentially true of the current regime in Liberia. Charles Taylor and his gang of unscrupulous supporters have once again gone on a lying binge to try to divert the attention of the world away from the endless suffering, despair and terror they have brought on the Liberian masses.
Liberians Will Triumph Over Tragedy
Taylor, Conte and Conneh
About three weeks ago, I was away in Europe to honour invitations and attending to some professional duties. My first stop was in Dublin, Ireland where I went to attend global human rights defenders campaign, which was hosted by Frontline, a global movement in the business of defending the defenders. As I step out of the plane, I was greeted with three immigration officers and the one in the front stretched forth his hands and requested for my passport.
So, after almost a year, with no friend in the entire sub-region, Mr. Taylor finally got someone to listen to his cries and convene a meeting with Conte. Every West African capital - save a few - has had its share of Liberian peace talks. It started in Banjul. Then Lomé. From there, we went to Bamako. The Malian capital led us to Yamoussoukro, four times. From Yamoussoukro we went to Dakar.
1984 Elections Law: A Vice of History
I'm no legal scholar but Cllr. Mohamedu Jones'argument on the 1984 Liberia Election Laws (The Perspective: February 20, 2002) is absolutely correct. I recalled being in a small, private group discussion with the late Ambasssdor and Interim National Assembly (INA) member, Robert Francis Okai, Jr. in mid 1984. These identical issues were discussed. He was also a member of the committee that drafted the present constitution.
Arrest Aids Pursuit of Weapons Network (Washington Post)
U.S. and European law enforcement officials say they have scored an important advance in their efforts to disrupt what some officials describe as the biggest weapons-trafficking network in the world, responsible for supplying the Taliban and terrorist groups from al Qaeda in Afghanistan to the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, as well as rebel forces in Africa.
The Validity of Liberian Elections Law
It is not my intent here to judge Counselor Jones right or wrong. A common tenet of our profession is that two lawyers looking at the same set of issues, in this case the Elections law of Liberia, may arrive at two different conclusions. Only the Supreme Court of Liberia can judge Counselor Jones to be right or wrong. The intent here is to establish with the support of settled principles of law that Liberia has an elections law, which is valid.
Government as A Criminal Enterprise
Human Rights Defenders call for the Resignation of Police Director Mulbah
On March 14/15, 2002, Liberian political leaders will again meet in Nigeria for another round of our never-ending peace process. They will talk and talk and talk and go home with promises. And a few years down the road, another Nigerian leader, after so many others, will call another Liberian peace meeting until they get tired of us and tell us that we have a serious problem to resolve, a structural problem. And that problem has a face and a name.
Since the imposition of the state of emergency in Liberia, police brutality with impunity is on the rise. The latest victim is Counselor Frances Johnson Morris, former Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia. Counselor Morris was arrested and humiliated by Police Director Paul Mulbah. Below is the full text of the statement issued by the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Liberia in which, among other things, they call for the resignation of the Police Director:
More Confusion in Liberia
Just as the tension in Monrovia was said to be relaxed, some of those who are frightened by reports that the war is coming to Monrovia have left the country, BBC Focus on African had interviews with Damante Konneh of LURD and Liberia's Defense Minister Daniel Chea on Tuesday which may have led to more confusion and panic. Damante said that his forces were in the Kakata - Bong Mines area and that LURD has planted 2,000 of its 14,000-man force in Monrovia. Mr. Konneh further said that LURD was going to cut off Monrovia within 24 hours
Securing Liberia's Future Via The 2003 Elections
This is an attempt to bring to the attention of the world the state of fear and doom that has gripped this small West African country, called Liberia. This call is to all who profess to be advocates of human rights, the right to life and against genocide. As this paper is being written, thousands of innocent people, (children, the old, women and men) are been herded away from their homes for the sole purpose of massacre or genocide, and the world looks on, only waiting to do the body counts, big news headlines and the usual after the fact intellectual/academic talks.
Democracy And The African Opportunists
When the ideological struggle between totalitarian communism and democratic capitalism ended in 1991, democratization took center stage and the international system shifted towards the advancement of democracy as the only viable alternative to dictatorship and other oppressive forms of governments. Since then, democratization has reached a crescendo in Asia, Latin and Central America and in African states such as, the Republics of South Africa, Mali, Benin and Ghana. However, the democratization process has been very slow, or absent in the vast majority of African states.
I Am Not An Official Of Lurd
I read a front page story headlined "Rebel Official Plans Secret Visit to Monrovia" in the February 18th edition of The Patriot
, a rag published by Mr. Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party. The story claims that I am the logistics chief of LURD, and that I am “presently touring the West African sub-region soliciting support for LURD” in preparation for a trip to Monrovia “to hold talks with opposition politicians to solicit their backing for [LURD’s] military campaign”.
Liberia's 1984 Elections Law
This provision of the 1984 Elections Law immediately caught my eye as I was preparing for my scheduled presentation at the January 2002, conference of the Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL). I was concerned because the law contained a date certain for registration, “August 1, 1985,” which had long expired.
The Justification For War
I have recently sat and pondered over what particular actions of a regime such as the one in Liberia today would necessitate its forceful removal or removal by means other than constitutionally mandated. I have had to think over this in response to allegations of renewed hostilities in northwestern Liberia between a group called LURD and the government of President Taylor. Is the Taylor government illegitimate? Has it been imposed on the Liberian people or has it imposed itself in an illegal faction?
An Outlook on ULAA in 2002
It is perhaps the oldest Liberian civic organization in the United States. Its predecessor was the Liberian student Association, which existed in the 1960's and early 1970's. At 27 years old, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) has established itself as a recognized Liberian institution.
ULAA Issues Statement on the State of Emergency and Hostilities in Liberia
Liberians in the Americas are once more in frenzy because of the recent declaration of the state of emergency by President Charles Taylor on Friday, February 8, 2002, which action followed reports of fighting between government forces and dissidents at the Klay Junction. Thousands of displaced people had gathered in Klay following recent fighting in northwestern Liberia.
ALJA Calls for Lifting of State of Emergency in Liberia
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA), is alarmed by the declaration of the state of emergency in Liberia. President Charles Taylor imposed the state of emergency February 8, amid reports that an armed rebellion, which has been ongoing for the past few years from northern Liberia, is close to Monrovia.
Preparing The Next Genocide
Since the imposition of the state of emergency, which did not come as a surprise to any observer of the Liberian situation, small - almost unnoticeable - acts have been engineered by the Taylor government that point in the direction of a major human crisis just to put the Liberian beleaguered leader in the driver’s seat. Almost a year ago, in an article titled “Taylor, the next war,” we wrote that Taylor would create a humanitarian crisis so that the international community would take him seriously because he cannot afford to be ignored
Arrest May Show Taylor's Al Qaeda Link
Sanjivan Ruprah, a Kenyan national of Indian descent, known as one of Africa's most notorious arms dealers, has been arrested in Belgium, according to the Belgian daily Le Soir. On June 4, 2001, Mr. Ruprah was listed as one of 130 persons banned by the UN Security Council for their role in fueling the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone.
Darker Days Ahead
After almost three years of a kind of strange low-key but very brutal civil war, fighters of the so-called rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), are said to have lately run over several villages and towns in the Klay Junction area that were previously held by defending government forces, thereby inching ever closer to the besieged nation's seaside capital, Monrovia. In fact, usually conflicting reports suggest that LURD is actually about 23 miles North of the capital city, which is said to be fortified already.
State of Emergency "Not Necessary", Says Opposition Leader
Since President Taylor imposed a State of Emergency in Liberia on February 8, 2002, there have been increasing concerns especially within the civil society, that the war in Lofa County currently being waged between the dissident group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD), and forces of the Liberia government is simply a pretext being used by the Taylor regime to undermine the pending 2003 elections and to further curtail the civil liberties of the Liberian people. Recent developments and actions by the government clearly reinforce what many already believe is the real motive of the government.
Brumskine's Camp Responds to Allegations
The latest charge by the government that former Senator Charles Brumskine is helping to finance a dissident group attempting to overthrow the government sounds like a common expression: "A drowning man grapping on to a straw." It has become evident that since Counselor Brumskine appeared live on DC 101 and Radio Veritas to announce the establishment of his exploratory committee on his bid for the presidency of Liberia, the government in Monrovia has been in a state of panic.
Losing Liberty in Liberia (Washington Post)
THE STATE OF emergency declared last week by Liberia's autocratic president, Charles Taylor, is taking effect just as the former warlord would wish. An independent newspaper has been closed down in Monrovia. Dissent by opposition groups has been declared intolerable. Raids and arrests are underway in the capital. Liberians and foreign nationals can no longer leave the country without a government-approved exit visa.
A Conversation with Charles W. Brumskine
A corporate lawyer and professor of law at the University of Liberia, Mr. Charles W. Brumskine entered the murky scene of Liberian politics in 1997, as Senator from Grand Bassa County and member of Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party (NPP) and became President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian senate. He was one of the NPP's stalwarts who opposed to the implementation of the plank of the Abuja Accord that calls for the restructuring of the Liberian security apparatus, arguing that the constitution took precedence once Taylor was elected into office.
"Opposition Welcomes State of Emergency", a Rejoinder
It is understandable if some of us are wrong some of the time. But it scares the living day lights out of me to see a large number of us ignore empirical data of relevance and get something wrong at a critical juncture. Not only is a large number getting it wrong, but a large number of presumably the best political minds in the country. News emerging from Monrovia states that the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) welcomed cautiously Charles Taylor’s declaration of a “state of emergency due to the prevailing circumstances in the country”. This statement represents the position of several opposition political parties.
Taylor's Emergency Powers Put Civilians at Risk
In a Press Release issued by Amnesty International yesterday, the organization warned, "The state of emergency declared last Friday in Liberia is being used as a justification by the security forces to abuse power and commit human rights violations against the civilian population."
Buying Taylor's Gimmicks
On the Klay situation, there was no such thing like an attack by LURD on Klay. It was purely something organized by Mr. Taylor with the usual support of the LURD to accept that fighting did indeed go on in Klay. A WFP worker left Cape Mount on the day of the alleged attack and passed through Klay Junction at about 3:30 pm. He said that everything at the junction was calmed.
The State of Emergency, War and Elections
She was crying because she had just heard that “rebels” attacked Klay and she wanted to find out if anyone knew anything about what was really happening. Her four children are in Monrovia and she was worried about them. Her sister tried to calm her and ended up telling her that she too had three of her children back there, in Monrovia. She was afraid the children would be forced to take up arms and fight. Pretty soon, they were both crying on the phone. They prayed together and then hung-up.
Taylor Claims "Absolute" Powers
Lawyers With A Cause - A Wake Up Call!
President Charles Taylor has declared a state of emergency in Liberia. The West African nation has been battling dissidents in the northwest since 1999. Since then, the hapless people of Lofa, and now Gbarpolu County, have been constantly terrorized. Amnesty International reported in 2001 that members of the so-called Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) of the Taylor government were terrorizing Lofa citizens (including raping women). Amnesty also pointed finger at LURD members - accusing them of similar abuses.
It all started as a bitter feud between two lawmakers of the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) government. For weeks, both men, then House Majority leader, Abel Momolu Massaley and House Speaker, Nyundueh Monkornomana, traded insults as well as charges and counter-charges at each other. In the end, one of them, Speaker Monkornomana, was suspended by the House Plenary on allegations of corruption and perjury (lying).
Open Letter to Charles Taylor
Mr. Taylor: The undersigned of this document has felt guilty for the past 12 years, having made a contribution to your evil and criminal activities against the Liberian people and being one of your earlier victims; when you first launched your con game to hijack the Liberian people, and to pillage and plunder the country of its resources in late 1989.
Oh Yes, We Do Understand
The NEWS Newspaper published an article under the title “Liberia Will Not Progress Until... Blamoh Nelson Sees U.S. Assistance, Transparency A Must” which was posted on the Liberian government propaganda web page on January 8, 2002. The newspaper quoted Mr. Nelson as follows: “The Cabinet Director averred that many Liberians in the United States have been capitalizing on their lack of understanding of the national policies, actions and real intentions of the Government of Liberia to propagate against the system negatively to the American Government.”
AJLA Sponsors Conference on Peace and Reconciliation
An international conference on the role of the media in bringing about peace, democracy and the rule of law in Liberia, is scheduled to be held May 24-25, 2002, at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C.
A War of Convenience: Who Benefits from the Carnage in Lofa?
At one point in the senseless war of the past decade that ravaged our country, the warlords had reached some sort of consensus that allowed them to reap every potential benefit of being in power without making any concession to peace. George Boley, Alhaji Kromah, Roosevelt Johnson and, of course, Charles Taylor partitioned the country like a birthday cake and took over the political leadership in Monrovia.
A Psychological Portrait of Charles Taylor
In the words of Joe Wylie and Charles Taylor...
There is a general consensus among Liberians and the international community that President Charles Taylor has undoubtedly the worst human rights record that Liberia has ever known. And the personality traits that propel the psyche of the Liberian leader are also known and in exhaustive: pariah, criminal, Bin Ladin terrorist connection, jail escapee, mafia, dictator, sadist child abuser, megalomania, irrational, con artist, drug pusher, warlord, despot, despot, tyrant, philander, impostor, buffoon, gangster, just to name a very few. Certainly there is no need for definitions.
There is a great deal of military and political movement going on in Liberia now, be it in Monrovia or in our various refugee camps in Africa and in the US, and of course around Sawmill area where there are claims and counterclaims about fighting between government forces and the LURD.