Liberian Federation Calls For Pressure on Taylor, LURD to Cease Lofa Hostility

The Perspective

August 13, 2001

Editor's Note: About two weeks ago Amnesty International issued a statement that chronicles the atrocities committed against the hapless people of Lofa county: "Extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings of civilians suspected of backing armed opposition groups have been a feature of the conflict in Lofa County. Unlawful killings of civilians by the security forces appear to have been carried out with the acquiescence of the Liberian authorities. The authorities have systematically denied allegations of unlawful killings; they have not condemned or reacted to public statements by security officials that no prisoners of war would be taken; and they have taken no steps to open independent and impartial investigations to bring those responsible for such killings to justice." Prior to Amnesty's statement, members of the Federation of Lofa Associations in the Americas (those whose brothers and sisters have fallen prey to the atrocities committed in their home county) issued a statement in which they called on the international community to bring pressure to bear on Mr. Taylor and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) to cease the hostility in Lofa. They also called for pressure on Taylor to end the destibilization of the West African sub-region. Below is the text of the resolution sent to this magazine by the organization:

Citizens of Lofa County, from across the America, convening at their Tenth Annual Convention in Silver Spring, Maryland, after careful deliberations of the aftermath of the 1989-1997 civil war and the incalculable destruction of lives and properties resulting from the current fighting, which, if not carefully handled, will result into further irreparable damages to the social, economic, cultural and political fabrics within Lofa in particular, and Liberia in general;

Note with grave concern the unbearable suffering and inhumanity, inflicted upon the population, including women, and children, the old, and the defenseless, who have just begun to resettle in their damaged towns and villages after spending over ten unproductive years in hostile refugee camps in which they were driven by people interested in power and power only;

Alarmed that both Government soldiers and armed fighters belonging to a dissident group are once again using Lofa County, one of the most damaged counties as a result of the1989-1997 civil war, as a battlefield to settle old scores over the presidency of Liberia;

Aware that our way of life and traditional institutions, which have provided diverse philosophical, moral and spiritual directions in Lofa before the creation of the Liberian state, have been seriously impacted by the prior and current civil wars, and might become defunct without quick and adequate resources, leaving a horrible cultural vacuum;

Cognizant that a successful resuscitation of our traditional institutions will require modernizing the institutions themselves to cope with the demand of modernity, retraining of the youth (the pillars of any institution) and educating the general public, national and international organizations in accepting the relevancy of those institutions;

Aware that without stability, tolerance, and the entrenchment of democratic values economic and social activities for a once self-reliant and productive population will be impossible to re-commence;

Convinced that the Federation of Lofa Associations in the Americas and organizations based in Monrovia and elsewhere with similar objectives can effectively supplement the efforts on the part of our traditional institutions in guiding the rebuilding process of a better society in Lofa County;

Noting that the Federation of Lofa Associations in the Americas (FLAA), a ten-year old organization, needs to redouble its efforts in revitalizing the local chapters, which are plagued by apathy, mismanagement, less transparency, inadequate accountability, and Tepid sense of urgency in establishing vibrant chapters in new communities;


Federation (FLAA) calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations (UN), to end its verbal utterances and use any means necessary to ensure that both the government soldiers and armed fighters of the Dissidents Group cease the hostility in Lofa in particular, and Liberia in general;

Federation (FLAA) further calls on the international community--ECOWAS, the OAU [African Union], the United Nations, and key powers--to ensure that pressure on Mr. Taylor to cease his regional destabilization plots is maintained.

Federation (FLAA) calls upon humanitarian organizations to redouble their efforts and assist the displaced residents from Lofa County who have been trapped between Government soldiers and armed fighters of the Dissident Group;

Federation (FLAA) calls upon the diverse ethnic groups in Lofa to be mindful of deceptions and manipulations, and avoid been used by either the authorities in Monrovia or the leaders of the Dissident Group in repeating the irreparable mistakes that occurred during the 1989-1997 civil war, and always remember the harmonious relationships that existed within the corridors of Lofa County prior to the 1989-1997 civil war;

Federation (FLAA) calls upon the Lofa County Organization based in Monrovia to begin the process of revitalizing itself in order to fulfill the challenging objectives stipulated within its documents of incorporation and, or constitution;

Federation (FLAA) reaffirms its goals, objectives and constitutional mandates and recommits itself to assisting our people in Liberia in general and in Lofa County in particular;

Federation (FLAA) calls upon local leaders who have become incapacitated in functioning as the heads of the local chapters to relinquish power quickly and allow a new core of officers to assume the leadership of the local chapters throughout the Americas;

Federation (FLAA) calls upon all bona fide members to contact the Executive Branch of the Federation for any assistance to speed up the process of revitalizing the local chapters; and
Federation (FLAA) calls upon all the people of Lofa in communities that have not organized themselves into a local chapter of the Federation to contact any national leaders as well as local officers to receive all formal and informal documents of the Federation.

Dr. Sakui Malakpa, National Chairman
Mr. Henry Charyo, Vice National Chairman
Mr. Larwuson G. Mulbah, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Abraham Karva, Secretary
Mr. M. Sekou Kanneh, Treasurer
Mrs. Garmai Weh, Chaplain

Chapter Leaders: Mr. Aloysius Yekeh, Chicago, Mr. Daniel Solee, DC Metropolitan Area, Mr. Dempster Yallah, Detroit, Mr. Jerry Yekeh, Georgia, Ms. Betty Duyen, New Jersey, Mr. Eric Karsor, New York, Mr. Asumana Pelima, Ohio, and Mr. Anthony Kesselly and Mr. Ben Gbolee-Weefa, Philadelphia.
Other chapters: California, Minnesota, New England and North Carolina.

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