Bumpy Road for the Liberian Opposition
Few weeks ago, a communiqué - that did not receive the deserved attention -was posted on the various Liberian websites. It related the fact that the LLF and the LLC, chaired by Conmany Wesseh and Cletus Wotorson have decided to merge and form one body. The two groups, one formed in Burkina Faso and the other in Bethesda, MD, had been involved in a long power-struggle as to who would speak for the opposition and who has the best connections to bring every politician under one umbrella to remove the Taylor regime. Although the arguments seemed superficial, they pointed to deep-seated mistrust and antagonism
Brumskine's Supporters Arrested in Bassa
MONROVIA, JANUARY 26, 2003: Cllr. Charles Brumskine today denounced in the strongest terms the arrests on Saturday of two prominent citizens of Grand Bassa County: Former Grand Bassa Superintendent Thomas Johnson and the Chairman of the Organization of Grand Bassa Citizens, Mr. Carlos Smith. The two men headed an advanced team to prepare for the arrival of Cllr. Brumskine in Buchanan on Tuesday, January 28, 2003.
A Liberian Group Calls on the United States Government "to Weed out Terrorist Taylor from Liberia"
We, the citizens of Liberia residing in the Philadelphia area of the United States, have gathered here today with heavy hearts to express to the Government and people of the Great United States of America, our highest disapproval and condemnation of the reported involvement of our president, Charles Taylor with the AlQaeda Terrorist network following the catastrophic event of 9-11. The report, which was a front-page story in the December 29th edition of the renowned Washington Post newspaper, gave a detailed account of Presidents Blaise Compaoire and Charles Taylor's connection to the AlQaeda network.
Resolution of the Ivorian Complex Conflict: ECOWAS or France
The West African state of Ivory Coast has been going through a very complex and unresolved crisis period of recent. Said conflict, with its prolonged and intricate nature has permeated the social and economic fabrics of the country's uneven societies with a real political face and troubling constitutional and legal undertone.
Ivory Coast Displaced Speak of Bloodthirsty, Ruthless Liberian Attackers (Tehran Times)
GUIGLO, Ivory Coast -- "They speak English and they kill," said Madeleine Ga Ahou, one of several thousand people displaced after attacks by presumed Liberian fighters in the west of war-torn Ivory Coast.
The Dirty Politics of Africa: The Case of Zambia
Many of us observers of the African political scene were shocked to learn that Dr. Kenneth Kaunda had been banned from running for his country's presidency. Banned because he was not considered a Zambian citizen. Not a citizen of the country whose founding father and head of state he had become since its inception? Not a citizen of the country whose president he had once been for nearly thirty years? How could such a preposterous notion be taken seriously?
Stinking Shame On The So-called African Union
Talking about making a big blunder and embarrassing a people that are already backward? Then just consider seriously the recent assumption of the chairmanship of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission by Libya - a rare opportunity for Africa to have shown the world that it is now ready to straighten up finally and move on, leaving the past behind. But many thanks to South Africa for blowing our chance once again by giving the position to long-time dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, since it's no secret that he definitely will be the one calling the shots from behind the scene.
Liberians Plan Big Demonstration
A planned demonstration to protest President Charles Taylor's alliance with the Al Qaeda terrorist network and the deteriorating conditions in Liberia will be held in central Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, today, January 24, 2003. According to the head of the organizing committee, Dean Wilson, the rally will begin at 11: o clock in the morning at the JFK Plaza.
Educating Liberian Children in the Culture of Peace
Much of my recent working with young people in postwar Liberia leads me to believe that there is precious little in their worldview to find worthy of pure, unadulterated honor and respect. From parents to leaders, so many of the actions and attitudes modeled to young Liberians today so often fail to inspire and encourage them to see themselves and the world as vessels of integrity, peace and honor. How then does one teach them to desire goodness, do good, seek peace and integrity? How does one teach them about the rewards of non-violence? How does one help young Liberians find themselves and others and our world worthy of respect and honor? What happens when they grow up?
Brumskine's Triumphant Return After Four Years in Exile
Brumskine finally came to Monrovia yesterday. There was a huge crowd that went out to receive him. Students including those from the University of Liberia left their classes and went on the road to take a look at him. The city was brought to a stand still. His convoy drove through Broad St. with lots of youth and kids chanting "all our money they are stealing, they will pay for it." They were apparently referring to Taylor and company. The message in all of this is that the people are tired and sick of Taylor and, are looking for a credible alternative to him. This is why it's important for our people to consider the Kenyan experience very seriously because there is no one party that can take on Taylor and be a winner.
Liberia: A Survey of the General Situation
After seven years of brutal, inhumane and bloody civil war (December 1989-1997), followed by the July 1997 bogus proportional elections which ushered in Charles Mac Arthur Taylor as president in August of the same year; the Country's population continues to face, experience and undergo degradation and acute poverty.
A Tribute To A "Culture Virtuoso" Gbessay Kiazolu
One of Liberia's oldest female performing artists, the aging Gbessay Kiazolu now winding up into her 90s, was honored last December 25th, Christmas day at the historic Providence Island in Monrovia by the newly formed Anyekon Artists group. Anyekon (meaning, we on it) comprises popular pre-war dramatic groups such as Malawala Balawala, Flomo Theatre and Aurora Productions of the USA. It is led by Mr. Kekura M. Kamara, a comedian and former television newscaster.
Misinterpreting the Intent of the Framers of the Liberian Constitution - Former Secretary General of the Constitutional Advisory Assembly Sets the Record Straight
Amidst the dismal failure of his regime and frightened to face the Liberian electorate without fraud or farce, President Taylor went on fishing for way to lessen his own vulnerability at the polls by threatening to invoke the ten year residency clause of the Liberian Constitution. But his attempt at causing chaos and turmoil and throwing the electoral process in disorder went without challenge. The Perspective
called his bluff and neutralized Mr. Taylor's contention in its January 17, 2003, Editorial
. Responding to the Editorial, Mr. Archie Bernard, Secretary-General of the Constitutional Advisory Assembly, sheds more light on the intent
of the framers of the 1984 Liberian Constitution
No Plans to Arrest Charles Brumskine?
As I was going through my e-mails, I came across an interested piece from the Friends of Liberia (FOL) News Dispatch, a reliable resource for news and information on Liberia. The headline was "No Plans to Arrest Brumskine -Says Justice Ministry".
Shattered Hopes and dreams
October 14, 2003, is set again by constitutional provision as another day of opportunity for the Liberian people's hope for a new day in Liberia, when their aspiration for democracy, freedom, rule of law, unfettered opportunities, living once again as real human beings, exercising and carrying out the pursuit of their individual and collective lots without harassment, intimidation, coercion, abuse of their rights which is the order of the day in current day Liberia, will be dashed again.
Liberians in Ivory Coast Flee War Once Again (IHT Online)
TABOU, Ivory Coast In the language of international humanitarian aid, "voluntary repatriation" refers to the homecoming of refugees who once fled war. The voyage must be made of their own consent, "in safety and with dignity."
Heavy Fighting in Liberian Town after Rebel Attack (People Daily - China)
Heavy battles broke out on Monday inthe eastern Liberian town of Gbein, about 350 kilometers east of the Liberian capital Monrovia, according to a report reaching from Monrovia.
Observing Liberia From A Vantage Point
I was in Liberia from September 23 to October 7, 2002 for the funeral services of my sister, the late Marylue Dortu Nyanfore. The last time I visited Liberia was in the latter part of 1980 on a consulting assignment. Things have drastically changed since then. A civil war had occurred, which killed thousands of innocent people and a new president has been elected to make things better."
"Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows"
The Taylor-owned propaganda website, All About Liberia, recently carried a self-promotional article under the title: "Dr. Tipoteh Acknowledges Enjoyment of Freedom In Liberia". It went on to quote Dr. Tipoteh as saying: "My rights and freedoms have been respected at all times by the Charles Taylor-led Government of Liberia." .
Liberia Claims Cross-Border Attack
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - Gunmen seized a Liberian border town in an attack launched from Ivory Coast in a ``blatant violation'' of Liberia's territorial integrity, President Charles Taylor's private radio claimed Monday.
Challenging Taylor's Misinterpretation: The Ten Year Residency Clause (Editorial)
As the first term of the Taylor regime draws to a close, and a long awaited window of opportunity opens for Liberians to rid themselves of one of the most hideous rulers of Africa, there has been a cacophony of voices raised - mainly coming from Mr. Taylor and his supporters - about disqualifying some potential presidential candidates from taking part in the up coming general elections in Liberia in October this year.
Dream On, Liberian People
Yes, the year 2003 is here! This is the year in which the fickle and flaky Liberian people think they are going to see their dreams turn into realities. This is the year in which Charles Taylor, the fugitive from justice, and the embezzler president of Liberia, is expected to risk his absolute power over the Liberian people, and his stolen wealth, to allow for a free and fair elections to be conducted in Liberia. This is the year in which the Liberian people are going to learn, for the first time, that voting in elections does not only mean putting papers in ballot boxes, but knowing also the ramifications of that simple act.
Sapo National Park Threat Still Underway in the Republic of Liberia
Despite public protestations concerning logging incursions into the proposed extension of Liberia's Sapo National Park in mid-December, the Royal Timber Company, under a concession given them by the Liberian government, continues to build roads into these forests and extract logs. The wood is being carried to coastal port facilities and loaded onto ships for export.
UN Optimistic About Peace in Cote d'Ivoire
The United Nations is optimistic that the ongoing movement towards peace in Cote d'Ivoire is being reflected by the presence of all protagonists at the Paris roundtable talks that signalled hope for a definite end to the crisis.
The Paris talks that have brought together Ivorian political parties including three rebel groups are being touted as the conference ''of the last chance'' in the resolution of the four month old conflict in Cote d'Ivoire which erupted when rebels took up arms against current President Laurent Gbagbo.
Cllr. Brumskine Departs for Liberia Amidst Rumors of Pending Arrest by the Liberian Government (Statement Issued by Friends of Brumskine)
As the Counselor prepares to depart for Liberia, we have learned from credible sources that the government of Liberia has hatched a plan to arrest Counselor Charles Brumskine upon his arrival in Liberia later this month. We gather from two well-placed sources within the Government that, to best of their knowledge, an arrest warrant has already been prepared under the guise of associating Counselor Brumskine with fighters of LURD. Our sources further indicate that the government intends to claim that proof of Counselor Brumskine's association with LURD is based on a mass...
"Treatment of Journalists in Liberia is Horrendous," says Prof. Karikari
"The kinds of treatment meted against journalists and members of civil society organizations in Liberia is intolerable and too horrendous," Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Professor Kwame Karikari, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Merger of The Liberian Leadership Conference and The Liberian Leadership Forum
The Liberian Leadership Conference and the Liberian Leadership Forum, organizations committed to representing the collective interest of Liberian political parties, civil society leaders and key opinion leaders, have decided to adopt a common approach in undertaking activities aimed at creating conditions for the rule of law, human and political rights and the future economic development of their country.
"In The Cause Of The People"
History makes a strange bedfellow, yet it teaches us to prepare ourselves to face the future. This very fact motivated some of us to develop interest in history at an early age. It also led me to examine various historical figures in order to find out the reason they behaved the way they did at a given period in history. As a result, my curiosity led me to review the role played by these two different but interesting personalities in the American Civil War - they are, President Abraham Lincoln and Corporal William H. Morey.
After Thirteen Hours, Sixteen Doctors Restored Journalist Suah's Sight
Throble Suah, the Liberian Journalist who lost his sight after severely being beaten by five armed president security officers in Monrovia regained his sight yesterday. Reports from Ghana said Suah regained his sight at 10: 15pm. Suah was beaten on December 14th by five elite presidential guards, Anti Terrorist Unit, while on his way home from seeing a visitor off. He gradually began losing his sight and had gone completely blind for over seven days until last night.
Battared Journalist Throble Suah in Critical Condition, Flown to Ghana
received reports from our sources in Ghana and Liberia indicating that Throble Suah, the Inquirer Newspaper reporter, who was severely beaten on December 14 by Liberian Security forces was flown to Accra Saturday night.The journalist was flown to Ghana after the Catholic Hospital in Monrovia gave him up. The Media Foundation for West Africa is said to have arranged the trip for the battered newspaper reporter. Reports say Throble Suah's condition is so bad that he is completely blind, lost his whole sense of memory, and his legs cannot move.
Col. Fitzgerald Vampelt Laid To Rest
Funeral rites are among some of the most significant events found in Liberian culture which blends with that of Western funeral ceremonies. Among Liberian tribal elements, funeral ceremonies vary from a particular locality to another. For instance, the manner in which the Bassa, Grebo and Kru have funeral arrangements are quite different from the Kpelle, Lorma, and Kissi. One thing that is common as regards all funeral rites is that the dead is always accorded his/her last respect.
Way to go Kenya - Wake up "Failed" Liberia!
In the last few weeks, the African nation of Kenya, situated on the East coast, and its people, have been bombarded with all sorts of praises, and rightfully so, from all across the globe for their remarkable display of political maturity by changing their government PEACEFULLY through the ballot box rather than senseless violence as is common on the struggling continent.
The Role of Education in Strengthening Civil Society in Liberia:
A New Agenda for Self-Emancipation and Social Change
This article seeks to discuss and thus render some judgments regarding one of the most crucial and strategic functions of education as an enabler of a vibrant civil society and political culture. In a postindustrial age where knowledge or what some refer to as social capital has become a central productive force, the challenge of educational development is inseparable from the progressive reorganization of the social order. Thus, understanding the relationship between education and the building of a healthy civil community
Pressure President Taylor to Resign Prior to the 2003 Elections
Mr. Taylor's involvement with the al Qaeda terrorist network as reported by the Washington Post recently is a clear indication that the Liberian ruler is determined to threaten the security of countries not only in the West African Sub-region, but the United States, and other countries around the world.
Liberian religious leaders charged (BBC)
Many Liberians who have Internet connections are likely to be charged with treason by the Taylor regime. While human rights defender Aloysius Toe is still languishing in Taylor's dungeon for receiving e-mail from LURD, the dissident group fighting to unseat Mr. Taylor, two religious leaders ("David Kiazolu, Secretary-General of the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) and his assistant, Christopher Toe") have been arrested and charged with treason for being recipients of e-mails from LURD. See BBC article
The Spoken Word at the UNIBOA-PA Reunion
The somewhat religious fervor, which characterized the recent reunion and installation program of the UNIBOA-PA, was interlarded with speeches all of which centered round the current crisis in Liberia.
Liberian Community Leader In The U.S. Calls On Fellow Liberians To Denounce Act Of Supporting Terrorists In Liberia...
The President of the Association of Citizens and Friends of Liberia (ACFLi) based in Sacramento, California, Mr. J. Siaka Konneh is calling on all Liberians in every part of the world to strongly denounce and condemn the ugly acts of aiding and abetting terrorists of Al Queada in Liberia, if the intensive story published in the Washington Post newspaper about a week ago is trueThe somewhat religious fervor, which characterized the recent reunion and installation program of the UNIBOA-PA, was interlarded with speeches all of which centered round the current crisis in Liberia.
The Ivorian Crisis: Observations And Proposals
The problem in the Ivory Coast is definitely one that will further destabilize the sub region: The Ivorian population, its economic strength which supports neighbors, its port usage for several land locked countries in the sub region, an international transit business point, its agricultural output including cocoa ,coffee, yam and small industries, etc are all factors that stand to be disturbed with devastating consequences.
US Embassy Curtails Operation in Liberia
According to news reports, the United States Embassy in Monrovia is curtailing operation in that West African country. The Embassy will stop issuing visas to Liberians wishing to travel to the United States. The action by the US government was prompted by Mr. Taylor efforts to stage a demonstration against United States policy.
Bush Grants Migration and Refugee Aid to Four African Countries
Pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2601(c)(1), I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest that up to $11 million be made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to address unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs arising from the crises in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, and from the return of refugees to Sierra Leone and Angola.
Running Out Of Lies
Before the 1997 presidential and general elections, Mr. Charles Taylor and his faithful servants had given the impression that he was the "savior" of Liberia. According to them, voting for Taylor meant that Liberia would be turned to a paradise with American dollars in the pockets of every Liberian. They further told Liberian children that education for them would be free with computers made available to each pupil, while hot meal would be served in all schools. At the national level, Monrovia was to be electrified moment after the inauguration.
Congolese Resistance Movement Declares Pretoria Accord Null and Void
A France-based Democratic Republic of Congo resistance movement allied to local fighters, the Mai-Mai in Fizi, Baraka, Mwenga and Uvira of South Kivu province of the DRC has dismissed the recently signed Pretoria power-sharing accords between the Kinshasa government and rebel groups as null and void charging that it placed the selfish interests of a few over those of the vast majority population.
Fighting Approaches Ivorian Camp, But Refugees Denied Relocation (UNHCR)
GUIGLO, Côte d'Ivoire, Jan 7 (UNHCR) - As rebel fighting approaches western Côte d'Ivoire's Nicla camp, the UN refugee agency's plans to evacuate 5,000 refugees hosted there have suffered a setback, with the proposed relocation site falling through over the weekend.
HIV/AIDS, Africa And 2003: Urgent Strategic Issues
This year, 2003, will be an epoch year in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa for many reasons. First, the international community has moved beyond WHETHER to intervene to HOW to intervene in Africa. The Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TBB and Malaria is a concrete example of the global resolve to fight HIV/AIDS in every part of the world, especially in Africa. Second, the multifaceted struggle to provide lifesaving medicines to nearly 30 million Africans living with HIV/AIDS has moved from theoretical discussions to the logistics of providing care.
Ignorance of History is NO Excuse!
I read with complete disappointment the recent comment made by Mr. Toman Gboyah, Chairman of the Board of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Bassa Organization in the Americas (UNIBOA-PA) at the chapter's installation program on December 28, 2002. At the program, Mr. Toman Gboyah is reported to have said, "Praise the Lord, ... What I like about being a Bassa is that we are all Christians. ...There is no single Muslim among us here".
What Can You Do For Your Community?
I am reminded of the words of the late American president John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he charged his constituents to "ask not what America can do for you, but what you can do for your country". Indeed, tonight I ask you distinguished ladies: "What can you do for your community, your brothers and sisters, your country?" If I am correct, the basis for the establishment of the All Hearts Association is precisely that! The Apostle Paul, in one of his instructions to Timothy beseeched the early Christians that each one performs according to his/her gift. He reminded them that using their individual gifts worthily would earn them heavenly rewards. Ladies, you have the opportunity to use your gifts, and surely, heavenly rewards await you.
Taylor's Party Using Public Resources for Private Gain
According to news dispatch from Monrovia, the ruling National Patriotic Party has been engaged in the process of parceling out national contracts to various companies at the expense of the Liberian public. One such lucrative deal was uncovered and published by The Independent newspaper in its December 31, 2002 edition.
US Ambassador Blaney Says Conditions in Liberia are not Right for Free and Fair Elections
Ambassador John Blaney says conditions in Liberia are not yet right for free and fair elections. Below is the full text of Mr. Blaney's remarks: "The United States is concerned that preparations for the 2003 elections are inadequate and that necessary conditions do not yet exist to permit free and fair elections. For example, the United States and others have repeatedly encouraged the Government of Liberia to get help on election preparations from the United Nations well beyond requests for security-related assistance."
Taylor and Cote d'Ivoire: "What goes around..."
Venance Konan came to Liberia for the first time in 1991. He was the most widely read journalist in Cote d'Ivoire at the government daily Fraternite Matin. When the Interim Government wanted to let the people in Cote d'Ivoire understand what was happening in Liberia, we invited him. During his visit, I contacted Joe Mulbah, Taylor's spokesman at the time in Gbarnga. Venance went and spent a few days in "Greater Liberia". In the subsequent articles, he said that one image that stood out in his mind had to do with a picture. There was a gigantic billboard, with the picture of "President Taylor" at the entrance of Gbarnga.
In Reunion, UNIBOA-PA Installs Officers in Christ
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 28 - Last Saturday, members of the Pennsylvania chapter of the United Bassa Organization in the Americas (UNIBOA-PA) turned out in pomp and pageantry at a reunion to have their new leader installed. The rousing program, which was held in the auditorium of a local Catholic school, was attended by reps of other Liberian organizations. It was virtually a religious reunion.
Research Fellowships for Liberians and other Africans at the University of Witwatersrand
"In the role as Chairperson of the Center for Africa's International Relations of the University of the Witwatersrand of South Africa, I wish to encourage qualified Liberians residing in the United States or elsewhere to apply for the fellowships described in the attached. I believe that those accepted would benefit from a great experience at Wits and the potential for far reaching professional engagement thereafter", says Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Let's Stifle Our Tears and Look Forward in Hope
Our country is going through a trying time. Liberia has become a disgrace on the face of the globe, a country that has been listed as a failed and pariah state, a fear republic. A society governed by fear and ruined by terror; and evil is the order of the day. A criminal with a gangster's tendencies and his high-core demons and sadists have taken over our land and made our country a rogue state and a center of destabilization for the West African region.