Brenda Fassie's Strange
Taylor Song of Praise
South African award winning musician Brenda Fassie, in Liberia
for public performances and to sing on President Charles Taylor's
4th wedding anniversary, is reported to have paid tribute to
the warlord turned president for the manner in which he is taking
care of people. Reportedly informing Taylor that she does not
believe the written word about his monstrosities, Ms. Fassie,
pouring lavish praises on the Liberian dictator, said that she
was elated to be in his company.
Liberia's Diverted Dreams (Washington
GBARNGA, Liberia -- When Liberia's brutal factional war
ended in 1997, the newly elected president, Charles Taylor, promised
to quickly rebuild this town, a once vibrant intellectual center
that had been the base of operations for his rebel forces.
to Annan with Fabrications
Liberia's nightmarish struggle against sanctions is digging deeper
into the psyche of its President, a man who, for over a decade,
has thrown West Africa into a cycle of horrors with amputated
limbs, streaming refugees constituting trademarks for his self-proclaimed
change and democracy. In his letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, President Charles Taylor, the single most important character
in the diamond for arms trade that has wiped out towns, villages,
schools, hospitals and farms, social structures, explains why
he has opted to maintain Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United
Front (RUF) as a proxy army despite its endless tales of horrors.
at UN Sanctions Against Liberia
When the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity
(OAU) visited the West African region a few weeks ago to confer
with leaders of that region on the unending conflict within the
region, it came at no surprise that not much emerged out of the
visit by way of political action by him or that body (OAU) to
help change the war dynamic within the region that has caused
untold suffering for thousands of people, uprooting them from
their homeland and turning them into refugees.
Too Little, Too Late
As the United Nations Security Council considers the recommendations
from the UN-appointed Panel of Experts on Sierra Leone's diamonds
and arms, charged with investigating violations of the UN arms
embargo against Sierra Leone and the link between trade in diamonds
and weapons, the government of Liberia, through its Foreign Minister,
Mr. Monie R. Captan, has launched its own diplomatic initiatives
to counter any action by the UN Security Council. Captan is in
New York to take part in the council debate on Sierra Leone.
"We Want To Go Home" Refugees Beg UNHCR
Nyaedou, Guinea, near the border with Sierra Leone and Guinea
"We wan go, we wan go" is the chorus of fear and desperation,
in adult and children's voices, that rings around Nyaedou Refugee
Camp in southwestern Guinea. The refugees want to go home. Nyaedou
is fifteen kilometres from Gueckedou, near the Liberian border,
where more fighting was reported on Tuesday.
More than three years after multitudes of Liberian children emerged
from its insane war as "veterans" in horrors, they
remain "useful" to individuals credited for their unending
misery. Children contributed immensely in empowering men and
women determined to cement their "usefulness" only
to entrench their political power and personal economic benefits.
Liberia VS. Philippines
The submission by Wolor Topor was an interesting reading. It
poses many problems and asks for solutions. Can people power
move Taylor from power? One has to carefully look at what Taylor
did in Liberia in the past eleven years and where we may be headed.
There is indeed a time to call it quit. President Charles Taylor,
who just few months ago told US Assistant Secretary of State
Thomas Pickering that "no power on earth" would instruct
him to sever ties with Sierra Leone's ruthless Revolutionary
United Front (RUF), now wants the world to believe that he is
ready to surrender his sovereignty in exchange for no sanctions.
U. S. Supports
UN Panel Report
While it has already imposed its own sanctions on the Taylor
government, banning officials, their families, members of that
government from travelling to the United States, the U. S. government
in support of the UN Panel of Experts report, last week formally
introduced a UN resolution calling for global embargo on Liberia's
diamond and timber exports, a flight and travel ban, and other
sanctions intended to stop diamond smuggling and gunrunning with
Sierra Leone's RUF rebels.
Can People Power
Make President Taylor Go?
As the saying goes heaven helps those who help themselves. Can
Liberians organize people power to let Taylor go? The answer
here is not as simple as a ripe banana; however, hope is not
lost. From what I observed during the past few days here in the
Philippine "People Power II", where close to a million
people gathered at the EDSA Shrine to demand the resignation
of their President due to alleged corruption charges; and at
the end the will of the people prevailed.
Kabila & The "Kingdom
of the Congo"
When Laurent Kabila, in 1997, stormed Zaire, seized it and renamed
it "The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)" as
an indication of his preference for colonial symbols, it was
clear this was a misnomer. He should have declared it "The
Kingdom of the Congo". The recent transfer of power from
an assassinated father to son speaks more of a monarchy than
a "democratic republic."
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore's "prophesy",
that the foiled coup in the Ivory Coast signals West Africa's
ongoing and chronic instability, are symptoms of tears and fears
from a repenting man labouring with the burdens of blames linking
him to West Africa's decay. However Burkinabes may see their
President, his place in West African history is reserved for
a man who held and lit the destructive flames that have sent
tens of thousands of people to their death and others in difficult
to escape misery.
OAU Secretary-General, Help Liberia
or Keep Silence!
Experience is one's best teacher. Liberia has had its share of
experience! Throughout the years, Liberians have learned from
past experiences. Some of these experiences occurred during the
early days of the Liberian crisis when ECOMOG was using the "big
sticks" and at the same time negotiating with Charles Taylor
and his NPFL rebel group.
What Taylor Should Expect from
the Bush Administration
The dictatorial regime of Charles Taylor in Liberia may have
been nightmarishly watching the US Presidential election twisting
with a potential Al Gore victory. Earlier this year, the Clinton-Gore
Administration banned Taylor government officials from entering
the United States, finally deciding to apply more stick than
carrot in dealing with the Liberian dictator.
Is There a Place for Blacks,
Africa, in the Bush America?
The greatness of America has come from it being a beacon of hope
for the helpless and the deprived on the one hand, and the brightest
minds and the most talented on the other hand. America has offered
hope and opportunity to many immigrants.
Taylor Moves to Own
With mounting evidence against him for plundering Sierra Leone's
diamonds, President Charles Taylor is pressing his National Legislature
to give him the sole power on decisions regarding natural resources.
Legislature Surrenders Liberia's Resources
The Liberian Legislature, known more as a rubberstamp rather
than a deliberative body, is being asked by President Taylor
to pass an act that will not only adversely affect the economy,
but cause serious damage to the country's environmental fabric.
Majority of the lawmakers represent the ruling National Patriotic
Party (NPP) and were never elected but appointed from the party
list of candidates by the president.
Refugees & Their
When former Dutch Christian Democrat Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers
emerged as the favorite over the ultra liberal Environment Minister
Jan Pronk for the post of United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), the decision caused a controversy and media
event in Holland. Many feared Lubbers was too out of touch with
the chaos of refugees producing countries to function in this
Kabila Shooting Causes
Confusion - Leadership Up For Grabs
The Democratic Republic of Congo - and several other African
countries - have been thrown into a tailspin by news that the
Congolese leader, Laurent Désiré Kabila, was shot
on Tuesday. The news prompted total confusion and uncertainty,
which continued into Wednesday.
US National Security
The justification for US inaction during the Liberian war was
that the country, which it founded as home for its freed slaves
back in 1822 and became one of its most reliable allies during
the Cold War, had lost its place in US National Security considerations.
Since the Soviet threat had been removed, the usefulness of such
client states as Liberia was equally removed.
is Our Monetary Policy under Taylor?
More than a decade now, especially since Charles Taylor became
president three years ago, Liberia has been without a direct
monetary policy. Why is the Liberian economy still denied the
most potent macroeconomic policy option available to it? Can
there ever be an effective monetary policy under this regime?
The Abidjan "Harvest"
The continuing roller-coaster politics in the Ivory Coast, since
the death of its founding President Houphouet Boigny, is a warning
that fanning the flames consuming a neighbor's home can be a
Taylor Vows to
Hunt Down Opponents
In the wake of a published list naming 46 Liberians targeted
for assassination, President Charles Taylor has vowed to hunt
his critics down even if they re-enter their "mothers' wombs".
Liberia pledges change (Financial Times)
Liberia may not have abandoned Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United
Front, a dissident rebel commander has said, despite Friday's
pledge from the government in Monrovia to distance itself from
the movement and the issue of conflict diamonds.
Taylor's Gimmick to Stop UN Threatened
Finally, the Liberian Government has conceded its destructive
engagement in Sierra Leone's ongoing war by announcing that one
of that country's ruthless rebel commanders, Sam Bockarie, has
left Liberia. Nevertheless, Bockarie, who reportedly executed
eight of his field commanders before fleeing into the safety
of Charles Taylor's Liberia, has announced that he is still in
Monrovia under Taylor's protection awaiting clarifications for
Treatment: Much Ado About Nothing
Under increasing pressure from the international community and
having boxed itself into an uncomfortable corner, the Taylor
regime late last week unleashed yet another media hype. Gen.
Sam "Mosquito" Bockarie, the self-styled RUF rebel
guru and messenger of anarchy, was at long last said to be leaving
Liberia. In a dramatic twist, the Government of Liberia announced
the sudden expulsion of the notorious and much despised Sierra
Leonean former RUF Commander along with an undisclosed number
of his entourage. This move while interesting is nonetheless
Official Says Taylor a "Dangerous Trend"
US National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs
Gayle Smith, says Liberia's President Charles Taylor is an example
of a "dangerous trend" in which African leaders plunder
sources for personal wealth while plunging their people in misery.
The recent assassination list of individuals allegedly issued
by the Liberian regime would pass as comic book in view of the
horrors that have plagued the country. But that is only if the
source of the List, Charles Taylor, can be dismissed for undertaking
such crusades in death in enhancing his personal interests.
Of Sanction and Misery: Reviewing
the Salim Fallacy
As if that is why we elect them, African Leaders never cease
amusing and amazing people; and last week was no different. The
week itself was a rather momentous one as it gave steam to the
decisive global democratic drive to rid West Africa of the ever-
sickening Taylor menace. Of importance here is the fact that
on the critical question of sub-regional sanity, freedom, security
and the dignity of life in West Africa, there were two important
voices that echoed loud and clear.
Concerns" & Conte's Hard Choices
More than 1600 West African troops may be deployed along the
forested and chaotic Liberian-Sierra Leonean and Guinea borders
in a dream to halt bloody cross-border incursions wiping out
towns and villages and creating infinite refugees within the
and the Future of Liberian Economic Policy
Two sets of forces have combined in the last decade to challenge
the Liberian society and economy. One of these forces was the
outbreak of civil war in the early 1990s, resulting in national
political chaos that culminated ironically in the enthronement
of the major warlord (the repercussions of which Liberians are
MCDL Wants Liberia
Included in War Crimes Tribunal on Sierra Leone's:
A new Liberian group, the Movement for Democratic Change
in Liberia (MDCL), has been launched. Meeting in the City of
Minneapolis, Minnesotta, on December 2, 2000, the movement brought
together a cross-section of Liberian citizens residing in the
U.S. to discuss current political developments and strategize
on the need to effect democratic change in the country.
from Canadian Government Debt Relief
The Canadian federal government, through Finance Minister Paul
Martin, announced a moratorium on debt payments from all heavily
indebted poor countries (HIPCs) owing Canada.
Remarks attributed to OAU Secretary-General, Salim Ahmed Salim,
announcing that President Charles Taylor has "positive contributions"
to make for West African peace, and that UN threatened sanctions
should not be imposed since they will hurt ordinary people, are
Military rebellion quashed in Ivory Coast - Financial
Ivory Coast's tentative return to political
stability received a setback on Sunday night, when an unidentified
group of military rebels briefly seized control of the national
radio and television stations in Abidjan, the economic capital.
- Financial Times
A pressing challenge awaiting the global community is whether
swift moves will be taken to comprehensively implement the recommendations
of the UN Panel of Experts on war and diamonds in Sierra Leone.
OAU Chief Meets Taylor
The Secretary General of the Organization for African Unity,
Salim Ahmed Salim, is reportedly visiting Liberia's President
Charles Taylor for undisclosed reasons.
Politics of Vengeance
The progressing criminilization of Liberia, which is now lucidly
portrayed by the recent UN Panel of Experts Report on how its
President Charles Taylor is extending his tentacles around West
Africa and elsewhere, brings into focus the politics of vengeance
and separation introduced in this African enclave by American
freed slaves who made it their home since 1822.
Editors, Others to be Assassinated?
The Perspective has been informed that its editors and
others within and out of the country have been blacklisted by
the Taylor government and its security apparatus for assassination
for what the National Patriotic Party (NPP) government termed
"security threat to the NPP government".
Hit List Out for Exiled
An assassination list of several Liberian political leaders,
journalists, and human rights activists has reportedly been released.
But confirming the authenticity of the list is made difficult
by the unfavorabl conditions for independent journalism in Liberia,
where a number of newspapers and radio stations have been shutdown.
The UN and Understanding Taylor's Liberia
The recent UN Panel of Experts Report on Diamonds and Arms in
Sierra Leone has fostered some fundamental understanding of the
forces enhancing the current wave of destabilization and poverty
in West Africa.
Liberia Bound Weapons
A consignment of weapons bound for Liberia has been seized by
the Ugandan authorities, according to reports.
"The Inner Circle of the
The UN Panel of Experts Report on the horrors in West Africa
provide detailed accounts of how a country has been criminalized
to transform the West African region into a greater living hell
for millions, leaving tens of thousands of children with amputated
limbs to ensure the fast buck for non-Africans.