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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 Post)
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.

From Taylor 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.

Africa Balks 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.

Liberian Diplomacy: 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.

Children Remain "Useful"
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.

People's Power: 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.

Deceptions and Sanctions
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."

Compaore's Prophesy
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 Minerals
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.

Rubberstamp 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 Creators
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 crisis-plagued organization.

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.

Diamonds vs. 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.

How Effective 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 ghastly mistake.

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 Sanctions (Editorial)
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 his departure.

Liberia's Mosquito 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 hollow.

US Security 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 Death List Obsession
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.

Taylor's "Legitimate 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 region.

Globalization 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 still suffering).

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.

Liberia Excluded 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.

Salim's Blurred Eyes
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 saddening.

Military rebellion quashed in Ivory Coast - Financial Times
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

Sanctions Now!
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.

Advancing The 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.

The Perspective 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 Liberians, Others
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 Seized
A consignment of weapons bound for Liberia has been seized by the Ugandan authorities, according to reports.

"The Inner Circle of the Taylor Regime"
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.

  Out of the ashes of the Liberian civil war emerged a new society. What is it like? Read all about it and join the conversation. It is in The Perspective - the publication devoted to Liberia's democratic future. Subscribe today@ $20.00/year (international rate is $33.00/year).
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