The Jan/Mar 1999 Issue Of The Perspective

Bringing War Criminals To Justice
After a series of articles in which we called world attention to the need for a war crimes tribunal in Liberia, The Perspective took a brief hiatus on the issue. We did so hoping that Mr. Taylor would have seen the light by instituting a commission that would have examined the conduct of the civil war. The Perspective had hoped this would underpin reconstruction initiatives, and promote realistic reconciliation in Liberia. We were wrong.

NSA Chief Says International Community Resents President Taylor
Much has been reported in this paper on the crisis of national security that has eroded and undermined the fabric of Liberia's fledging democracy. The Taylor government human rights record remains unenviable; continued security harassment, extortion, police brutality, and intimidation of citizens are still quite prevalent.

Liberian Ambassador Homeless?
He was sent to London to represent the interest, and if possible, defend the aspirations of his country which just emerged out of seven years of self-inflicted, senseless war. Sadly, upon his arrival, H.E. William Bull, Liberia's Ambassador to the Court of St. James, had nowhere to stay. The homeless William Bull had been forced to live temporarily in a hotel in London. It was from there that he was driven to present his diplomatic credentials to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Theory Of Conspiracies
As the reality of the government failure begins to sink in, many of its officials have been engaging in a subtle but persistent chorus of conspiracy theory. Administration functionaries have been hinting over the past few months that there is an international conspiracy against the Taylor regime.

Refugee Students At Morehouse Need Helping Hands
When we saw images of Liberians in 1996, scrambling to board ships with no nation willing to take them in, most Liberians, friends of Liberia, and philanthropic organizations were all desirous to help. Many had the wherewithal but could not find a way to channel their assistance to reach the struggling Liberians made homeless by the war. Some people, however were able to make their way to West Africa just to help. One of such persons is Dr. Beverlee Bruce.

Liberia: Back to Square One
From all indications, we are back to square one. Although a tenth of the population was massacred, over a million internally displaced and hundreds of thousands more sent into pathetic refugee camps in the sub region and elsewhere all in the name of change, the ghost of Samuel K. Doe looks on laughingly as his killers renege into his ghastly past.

Mercenaries And Death Squads: Two Sides Of The Same Coin
One of the untold stories and least reported events in the final years of the twentieth century, has been the presence and involvement of mercenaries in Africa's civil war. Mercenary-soldiering for pay or trading military services for pay, is not a new phenomenon; it has had a long record in Europe's history, but has taken on a new and disturbing development in the conflicts in Africa.

MEASUAGOON:How Rural Liberians Are Rebuilding Their Communities
One of the great tragedies of Liberia's seven year civil war is the terrible toll it took on rural communities. Whole villages were razed. Countless thousands were uprooted, some taking to the bush, others to the highways, all in a frantic search for food and sanctuary from marauding bands of lawless militias. And when all was done, when the guns finally fell silent, we found a nation of self-reliant farmers turned into a pitiful stream of human misery, dependent upon handouts from relief agencies.

The Riddle Of Rev. Jesse Jackson's "Negotiation Skills"
In the wake of the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, alleged murderous attempt to develop weapons of mass destruction, and the US determination to tame him, with its consequences in human and material losses, it would be a joke for "anyone" to "welcome Saddam's unswerving role in helping to restore peace" in the Middle East.

The Treason Trial: A Mockery Of Justice!
In the Oct/Dec '98 issue, the Liberian Democratic Future (LDF) called for a fair and impartial trial of the 32 individuals accused of treason for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Liberian government. We had issued the statement against the background that we still believed that there was still a ray of hope and a silver lining that existed within the Liberian judicial system, since all other aspects of government had failed the Liberian people.

Issues In Perspective: The New Liberian Elite And Political Class
In his book, "Wretched of the Earth", Frantz Fanon, a legendary Algerian intellectual and revolutionary, makes a very profound and perceptive statement about generational change. He states that "Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it."

Trial Verdict Undermines Peace, Stability and Reconciliation - Says Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
A leading Liberian opposition leader, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has warned Liberian government authorities against carrying out the 10-year jail sentence for 13 ethnic Krahn supporters of former warlord Gen. Roosevelt Johnson.

President Taylor: Which Way Liberia
Talking to a cross-section of Liberians on the state of our country recently a question was asked regarding the point at which it would be fair to begin assessing the regime of President Charles Taylor. Some opined that against the background of Liberia's seven-year turbulent past, and the daunting challenges that any new government has to confront, a good starting point to gauge the regime's performance should be at least after a year.

Reports of fighting in Sierra Leone between rebel forces of Corporal Foday Sankoh and government troops loyal to President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah continue to feature high in world media coverage. As the fighting rages engulfing thousands mainly innocent civilians, many stories of what is taking place vis-a-vis players and actors, villains and victims have emerged.