When Is Our Yalta?
It was in February of 1945 when the fortunes of the German and Japanese war machines were changing for the worse, although they still had a lot of fight in them, that three of the most influential leaders of the allied forces held an historic summit at Yalta, on the Crimea in the Ukraine.
Taylor Recaptures Sawmill
During the past few days there have been reports of dissidents of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) efforts to take their war to the front door of Mr. Taylor. The fighting during recent days is taking place in Sawmill, about 80 miles from the Liberian capital.
Educational reforms in sub-Saharan Africa
It is time to revisit the debate concerning a hitherto new wave of educational reforms across Sub-Saharan Africa, which began in the early 1980s and survived well into the 1990s, and now the new millennium.
Life In Monrovia
Finally Dr. Sawyer broke the silence he has been keeping since he fled Liberia a year or so ago, when a group of "former combatants" stormed his office and almost killed him and his assistant, Conmany Wesseh. He is not taking the Taylor regime to court for attempted first- degree political murder, although many would think there is enough ground for it. But he hopes that our sitting president will be indicted in Sierra Leone for crimes against humanity. Well, if the president were indicted, the issue would then be: who is going to arrest him?
Resuscitating Tubman's PRO Network
What does PRO mean? Or who exactly is a PRO? First of all, it was wrongly named - Public Relations Officers, which the Liberian people correctly named - PEOPLE REPORTING OTHERS. These so-called PRO officers, performed the duties of what Liberians referred to as "busybody" or "besah." These are individuals whose preoccupation is to tell lies or "tote" (carry) news on perceived enemies of the state or individuals they personally have had issues with.
African Cup of Nations - Result: Liberia 2-2 Algeria (BBC African Football)
Algeria keep their hopes alive with a last minute equaliser against Liberia in their Group A match in Bamako.
Do Not Burn Your Bridges!
I am still searching for a country in the world where, with guns to their heads, the people have such courage to speak against immeasurable repression, cruelty, and insanity like in Liberia. It is a no-brainer that our country, at the hands of "liberators," has been taken more than 100 years back in time. It is both shameful and painful that we do not have anything to show for all the troubles we have been through particularly since December of 1989.
A Response to Mr. Hodge
It was with great disappointment that I read Mr. Hodge's, "Open Letter to Tim Siklo and LDI", for the fact that it lacks basic understanding of the matters it comments on and shows a disregard for undertaking basic research or homework. For instance the author does not understand how the Foreign Service works and there was no time that I was second to the Ambassador or fired from the Embassy.
Former Interim President, Dr. Sawyer, Responds to the US Government
Since he left Liberia about year ago, after the militiamen of President Taylor attempted to murder him and his colleague, Conmany B. Wesseh of the Center for Democratic Empowerment, former Interim President, Dr. Amos Sawyer, has been silent. However, just about a month ago, he and another opposition leader, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, went to Burkina Faso to engage President Compoare regarding the Liberian situation.
An Argument for Sustained Pressure
At last, the brutal civil war that was thrust cruelly upon the people of Sierra Leone for the past ten bitter years by the ruthless Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels there has been declared officially over. Or at least, so they say!
Regarding Dialogue And Elections In 2003
It seems that after all, Liberians will be forced to go to another peace and reconciliation conference because the spoiled child of Liberia, Charles Taylor, wants it. Through veiled threats and innuendoes, he has forced the international community and Liberian political groups to convene one of those meetings he always craved, where he finds himself setting the agenda by his mere presence or absence.
Sadly, few of our brothers and sisters have played off one group of Liberians against another. These educated Liberians had all the “knowledge” yet they used it without mercy. They have handed power to persons who could be relied upon only to safeguard their economic and political interests.
The Current Economic Situation and Election 2003
As the country prepares for another round of elections in less than two years, we must begin to demand from political parties and candidates, policy blueprints on the direction they wish to take the country. We must also begin to provoke debates on matters that are salient in forging a sustainable democracy in Liberia. It is necessary to do so because never in the history of our nation, do we need to unite on very crucial issues than now.
A Review of the 1984 Liberian Elections Law
One of the highlights of the MDCL convention held on January 19, 2002, in Silver Spring, Maryland, was the remark delivered by Counselor Mohamedu Jones in which he brought the 1984 Liberian elections law under microscope. Counselor Jones argued that the 1984 elections law promulgated by the PRC Government was specifically intended for the 1985 special elections. According to Counselor Jones, the 1984 elections law is invalid for the scheduled 2003 elections.
In Search of a Fresh Start for Liberia
In an atmosphere of dialogue and respect, the MDCL national convention, held in Maryland on Saturday, January 19, 2002, was not the usual Liberian political conference I have seen in the US. The number of people attending the conference and the discussions that followed far exceeded the number of those who came for the dinner and ball. This was a sign of the importance Liberians attach to the holding of free and fair elections at home in 2003.
US Position on Liberia's 2003 Elections
At the MDCL conference on Liberia held on January 19, 2002, in Silver Spring, Maryland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Robert Perry, delivered a speech, which outlines America’s position on the Liberian national elections scheduled to be held in July, 2003.
Exiled Journalists Warn Taylor Against Cancellation of the 2003 Elections
Weah fury after Mali deny Liberia victory in Nations Cup (Times of India)
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) views with grave concern recent reports from Liberia quoting President Charles Taylor and some officials of his regime as threatening to abort the 2003 presidential and general elections. The threats, coming out of Liberia even before the election process commences, indicate that creating an atmosphere for credible elections would be tougher than expected.
BAMAKO: Liberia legend George Weah was left seething after a late equaliser from hosts Mali denied his side a winning start as the African Nations Cup kicked off here Saturday.
Liberia's Rough Diamonds Banned in Bush America
On October 11, 2000, the Taylor government got its first taste of America's policy towards Liberia and his regime, when President Clinton imposed a travel ban on Liberian government officials and their spouses from traveling to the US because of Liberia's involvement in fueling the war in Sierra Leone.
Now is the Time to Put International Pressure on Taylor
On Tuesday, January 15, 2002, PANA reported that president Taylor said that those with dual citizenship would not be allowed to take part in the Liberian national elections come 2003. In fact the president has threatened to arrest any Liberian with dual citizenship who comes to Liberia to contest the elections against him. "If you are a Liberian and you go and naturalize as an American citizen and we find you trying to masquerade as a Liberian during the elections, we will arrest you," Mr. Taylor said.
And so began the charade
All of a sudden, it downed on Taylor and his acolytes in Monrovia that time has elapsed and that 2003 is just around the corner. Since 1997, after the special elections that brought it to power, the NPFL government went to sleep on its glory, feeding itself with the arrogance that stupidity gives to ignorant people. After 5 years of lies, violence, deceit, theft, rape and murder, the gang suddenly woke up to the reality of the passing of time. The NPFL boys and girls and their patron realized that, indeed, they would have to confront the electorate to maintain itself in power.
MDCL Lobbies United Nations
Using research as a tool for analyzing and assessing the irreparable damage being done to the pristine Liberian Rainforest, attributed both to bad government policies or non-existence of policies, and the excessive & profit-driven activities of logging concessions, the Minnesota-based Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL), lobbies the United Nations Security Council to include Timber as part of the sanctions regime imposed on Liberia.
Open Letter to Tim Siklo and LDI
Mr. Siklo: I read with amazement and puzzlement your recent statement [Democracy Group Offers Initiatives for Action] published on behalf of your new group, Liberia Democracy Initiative (LDI). In the opening paragraph, you state that: “LDI intends to highlight critical issues as well as urge people to take decisive and immediate action aimed at bringing genuine peace and credibility to Liberia at home and abroad, respectively.”
Exiled Democracy Movement Calls for Sanction on Liberian Timber The... reason for this letter is to officially register our unflinching support for the imposition of timber and/or logging sanctions against the Charles Taylor government. Scientists and “good common sense” tell us that, rainfall or the lack thereof, erosion, heat or drought, or any imbalance of the ecosphere, affects everyone and every living thing.
Options Short of Taylor-made Elections: The Liberian Alternative
Conspiracy to Eliminate the Krahn Ethnic Group
The next Elections in Liberia are scheduled for sometime in 2003. The playing field is as such: The President uses strong arm tactics to coerce his opposition; he and his accomplices control the economic livelihood of the impoverished population; he and his Phonecian cronies and some European and Asian gangsters are ravaging the land and its resources.
What really took place in Monrovia on September 18 and 19, 1998? Was there any attempt by Roosevelt Johnson to over throw the Taylor government as alleged? Or was there a conspiracy in which Roosevelt Johnson and his forces were used as scapegoats to end 'Krahn Presence' in BTC and the environs of Monrovia, because of fear. The events that unfolded before September 18, 1998, seemed to suggest that there was a conspiracy in which Taylor and his supporters planned to end their perceived "Krahn threat" in Monrovia.
A Lighter View Of Our National Tragedy ...
A man was arrested for beating his son to death for failing mathematics in school. He was later released on bond. This is a very difficult issue. The president himself stood in front of cameras, teachers and students to show that corporal punishment was the best way to "take the devil out of " a child. He did not however say how hard one should can a child. Are there laws on our books about violence on children? Are there laws that protect children from public humiliation?
It's Time Liberians Look Past President Taylor
The Radio and the Next Elections
The Liberian people including the international media and human rights organizations have written extensively about the ills of the Taylor administration since its inception in 1997. It is a known fact that His Excellency Charles McArthur Taylor is a major impediment to the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in Liberia.
I read with some interest a few accounts of the current discussions in Monrovia concerning the availability of short wave radio for use by opposition political parties in the run up to the presidential and general elections in Liberia which should be scheduled for July 2003. The accounts I read spoke of a general agreement on the part of President Taylor that the sort wave radio forum was not only expedient but absolutely necessary for a successful election campaign.
And We Now Know
As an African Child sets out to reflect on events and developments on the African Continent, he is perturbed by the agony of millions of babies, children and teenagers who have been orphaned either by the AIDS Virus, or the brutal post Cold War civil wars, which are now too common to the African Continent. Indeed, as I focus on the history of my people’s gallant march to self-determination in the 1960s, and simultaneously come to term with the lamentable reality of an independent African promise betrayed coupled with the marginalization of Africa in contemporary world and economic affairs, I am overwhelmed with profound sorrow and sadness.
Democracy Group Offers Initiatives for Action
Reviewing the continuing Liberian crisis and offering initiatives it considers critical to bringing about genuine peace to Liberia, the newly-formed Washington, DC-based advocacy group, Liberia Democracy Initiative (LDI), has called upon the international community to cut off support and funding to both the Liberian government and the dissident group LURD, amending the constitution to make it illegal for any President of Liberia to declare war or support armed insurgency or uprising within Liberia or another country, and urging LURD to seek the democratic alternative by transforming itself into a political movement, among others. Below is the full text of the statement issued by the LDI.
The Dilemma Facing The Liberian Opposition Parties
Taylor Admits to Control of "Shortwave" License
About a month ago, I wrote an article in the ‘The Perspective’ titled What Election 2003? Since the printing of that article, I have reflected on the list of ten reasons I gave that Charles Taylor will not allow for a fair and free election in 2003. I have also come to some conclusions following the printing of that article. I have come to the conclusion that Charles Taylor just might prove me wrong, by allowing for a fair and free election in Liberia in 2003. Whether Charles Taylor allows a fair and free election in 2003 or not, he has nothing to lose. He is in a “Win/Win” situation. I will speak to the Win/win situation later.
The Liberian government's refusal to renew the shortwave license of Radio Veritas, a Catholic-owned radio station, which has been subjected to numerous closures in the last two years, including the famed Star Radio, was one of the major questions asked by a caller to President Taylor recently in a Talk Radio-styled TV program called "Issues With The President."
When someone communicates something, which profoundly touches the heart of one’s country, it is a matter of patriotic duty to reject silence. I was so touched by Cllr. Mohamedu F. Jones’ article: “A ‘Dirty War’ of Political Terrorism Against Certain Liberians.” While I heartily agree with the learned legist position regarding the aptness of the burden of proof, I would like to communicate what I believe to be the real motive behind Taylor’s recent accusatory statements against certain Liberians.
Not only Taylor fears Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
A few years ago, the presidential elections at one point were supposed to pin "civilians" against "warlords", because many peace-loving people thought that this was where the great divide lied. Among the warlords, Taylor was the fiercest and again there was a hope that a coalition among "civilians" would include some of the moderates against Taylor. None of this happened. Civilians opposed one another and in the end, some of them opposed each other more than they opposed the warlord Taylor. For example, Mr. Gabriel Baccus
The Determinants of Academic Achievement in Liberia
The Inquirer Newspaper (Liberia) has done a great job by publishing the 2001 national examinations results in its November 19, 2001 issue. I must commend this paper for undertaking such a task. It is about time the education became a focal point for popular discourse in Liberia. I am sure many would be anxious to know how schools are being run and how in fact students are performing behind the school wards. It is imperative that such a debate be held and decisions made with regards to the future of schools in Liberia. Because of the strong correlation between education and social development (see Tilak, 1997), the future of education must become intimately intertwined with the future of the country. Authentic intersubjective dialogue must be accommodated in pursuit of authentic action.
Credibility of International Justice System in Danger
UN Tribunals must strive to preserve humanity's belief in international justice system. On 10 December 2001, the entire world commemorated the 53rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a fundamental text registered as the legal heritage of humanity.
War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone: The Walls are Closing in on Taylor
The recent announcement by the United Nations that after all, the war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone will take place was good news for those who have suffered from the wrath of organized political crime gang in the sub-region for several years. The fact that the British freed many under-links of Foday Sankoh during the investigation should not be viewed as a problem. Those who were released were subservants in a major criminal enterprise with bigger fishes to be caught in the net. The real big culprits in this hunt for war criminals are Sankoh and Taylor and their mentors in Burkina Faso and Libya.
Bong County Associations Condemn Police Killing of Youth in Gbarnga
Few weeks ago, the police authority in Bong County, taking the law into its own hands, shot and killed John Kpannah, a fourth grader of the St. Peter's Elementary School in Gbarnga, Bong County. The police alleged that he had been mistaken for an armed robber wanted by the authority. But eyewitnesses to the incidence reported that the act carried out by the police was deliberate, calculated and cold-blooded. Bong county citizens residing in the United States, organized under the umbrella of the United Bong County Associations in the Americas (UBCAA), have condemned the act and have called for a speedy investigation and trial. Below is a full text of a statement issued by the organization.
Liberians Tend to Follow Their Leader
Liberians tend to follow their leader; if the leader is good, the followers will be good and if the leader is bad, the followers will be bad. This was the message Senator Charles W. Brumskine brought to Liberians in Northern California in December (2001). His appearance was part of a nation-wide town meetings he has been conducting in America. His presentation was followed by a question-and-answer period, and then $50 per plate dinner at a local hotel. He did not visit any private home for fear that it might be interpreted as holding secret meetings with the intention to overthrow Charles Taylor in Liberia.
Liberia's Doyen Diva, Ms. Miatta Fahnbulleh
Who is this lady that has influenced two generations of African musicians and is strong and captivating as ever? She is Ms. Miatta Fahnbulleh, who is affectionately referred to as "DD" - Doyen Diva of Liberian music. She is a vocalist, songwriter and music producer.
The Year 2002 in Liberia
The year 2001 was very eventful in our country. The greatest event of course is the imposition of the UN travel ban sanctions on the entire government of our country for the first time in our history. The New Year opens with a new list of the same travel ban. The President, the Vice-President, The Minister of Foreign Affairs are all confined in Monrovia. Extended state of claustrophobia and paranoia can lead to madness.
Do not be Passive On-looker to the Prevailing Crisis in Liberia
Like the Roman God Janus standing upon the threshold of a New Year, with one face looking over the passing year and the other towards the New Year, Liberians are wondering whether the New Year will lead to lasting peace or continued violence in our country. We must resolve to achieve the former. Howbeit, we extend to you our patriotic greetings and solidarity.