Gen. Roosevelt Johnson: Taylor Is Not The Right Material To Bring Reconciliation

"History Has A Way Of Passing Harsh Judgement On Unscrupulous Rascals..." Says Fahnbulleh

April_June_'98 Issue Of The Perspective
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The Liberian Democratic Future Response To Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Liberian Civil Conflict
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"History Has A Way Of Passing Harsh Judgement On Unscrupulous Rascals..." Says Fahnbulleh
-An Interview-

Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr., former presidential candidate of the Reformation Party, one of the thirteen parties which participated in the July 1997 elections, was interviewed by The Perspective magazine from London, England, where he is currently residing. Dr. Fahnbulleh offered his views on the elections and a wide-range of issues affecting Liberia's political future

A little over a year ago, Liberians enthusiastically went to the polls in what seemingly appeared to have been an expression of a general desire to look up to one overarching authority vested in Mr. Charles Ghangay Taylor to rule them with mandates unsurpassed by previous authorities on the Liberian Political scene. In an unusual twist of logic, many Liberians voting in last year's elections, wished that eventhough Mr.Taylor "killed their Mom and Pa," they were convinced to vote him into power on the assumption that his presence in the Executive Mansion conferred a reassuring sense of order and direction on a fractious country struggling to recover from a revolving state of anarchy induced by the very man Liberians turned to - to rescue their country from his self-induced anarchy.

Taylor's One Year In Review: All Promises, No Substance
By his own admission, Charles Taylor has said that his first year in office has been a failure. He attributes the failure of his government to the international community whom he says refuses to come to his aid since he was elected president of Liberia.

Thank goodness, Mr. Taylor saw the light this time and didn't dare blame his political enemies at home for this latest fiasco.

Speaking at the Unity Conference Center in Virginia, at the occasion of the national conference on the future of Liberia, Mr. Taylor acknowledged the shortcomings of his administration, and the incompetence that is characteristic of his NPP-dominated government. Taylor remarked verbatim: "... you elected me one year ago, but I have to admit to you [that] I am catching hard time [difficulty], and I have failed you in my first year."

A Crisis Of National Security
The Taylor administration came to power after seven years of a bruising civil war in Liberia during which Charles Taylor, the principal instigator of the violence, commanded one of the most vicious militias in recent memories.

His child soldiers, stoned on drugs and other substances, killed nearly everyone in their path as they commandeered their way to power. In the process, these bandits terrorized and extorted the helpless citizens. Together with other guerrilla factions, they wildly butchered, disabled villagers, and raped terrified women as they plundered the country to near depletion.

Gen. Roosevelt Johnson: Taylor Is Not The Right Material To Bring Reconciliation - An Interview
During his recent visit to the United States to seek medical attention, The Perspective had the opportunity to interview Gen. Roosevelt Johnson, former factional leader of the United Liberation Movement (ULIMO-J). Gen. Johnson offered his views on the Liberian civil war that killed over 250,000 hapless Liberians, and on current developments in Liberia.

The Plight Of Liberians In Poland There is a considerable number of Liberians here in Eastern Europe, the so-called former communist block. They include medical doctors, linguists, teachers among others who have studied in various higher institutions of learning here. The sad thing is, we are stranded. Many of us have no passports, amidst the fast growing economies of Eastern Europe, we are virtually pushed to the margins here. The impact? insecurity, with no sense of belonging.

The Cock And The Gun: Liberia's Continuing Legacy Of Violence And Male Domination
This is your cock, this is your gun. One is to kill, one is for fun. - US military chant
While addressing the nation a few months ago commemorating National Unification Day, President Taylor seized the opportunity to advance his vision of what he considers as remedies of Liberia's longstanding and systemic division that has eroded national stability and contributed to constant tension in the society. President Taylor pronounced that all the ethnic groups in Liberia must intermarry with one another, and he would set the example by marrying a Mandingo woman.

But, any person seriously concerned with the position and condition of African women - social, economic and psychological - and Liberia's societal development, must take a hard second look at Charles Taylor's statement on polygamy (polygyny).

The Challenges Facing Diaspora Africans Who Return To Africa
Today there is a debate on whether African Americans can survive in Africa once they return to the Mother Continent. A question which is being asked is: If they returned to Africa, can they settle and make a difference, like the diasporic Jews have done for Israel?

Issues In Perspective: Polygyny (Polygamy) Is Already A Practice
To Africans including Liberians, the institution of polygyny (polygamy) is nothing strange. Polygyny was the acceptable form of marriage in Africa prior to the arrival of the colonizers and Christianity. The same can be said about the Americo Liberian settlers. As a matter of fact, the Settlers got involved in this practice of having more than one wife.

The Hubbub Over Foreign Aid: Facing The Sobering Reality
Recent pronouncements by officials of the Liberian government, including President Taylor, indicate that the government is disappointed with the current level of foreign aid to Liberia. Two months after submitting the government's National Reconstruction Program to an international donor conference in Paris last April, Liberia's Finance Minister chastised the African Development Bank (ADB), at its recent Annual Conference, for not being "responsive to Africa's needs", noting specifically that the Bank has failed to come to Liberia's aid (The Inquirer, Vol. 7, No. 95). Upon returning home from a trip to Nigeria and Burkina Faso early July, President Taylor too accused the international community of turning its back on Liberia, saying all that the country is getting from non-African nations is promises (Liberian Daily News Bulletin, Star Radio, July 6).

Citizenship Debate: Who Can Become A Liberian?
Liberia is currently caught in the throes of a renewed debate on who should become a citizen. The issue centers on whether non-Negroids should own property and become citizen of Liberia. The debate has gotten national attention and is being considered by the Liberian Legislature.

Community Roundup
Monrovia Fest

As part of their continuing contribution to America's Independence day, two local Liberian promoters/organizers in Metro Atlanta hosted a series of events on July 4 at John White Park on Cascade Road to commemorate the independence anniversary of their adopted country. Dazia Fumbah and Bernard Benson, co- founders of the annual event known as Monrovia Fest, have been the brain behind this spectacular gathering of Liberians and other nationalities over the years.

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