New Deal Condemns Police Harassment and Intimidation
Police brutality has intensified in Liberia since the imposition of the state of emergency in that West African country by Charles Taylor. Recent casualties include Frances Johnson Morris - former Chief Justice of Liberia and Director of JPC (stripped naked and thrown in jail by police director Paul Mulbah), several journalists and leader of an opposition party, New Deal Movement.
Press Conference By Liberia Coalition Of Human Rights Defenders
Some of you may be aware of recent events of the last few days, which is the arrest of human rights and peace advocates. The purpose of calling you here today, on the day that we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, is to tell the world that SOME OF OUR DEAR COLLEAGUES OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE OF LIBERIA have been arrested by the Liberian government and are languishing in jail.
ULAA's Report on Abuja Peace and Reconciliation Conference
On Thursday morning, March 14, 2002, Women of the Mano River Union, presidential aspirants, members of political parties, civil organizations, and opinion leaders met under the chairmanship of Mrs. Ruth Sando Perry to reach a consensus on issues that we felt were paramount discussion items for the conference. As chairperson of the ULAA delegation, I felt it worthwhile to participate in this meeting, which was a continuation of discussions held the previous night, Wednesday, March 13, 2002.
Rwandan Genocide - The Book Which Makes Kagame Tremble?
Who shot down the plane of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, which provoked the 1994 Rwandan genocide? Why were the Belgian blue berets in the United Nations peacekeeping force killed on the eve of the falcon 50 plane crash?
MDCL Endorses Statement Issued at Abuja Conference
The Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL) wholeheartedly endorses and, hereby, reaffirms the principles set forth in the Position Statement on Security, Reconciliation and Peace in Liberia, presented to the Authority of ECOWAS and the government of Nigeria on 15 Marchstateofemergency1.html
US Urges Liberia to Stop "or face the consequences"
In a very strongly worded press release issued in Freetown on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 and reported by the Pan African News Agency, (PANA) the American government called on the Liberian government of Charles Taylor to "expel former commanders and other members of Sierra Leone's rebel Revolutionary United Front, (RUF)."
New Deal's Leader Arrested, Sisters Abducted by Police
The Movement for the Defence of Human Rights MODHAR has strongly condemned the arrest and subsequent detention (without explanation or charge) of the Acting National Chairman, Mr. Nigba Wiaplah of a proposed opposition political party, the New DEAL Movement. In the same light, MODHAR strongly condemns and categorically denounces the abduction of Helena Williams and Ramesa Williams, sisters to Mr. Wiaplah by the Liberian police, a day before Mr. Wiaplah was arrested.
The Missing Link
The government took a grand stand and downplayed the conference, terming it simply as a prelude to the “national reconciliation conference” in July 2002. The president The president did not deem it worth his presence and sent very non-political Dr. Roland Massaquoi, a man nobody ever saw at any of the myriad of peace talks of the 1990s.
When Enemies Dine: Notes From Abuja
At first glance one would have thought the gathering of Liberia’s leading political and social rivals in a hotel suite in the Nigerian capital would have erupted into chaos requiring intervention from the local Police. The attending tension was nearly literally visible. And even without the presence of their common adversary, Charles Taylor, there was real fear that the Liberian opinion leaders were doomed in protoplasm of ego and joggling schemes for political leverage.
Position Statement on Security, Reconciliation and Peace in Liberia
Liberian politicians recently gathered in Abuja, Nigeria, under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States and the Nigerian government to discuss peace and reconciliation for Liberia. Though some of the major protagonists (Charles and LURD) were absent, a statement was issued at the end of the conference.
To Defend Human Rights: A High Risk Activity
The Observatory for the Protection Human Rights Defenders, joint program of FIDH (International Federation of Human Rights) et de l’OMCT (World Organisation Against Torture) recently published its Annual Report 2001, Human Rights Defenders on the Front Line. In this article, Sidiki Kaba, President of FIDH, and Eric Sottas, director of the OMCT, analyze the high risk in defending human rights worldwide and more particularly on the African continent.
In just about four months from now, some Liberians will again be assembling in their war-ruined nation’s sea-side capital, Monrovia, for what the Taylor government has already started to promote and bill cleverly as the “Mother of all National Reconciliation Conferences”.
Sad Times Ahead
There are really sad times ahead for Liberia. Liberians seem not to be able to find a way out of this nightmare, stranded in a tunnel, with the killing machine of Taylor at one end and at the other end, the confused verbose of the opposition, caught in its own game of out-staging each other and giving more ammunitions to Taylor every day that goes by. Back, in the horizon, the threatening possibility of another military dictatorship becomes more and more real.
Viewpoints On Leadership In Liberia
Mohamedu F. Jones, a Liberian lawyer, served as a guest speaker for the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Chapter of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas, Inc. on March 16, 2002. Find below the full text of Mr. Jones' speech in which he shared his "viewpoints on leadership in Liberia."
Seeking a Global Response to Aids Crisis in Africa
HIV/AIDS is a word everyone dreads. It is loaded with so much shock and horror. For those infected and affected mainly in Africa, it’s a nightmare, a tragedy and ultimate death sentence. A BBC article of July 2000 titled, AIDS effect ‘like Black Death,’ noted: “It would be the first time countries have experienced shrinking populations due to a disease since the Black Death” decimated the population of Europe in the 1300s.
Is it Democracy or Democrazy for Africa? (Reflections on Elections in Zimbabwe, Congo and Madagascar)
The condemnation of Robert Mugabe’s re-election by the international community, mainly the European Union and the US, has attained hysterical levels and it is inevitable that it will soon be capped by more sanctions and other measures aimed at isolating Zimbabwe.
Violence Is Not The Answer
The current wave delete of atrocities, hostilities, and violent clashes that plagues Liberia and its many communities within the Diaspora strongly suggest to me a strong desire to build a profound country. Unfortunately, the means by which this desire is been cultivated is in disharmony with the principles of peace, collective efforts such as nationalism, unity, progress, and development.
The Elephant Gave Birth To A Mouse
The Abuja meeting ended with the lamest recommendations. It called for a cease-fire that has been issued on behalf of the conference but not by the conference. Liberians came up with three major recommendations, that include the call for restructuring of the security forces, the setting up a truth commission and the presence of the foreign peacekeepers.
The New Elections Law of 1986
“Mea culpa.” This is a Latin phrase that means “acknowledgment of personal fault or error.” I was wrong in my conclusion that Liberia has no effective elections law, even while I was correct in my analysis that the 1984 Elections Law, promulgated by the People’s Redemption Council was “was obsolete, inadequate and not valid for the purposes of holding constitutional elections in 2003.” So how did I get to the wrong conclusion from the correct analysis?
Grand Gedeh Association Welcomes Release of Prisoners
Grand Gedeans have endured sufferings, despised, hounded, massacred and have suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of Taylor's rebels, National Patriot Front of Liberia, and his current "democratically" elected government. They have unfairly carried the burden of collective guilt because of their ethnic (Krahn) affiliation with dictator Samuel Kenyon Doe, a former Head of State of Liberia.
It has become a cliché to read or hear that the UN or its boss, Kofi Annan is shocked by incidents taking place in and around the world. The most recent is the sexual scandal involving relief workers and UN Peacekeepers in West African troubled regions of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Paris-based African Journalist Sued by President Paul Kagame
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has sued a Paris-based African Journalist-author Charles Onana in a French High Court for defamation following his publication of a book entitled, "Les Secrets Du Génocide Rwandais- Enquête Sur Les Mystères D'un Président" - (The Secrets of the Rwanda Genocide- Investigation on the Mysteries of a President), which points an accusing finger at the Rwandan leader as the principle suspect Number One in the Plane Crash which led to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Talking Points For Abuja
I have failed to find meaningful grounds for the meeting, which I have heard about, apparently to be held in Nigeria, between the Liberian government and the Liberian opposition. I am sure that the international peace brokers mean well by attempting to mediate a resolution to the ongoing Liberian impasse. But what is there to negotiate? The idea may sound good, but can there be practical benefits?
Wake Up Nimba
Nimba County was the center of political activism during the days of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) and the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA). Many Liberian politicians including Togba-Nah Tipoteh, Amos Sawyer, Dew Mason, Oscar Quiah (who lived in Yekepa at that time), Nyan Kwiawon Taryor, a Nimba citizen, frequently visited the county delivering high school commencement addresses, organizing political rallies, recruiting members, etc.
Challenging The Local Press
As an observer of US foreign policy especially as it relates to the West African nation of Liberia, I have keenly studied and analyzed policy statements coming out of the US State department and its embassy in Monrovia, with the objective of understanding how US policies impacts countries around the world.
FEDEC Calls for Good Governance in Liberia
A Liberian democratic pressure group, Forum for Civic Education and Democratic Empowerment (FEDEC), based in Accra, Ghana, has called for dialogue between the Liberian government and LURD to end the hostilities in Northwestern Liberia, the restructuring of the Liberian Elections Commission, and urged Liberians both at home and in the Diaspora to intensify their struggle for good governance in Liberia.
Crisis In The Soul
Abuja: The Wrong Agenda
The historical consequences of collective amnesia are so damaging for a nation that one can only shudder at the fate of a people who allow themselves to be consciously afflicted by this scourge. One of the most tragic results of this blight is the spiritual debility of a people that manifests itself in revolting hypocrisy. The recent sacrilege in Monrovia is a case in point.
Except the government of Liberia who will try to give itself a band-aid facelift when it actually needs a brain surgery and the LURD who won a seat without fighting, very few people expect much from the Abuja conference, which will bring together some 76 Liberians from home, and from the Diaspora.
The United Nations Sanctions on Liberia: Myths and Truths
In May 2001, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Liberia pursuant to Resolution 1343 (2001). This was a separate and distinct act from the earlier arms embargo that was imposed on the country. Since the imposition of the sanctions, President Taylor’s government has relentlessly tried to cast the sanctions as causing “suffering to the people of Liberia.”
MDCL Applauds Ambassador Myrick
The Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL) applauds the United States Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Bismarck Myrick, for articulating in clear and unambiguous terms the U.S. government’s position on current social and humanitarian crisis in Liberia. We wholeheartedly welcome his call for political change in Liberia through democratic means and the obligation of the incumbent Taylor administration to foster an environment that will offer Liberians an opportunity to express their political will through peaceful, rather than violent, means.
Africa and Regional Integration Moving Forward
It is now a common cliché that Africa's struggles to feed its people, educate its children, tend to its sick, and create economic opportunities for its highly resourceful population is a blight on the international community, especially those that have benefited immensely from its abundant natural resources. According to Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, Africa today is a "scar on the conscience of the world."
Testimony on the State of Emergency, Sanctions and Arms Embargo
Last year, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions, including arms embargo, on Liberia for that country's role in supporting the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Counselor Tiawon Gongloe was recently invited by the Liberian Senate to give his opinion on the sanctions, arms embargo, and the state of emergency imposed by President Charles Taylor on February 8 in that West African nation.
Liberian Ambassador in the US Recalled?
The Liberian foreign service, in particular its embassy in Washington, appears to be poised for changes. It is alleged by reliable sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia, that Foreign Minister Monie Captan has submitted the name of Randolph Cooper to the US Department of State as a replacement for Ambassador William Bull. Mr. Randolph Cooper is currently manager of the Roberts International Airport, a Taylor kitchen cabinet member and brother of Gerald Cooper.
Looking At The Bigger Picture
As the year 2003 draws closer, many Liberians seem to focus their attention on President Charles Taylor and the political parties. It seems that everyone desires to be the President of Liberia. Let us examine and consider the bigger picture, the whole, which is the sum of its parts.
Report Shows No Improvement in Human Rights Practices in Liberia
The United States State Department has issued its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for the year 2001. In the preface of the report submitted to the US Congress, Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote: "As we defend our security after the tragic events of September 11, we have placed the preservation of human rights and democracy at the foundation of our efforts. We also have recommitted ourselves to recognizing and eliminating the conditions in which terrorism is bred and where freedom lies dormant." The report, like the previous ones issued since Charles Taylor became president of Liberia, does not show any improvement in human rights practices in that West African country.
Taylor-LURD: The Deadly Tandem
Open Letter to President Bush
Liberians are again on the road to refugee camps by the thousands. Four years after the elections of Charles Taylor to bring peace and stability to the country, we are back where were in 1997. Refugees and internally displaced Liberians are again becoming headlines. The ravages of war, far from diminishing, have now taken another dimension, more deadly than ever.
The US abandoned Liberians in 1990 at the eleventh hour when hundreds were dying of hunger and bullets from armed men in Monrovia, the capital. What is mind-boggling is the fact that a US Marines gunboat was stationed off the coast of Monrovia with the Marines watching the carnage go on in Monrovia without intervening. All they did later was fly over the city in helicopters to rescue stranded Americans.
Rabat: Just Another Peace Accord For Taylor
From the European Union (EU) to the United Nations (UN), from refugee camps to the displaced centers and small villages in Liberia, in dark alleys and streets of Monrovia, people welcomed the signing of a peace agreement between Liberia and her neighbors, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Every one seems to believe that once Kabbah and Conte agree to sit down with Taylor and put their signatures on a piece of paper, everything would be all right in the Mano River Union.
LURD and the Curse of Leadership in Liberia
It seems there is a curse that perpetually haunts the Liberian state, and this curse stubbornly lingers on from year to year; never going away. Just when you think things ought to change for the better, the danger simply resurfaces. The frightening part is this curse seems to get progressively worse with time and with every passing day. It is the curse of leadership.