Maryland County Organize National Association
Liberians from Maryland County (Liberia), residing in the United
States, converged in Atlanta over the Memorial Day weekend to
chart a new course. While there are a number of Liberian county
organizations in the United States, Liberians from Maryland County
have not organized themselves into a national body. But this
has changed. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Marylanders came
to Atlanta to organize a county organization that is national
in scope to collectively tackle problems of their county.
Democracy Fund, Seeks Taylor's Resignation
Translating its resolution into action based on the recently
held national conference on democracy in Newark, New Jersey,
on April 28, 2001, the Union of Liberian Associations in the
Americas, ULAA, has begun to lay the groundwork to set into motion
two important initiatives: the establishment of a Liberian Democracy
Fund, and pushing for the resignation of President Charles Taylor.
The AGOA: Another Dictated
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), initiated by the
Clinton Administration and enacted into law last year by the
U.S. Congress, will soon have its first major institutional establishment
when foreign, trade, and finance ministers from 35 African countries
convene in Washington D.C. in October to launch a US/Sub-Saharan
African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AllAfrica.com,
US Support but Says Africa Must Help Itself
The American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, ended a four-nation
African tour on Monday, which took him from Mali to South Africa
and onto Kenya, with a last stop in Uganda. Powell left Kampala
reinforcing the message that Africa is a priority for the United
States, a refrain he repeated in each country his visited. "I'm
here because President Bush wanted me to be here, because he
does believe Africa is important," he told allAfrica.com
in an in-depth interview.
tightens Screws on Foreign Journalists
What seem to almost be a tit-for-tats or reversals of sanctions
are a spate of guideline and policy measures the Liberian Government
has issued recently since the imposition of sanctions by the
UN Security Council on that country almost a month ago for Liberia's
involvement in the Sierra Leone crisis. These measures have been
issued simultaneously and seemed targeted at specific groups
Happening in Africa
Sometimes traveling around Africa can be a bewildering, if not
comical, experience. Take the case of this poor village in Sudan's
Nubian Mountains that is bombed by government planes that destroy
the school and kill children and teachers. After this senseless
act of sheer brutality, the villagers gather up pieces of shrapnel
to use as hoes to dig graves for the dead and there after use
the new implements on their farms to cultivate sorghum.
How a tyrant's 'logs of war'
bring terror to West Africa (The Observer)
He's a feared despot who has made Liberia a private fiefdom.
Now he's defying the UN to spread terror in the region. Peter
Beaumont, Foreign Affairs Editor, in Monrovia investigates the
sinister world of Charles Taylor
Diamonds in Bush America
U.S. President George W. Bush has issued an Executive Order prohibiting
the importation of all rough diamonds into the United States
from the Republic of Liberia. The executive Order, issued on
May 23rd, 2001, is a response to the United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1343 of March 7, 2001, which led to the imposition
of sanctions on Liberia for its support to the rebels of the
Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone, and its illicit
trade in "blood" or conflict diamonds - used to purchase
arms that have fueled the war in Sierra Leone.
Is it Still
Possible to Make Peace with Guinea and Sierra Leone?
The burden of bringing peace in the West African sub-region rests
on nobody's shoulders than that of our President, Charles G.
Taylor. The war that is going on now in Sierra Leone, Liberia
and in Guinea could have been averted had Taylor kept his promise
to his colleagues of the Mano River Union, Presidents Kabbah
and Conteh. To understand this situation, one needs to go back
in time and take a look at the relationship between Conteh and
Leaders Escape Death, Flee to Ghana
Fifteen students of the University of Liberia, mostly of the
student leadership - Student Unification Party and University
of Liberia Student Union (SUP and ULSU), have fled for safety
of their lives and are currently in Ghana at the Buduburam Refugee
Camp. The students have taken precautionary measures in lieu
of statements made by Justice Minister Varmah that they were
"collaborators" of the dissidents in Lofa County.
Bursting UN Sanctions on Liberia?
As the students join the ranks of several thousand Liberian refugees
fleeing repression and war, and seeking sanctuary in various
parts of the world, there are even more disturbing reports that
sanctions busting has begun.
Undertakes Four-Nation Africa Assessment Tour (AllAfrica)
Secretary of State Colin Powell leaves Tuesday night for a four-nation
visit to Africa, where he will have an "opportunity to assess
some of the changes that are occurring in Africa, particularly
looking at both the positive and the negative," says Nancy
Powell, acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. "Various
stops meet those criteria in different ways."
I read the recent Newsweek article by Jeff Bartholet and William
Allen's critique of said article. I think Allen raised some very
crucial issues with the Newsweek article. The problem with Western
media is not that they are ignorant of the truth about Africa
but that they would prefer for that truth to be buried. It would
appear that some sections of this media are trying to distance
the West from its partial responsibility for the African crisis.
Liberia's rain forest vanishes as foreign
logging expands (Boston Globe)
BESE TOWN, Liberia - There is no more jungle around Gbese Town.
Instead, this small village in Sinoe County is bisected by a
four-lane unpaved highway, called the OTC Road. The road runs
for more than 100 miles, through what was pristine tropical rain
Taylor: We Must go Beyond Crying Foul
Congratulations to the Association of Liberian Journalists in
the Americas (ALJA) for its clairvoyant analysis of the current
political, military and human rights situation in our country.
Indeed, Liberians are lost and we all wonder where the solution
would come from.
Rally for Adjustment of Immigration Status
Under the auspices of the Liberian Immigration National Advocacy
Commission - a committee organized by the Union of Liberian Associations
in the Americas (ULAA), a rally is being held today, Thursday,
May 17, 2001 in support of the "Liberian Refugee Immigration
Fairness Act of 2001". The bill was introduced last year
but did not have bipartisan support. According to the organizers
of the rally, the new version of the bill (S-656) has garnered
broad bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats
in both the House and Senate.
Announces Africa Initiative
A U.S. sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum
is being established, and foreign, finance, and trade ministers
from 35 African nations will meet in Washington in October to
launch it, U.S. President George Bush announced Wednesday. The
multilateral consultation is mandated by the African Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA) that was enacted into law last year.
The Dilemma Posed
by the Newsweek Story, "A Big Man in Africa"
Jeff Bartholet's "A Big Man in Africa" (Newsweek, 14
May 2001) presents a real dilemma for Africans. The author clearly
outlines the shameless corruption and autocracy of President
Charles Taylor of Liberia. The information can go a long way
in shaping public opinions in Western capitals, which tend to
influence foreign policy.
Losing Ground," Says LURD (Interview)
Claims and counter claims are not in short supply in the lofa
war between dissident and government forces. The claims and counter
claims cannot be confirmed due to the Liberian government ban
on independent coverage of the war. On Friday, May 11, 2001,
J. Wehtee Wion (Director of New York based Liberian African News
Service, LANS) conducted a satellite telephone interview with
Mr. William Nihison, senior political advisor and spokesman of
LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) - organization
that is waging a fierce war in the north of Liberia to oust Liberian
President Charles Taylor from power.
Group Calls on UN to Indict Charles Taylor for War Crimes
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA)
welcomes the imposition of sanctions on Liberia by the United
Nations Security Council for President Charles Taylor's reported
involvement in gun-running and diamond smuggling with Sierra
Leonean rebels. We hope this is the beginning of serious efforts
by the international community, led by the United States and
Great Britain, to bring an end to Taylor's campaign of death
and destruction in the Mano River Union basin in order to plunder
diamonds and other resources.
Army or Forced Recruitment?
Appealing to nationalist sentiments on April 8, 2001, President
Taylor issued a call to help beef up the sagging Liberian army,
the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), which has been involved in
a long-running battle with dissidents in Northern Liberia, Lofa
County. Launching his campaign, Taylor said he wanted to raise
a 15,000-man force of mostly volunteers who were prepared to
defend their country against enemies. Observers believe that
the Liberia ruler was referring to neighboring Guinea and Sierra
The Reality of Sanctions,
War and a Regime Adrift
No sooner than the Security Council had concluded that the Taylor
regime in Monrovia had failed to comply with UN demands that
it cut off ties with the rebel RUF (which the US State Department
has listed in its report on terrorism), and discontinue its involvement
in diamonds smuggling and arms trafficking, which has fueled
the ongoing civil war in Sierra Leone, feeling nonplus about
the reality of sanctions, and the raging, uncontrolled war in
Lofa County, the regime seems determined to fight for its survival,
eventhough it says it is doing so for its citizens and the country.
A guide to curriculum reforms in Liberia
This article intends to establish some foundational and basic
principles for curriculum reforms in Liberia. It is suggested
that such reforms must be reflected at all levels of the education
system. In a previous article in this magazine, I made reference
to the need for an introduction of a core curriculum to promote
consciousness-centered learning as a prelude to social transformation.
RUF Listed in
U.S. Report on Terrorism
In a recently released US State Department report on terrorism,
"Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000", Africa is said
to have experienced an increase in the number of terrorist attacks
against foreign nationals.
Big Man in Africa (Newsweek)
Inside the mind of a tyrant: Brutal and seemingly
indifferent to his people's woes, Liberia's Charles Taylor symbolizes
much that is wrong with Africa. But to understand him is to take
a first step toward fixing a broken continent.
UN Sanctions on Liberia
After seven year of civil war, which produce one of the most
horrendous legacies in Liberian history, resulting in the deaths
of more than two hundred thousand people mostly women, children,
and the elderly - who became expendable and innocent victims
of a senseless war, justice is yet to prevail, while men and
women who perpetrated this war that brought such untold suffering
to the Liberian people, have taken on new identities, new images
and have been enthroned with new titles.
No Maintenance-Free Democracy
It would have been thoughtless, if not foolish, to have sought
unanimity as the only basis for any decision about what to do
about President Charles Taylor. Even then, those who leaned against
action against the Taylor government did not do so with any conviction
that any good would later come of the Taylor administration.
Instead the dissenters were still in further pursuit of some
solution with less impact on the population, but a solution
that had not yet come to mind.
Kick in on Monday
The Security Council demanded this morning that the Government
of Liberia immediately cease its support for Sierra Leone's Revolutionary
United Front (RUF) and other armed rebel groups in the West African
subregion as it imposed wide-ranging prohibitions on Liberia.
The Human and Economic
Plight of a Nation
Liberia continues to endure vast human and economic destruction
under a Taylor factor forced upon it eleven years ago in the
form of a false revolution that promised national progress but
now delivers untold suffering and anarchy. The fact is that the
Taylor regime has long recognized its own inutility to the Liberian
nation, and yet, like previous regimes, it remains recalcitrant
in refusing to abandon its grip on state power.
An Urgent Call
As our beloved country, its people and the West African sub-region
suffer under the misrule (and its collateral effect) of Charles
Taylor and his NPP partisans and business associates, it is now
pass time Liberians fortunate enough to have escaped from the
living hell (no light, no safe drinking water, no pay, no jobs,
no hospitals and no hope) our beloved homeland has become, stop
complaining to each other and take the necessary actions that
will bring massive pressure to bear on Mr. Taylor and his "play-play"
Intensifies for Sanctions Against Liberia
With barely four days to the May 7 deadline for UN sanctions
on Liberia, activities and highlights have been saturated with
campaigns on the sanctions on Liberia. While the Liberian Government
rolls in its propaganda campaign, Liberians, friends of Liberia
as well as victims of Liberia's anarchy within the sub-region
have intensified campaigns for the sanction to be imposed on
the Liberian government. The selective UN sanctions which takes
effect on Monday, May 7, unless the Liberian government can prove
its disengagement from the RUF, which includes arms embargo,
ban on exportation of diamond, grounding of all Liberian registered
flights and travel ban on government officials.
Hurt Ordinary Liberians?
This is in response to a story published in the April 30th edition
of The News newspaper concerning an American family's
campaign against the imposition of sanctions against the Liberian
Government. According to the family representative, Counselor
Benjamin Hough of Minnesota, who was quoted by The News
newspaper story, the family thinks that sanctions will hurt Liberia
and therefore should be averted. They have accordingly undertaken
a "letter writing" campaign appealing to members of
the US Congress to avert the pending UN sanctions.
We Will Over All
There comes a time when even those who are not politically active
must raise their voices and speak out against evil that has become
so widespread and dehumanizing that it threatens present and
future generations. The current situation in Liberia is a case
in point. Nearly 22 years ago in the auditorium of Monrovia City
Hall, a young man gallantly walked to the podium and gave a very
War in Lofa County does not justify killing, torture
and abduction - Full Text- (Amnesty International):
The continuation of hostilities in Liberia cannot be used
as a justification for killing, torture and abduction. Unarmed
civilians are again the main victims of fighting in Liberia -
a country still bearing the scars of its seven-year civil war
when massive human rights abuses were committed by all sides