MCDL Wants Liberia Included in War Crimes Tribunal on Sierra Leone's
(A Resolution)

Jan 9, 2001

[Editor's Note: A new Liberian group, the Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL), has been launched. Meeting in the City of Minneapolis, Minnesotta, on December 2, 2000, the movement brought together a cross-section of Liberian citizens residing in the U.S. to discuss current political developments and strategize on the need to effect democratic change in the country. A resolution, which not only emphasized the organization's objectives, but addressed pertinent issues affecting the deteriorating political atmosphere in Liberia, was subsequently issued. A full text of the resolution received by The Perspective is published below]:

Alarmed by the continuous violations and abuse of the fundamental human rights of the people of Liberia, the uncontrollable escalation of poverty in Liberia, the absence of basic social services, the systematic destabilization of the West African region by the leadership of the Liberian government;

Deeply concerned that Liberia has acquired notoriety of a destabilizer in the West African sub-region and, that such an unwelcome image ought to be reversed in favor of the institution of democratic changes which will facilitate harmony between Liberia and its neighbors;

Disturbed by the growing level of rebel military campaigns in Lofa and Nimba counties against the Government of Liberia on the one hand, and on the other hand, President Taylor's unrelenting support for rebel movements currently destabilizing countries sharing common borders with Liberia;

Bearing in mind that the gains made by the Economic Community of West African States, the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations and Liberians at bringing a closure to the civil war in Liberia and facilitating democratic elections are in danger of failure;

Deeply concerned about the erosion of national and international confidence in the capacity of the Liberian Government to lead, and aware of President Taylor's intent to entrench himself beyond the 2003 general and presidential elections if Liberians continue to ignore the lessons of the elections of 1985 and 1997;

Realizing that the appalling conditions in Liberia demand the evolution of a proactive political action plan that will prepare all Liberians, interest groups and political parties to rally around a single political agenda prior to the general and presidential elections of 2003;

Convinced that the Taylor Government has lost the moral authority to enforce compliance with the rule of law in Liberia, create opportunities for social, economic and political advancement of the Liberian people;

Aware that the human and individual rights of the Liberian people if not monitored consistently, Liberia will continue to breed a culture of impunity in which abuses are rewarded rather than discouraged by the Taylor Government;

Noting that a sustainable change in Liberia is equally contingent on knowledge of information on the experiences of organizations that have preceded the MDCL in the struggle for change in the human condition;

Convinced that the prospect for Democratic Change in Liberia is greater when Liberians at home and abroad collaborate their efforts and work with friendly nations and international organizations for the common good of all Liberians; and



Having assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota and deliberated on the aforementioned concerns, Liberians in Africa and the United States, supported by the Union of Liberian Associations in America, ULAA, and Liberians residing in Europe, on December 2, 2000,

1. Declared the Establishment of the "MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN LIBERIA" to bring about a non-violent democratic change; accordingly, we

2. Denounced the continuous use of Liberia as a springboard and launching pad for the systematic destabilization of Sierra Leone, Guinea and La Cote d'Ivoire, and called on President Charles Taylor to immediately remove from Liberian soil all mercenaries, foreign military personnel whose presence is not supported by the laws of Liberia, nor does it contribute to good neighborliness in the sub-region. Further condemned the organized practice of intimidation by Taylor's security forces which is clearly designed to perpetuate the involuntary exile of well intentioned Liberians;

3. Solemnly affirmed support for the United States travel sanction imposed on President Charles Taylor of Liberia, his officials of government and their families because of their criminal involvement in the illicit trafficking of diamond for gun with the rebel Revolutionary united Front of Sierra Leone;

4. Resolved to initiate programs aimed at securing additional sanctions against President Taylor and his officials, including the monitoring of existing sanctions until his government begins to transparently demonstrate compliance with the rule of law in Liberia and cease the hostility toward its neighbors. The program will include among others, the creation of a web site on the Internet, which will serve as a source of information for U.S. agencies and other international bodies imposing sanctions on the leadership of Liberia. Additional sites will carry the pictures and names of all officials of the Liberian Government who are a party to the on-going conflicts in the sub-region and others engaged in corrupt practices in Liberia. The MDCL will endeavor to identify the stolen assets of Liberian government officials and solicit the assistance of friendly governments including international institutions to freeze these assets, and where possible, redirect them into the Liberian revenue;

5. Reaffirmed opposition to the practice of corruption in the Government of Liberia and by those individuals engaged in such practices. The MDCL further calls on the Government of Liberia to ensure that all of its officials including those accepting public positions declare their assets now and prior to taking public office;

6. Affirmed our commitment to vigorously plead with the comity of nations to stop all purchases of raw materials coming out of Liberia;

7. Regret the spill over of the Liberian civil war into Sierra Leone and disassociates the masses of the Liberian people from any Liberian or groups implicated in the ongoing conflicts in Sierra Leone, Guinea or La Cote d' Ivoire. In the spirit of good neighborliness, the MDCL will encourage the Liberia Government to apologize for the wrongs done to the friendly People of Sierra Leone;

8. Expressed interest in working with the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States for peace in the West African sub-region. As a direct deterrence against the Sierra Leone genocide which is linked to Liberia, the MDCL will seek to influence the UN to broaden the mandate of the War Crime Tribunal on Sierra Leone, such that it is equal to that of the Rwandan War Crime Tribunal currently trying Rwandans and foreigners alike implicated in the genocide against the people of Rwanda;

Will offer legal assistance to the UN sponsored War Crime Tribunal on Sierra Leone so that it can effectively facilitate the adjudication of individuals implicated from Liberia;



10. Will discourage efforts directed at seeking to change the government of Liberia by force of arms. The MDCL calls on Liberians engaged in the current armed conflict in Lofa and Nimba counties to call off their military campaigns and join it in the pursuit for a democratic change in Liberia;

11. Called on the Taylor government to urgently undertake measures that will halt the human rights abuses in Liberia and put a permanent end to the culture of impunity. The lack thereof will undermine the prospect of achieving genuine national reconciliation which is at the cornerstone of any reasonable progress in Liberia;

12. Considering the failed experiences of the Liberian political parties in the elections of 1985 and 1997, the MDCL will forge ahead with a decisive and proactive political action plan aimed at promoting a collaborative working relationship with all political and civic organizations in and out of Liberia. The ultimate goal of this plan is to produce from the rank of the political parties and interest groups of Liberia a unified opposition that will restore the dignity and integrity of the Liberian people in the 2003, general and presidential elections.

13. Resolved to remain a pressure plate on the Taylor regime until basic social services are restored; genuine national healing, reconciliation and a commitment to safe guarding the security of all Liberians are demonstrated through the rule of law and not by force of arms; and

Done in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota this 29nd day of December, AD 2000.


 Signed: Sando Wayne
Secretary General, MDCL
  Harry A. Greaves, Jr
  Approved: Arthur Watson
Chairman, MDCL

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