A conversation with Dr. Tipoteh
His name is synonymous with the political renewal in Liberia. Back in the early 1970s, with a few friends namely Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dew Mayson and others. He came into the political scene in Liberia by posing a challenge of enormous weight to the True Whig Partys political oligarchy. Since then, nothing has been the same in Liberia. For good or bad, the political culture of the country, with its social and cultural consequences changed for ever. After the coup d'etat on Samuel Doe in 1980, he was among the first to join the junta as Minister of Economic Affairs and he was among the first to be thrown into exile where he would spend ten years. When Samuel Doe was overthrown by the Taylor war, he returned home and took part in the 1997 elections, as candidate of the Liberia People's Party. It was a bad year for LPP.
The Row Between Liberian Lawmakers & Lawyers Continues
Rather than subsiding or being resolved, the row between the Liberian National Bar Association and members of the national Legislature continues to heighten. The row stemmed from the detention of two key members of the Liberian Bar Association on the orders of the national legislature on charges of "contempt", and their refusal to retract statements issued several weeks ago that the Liberian Legislature had overstepped their bounds, and its action was "unconstitutional", when it ordered the imprisonment of the Bar Association's President, Counselor Emmanuel J. Wureh.
Busting Sanctions With "Impunity" And "Defiance"
"Security Council, Please Heed The Pleas Of Liberia And Kofi Annan", screamed a recent Liberian government "editorial" headline. "UN: This Is Our Plea", read yet another. One editorial said: "Liberia certainly wants to continue to be a disciplined member of the U.N. She obeyed the marching orders coming from that end without any kind of defiance. The governments defense against accusations which led to the sanctions was clear, and never contested by any concrete proof of guilt. But in the spirit of loyalty to the discipline of international organizations to which we are committed, Liberia took the sanctions on its shoulders with the equanimity of a camel."
A Case for Strengthening our Democratic Institutions
This era in Liberia is characterized by the heightened desire of the presidency and an immense preoccupation with the politics of state power. Every noticeable politician in our nation deepest concern and dream is the presidency. While it is everyone constitutional right to freely contest the highest seat of our nation, it is equally important to pay particular attention to those fading institutions that are very critical to our Democracy, institutions such as the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government. These branches of government are relevant and central to the concept of Democracy.
Towards Liberia's 2003 Elections
For those of us who are here and have been fortunate to have traveled to various parts of the Western world, we need to look around us and see how the people in these places have been able to live together, despite their differences, and have and still are developing their surroundings.
Open Letter to Kofi Annan and the UN Security Council
It is said that "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". Having said this, as a concerned Liberian, I would like to appeal to you [Kofi Annan] and the United Nations Security Council to please consider carefully the implication of a premature lifting of sanctions imposed on the Charles Taylor Regime operating in Liberia.
Liberia's "Flag" Pays for Sanction Busrting
The report of the UN sanctions committee on Liberia will be made public this week. Sanctions were imposed on Liberia on May 7, 2001, due to Liberias involvement in the Sierra Leone civil war. UN is to review the existing sanctions to decide whether to extend them or impose new sanctions that will include timber, rubber and the shipping registry.
Counselor Jones' Request of Senator Brumskine
Liberian history is replete with circumstances where individual "leaders" or policies have been forced on, or if you will "rammed down the throats of" the Liberian people without any regard for how they felt about the person(s) or policies.
Cllr. Brumskine and President Taylor - An Apology to Charles Brumskine
want to comment on Cllr. Mohamedu Jones' "Does Cllr. Brumskine have the history, character, temperament and judgment to be the president Liberia needs?" My goal is to invoke a consideration of the rules of conduct for the ensuing election short of mud slinging.
A Framework for Peace and Reconciliation
During the last few months, Dr. Tipoteh made remarks that could lead to a new era in Liberian politics, if taken seriously and put to execution. A few weeks after President Taylor called on exiled politicians and others to return home and freed three of 13 political prisoners, Dr. Tipoteh called for the restructuring of the Liberian army. Two weeks ago, while in Nigeria he is said to have asked the Nigerian army to "train" the Liberian military and finally few days ago, he advocated the holding of a peace conference under the auspices of the Nigerian leader. The fact that all these remarks took place around a trip to Nigeria is important, because that country has played a tremendous role in the peace process.
Disagreeing With Kofi Annan
The Great Debate: Are We Really Waging A War Against Terrorism?
The United Nations (UN) sanctions regime that was placed on the Government of President Charles Taylor on May 7, 2001, is up for review by the member countries of the United Nations Security Council. The sanctions were imposed on the Taylor Government based on the recommendations of the UN Panel of Experts Report. It was determined by the report that the Taylor government has played a crucial and critical role in fueling the crisis in Sierra Leone, and that the governments illicit trade in the sales of blood diamonds for guns was a pivotal factor that contributed to the armed insurrection in Sierra Leone.
Call it what you may, "The rich gets richer and the poor poorer", we are awakened by the thundering voice of the mighty, the rich that is, as that of the virtually voiceless, the poor, ever falls on deaf ears, and is growing ever weaker and weaker. Yes, this first of the Twenty-First Century War is being waged against terrorism, as the trumpet blasts, rallying all of us, letting us know that it is a "A New Kind Of War", a war against "Terrorism Wherever It May Be".
"Where Are the African Intellectuals?" (Part2)
In an interior village in Liberia, two women were working in a palm grove when it began to rain. Then there was lightening. They had felled a palm tree and were working off its branches to get to the soft interior (which we call palm cabbage in Liberia) at the time the lightening struck a nearby tree. But only one of the two women felt a jolt strongly enough to cause her to fall down. And that was the issue.
Pat Robertson: His Liberia Deal (Washington Post)
Televangelist Pat Robertson is at it again. Fresh from a shellacking over his pal Jerry Falwell's suggestion that certain groups of Americans brought on the September terrorist attacks -- "I totally concur," said Robertson at the time -- the Christian Coalition founder has weighed in once more with his revelations about God's plans for America.
Liberian Lawyers Under Siege
Time and time again, the pariah government of President Charles G. Taylor has tried shamelessly to pin the blame squarely on others for his war-ravaged countrys "poor" state of affairs without looking directly into the "mirror" to see just who or what is causing the many problems it is currently facing.
Who is Counselor Charles W. Brumskine?
In a submission to The Perspective, Counselor Mohamedu F. Jones took Counselor Charles W. Brumskine to task on the ideal characteristics of an individual seeking the presidency of Liberia. In this presentation, Counselor Jones raised some fundamental questions about history, character, temperament and judgment of Counselor Brumskine. I thought it expedient to address some of the issues raised by Counselor Jones.
"Where Are the African Intellectuals?"
Not long ago, someone asked the question, "Where are the African intellectuals?" The question did prick my interest, but after some mature reflection, I am not in a hurry to find out - at least not before we have settled some very basic questions about the way we think generally.
Is Brumskine the Right Presidential Material Liberia Needs?
It appears from an October 10, 2001 Perspective story [Brumskine's Movement Launched in D.C. by Musue N. Haddad] that my friend and brother lawyer, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, is running for president of the Republic of Liberia. I like and respect Charles Brumskine, both personally and professionally. Mr. Brumskine is intelligent, well educated and is a very successful lawyer.
A Rosy Picture of Life at Home
A few people have recently written and wondered if we could find something interesting and positive to write about the country instead of the continuous negative reporting. They think we need to show the beautiful things that made the country so dear to all of us. In their mind, we need to go beyond the ills of the administration and focus our attention on the simple things that keep us together as a country.
No Reward or Amnesty in Global War on Terrorism
It is now a little over a month since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. When President George W. Bush announced this past Sunday, October 7, 2001, from the Treaty Room of the White House "a place where American President have worked for peace" that he had ordered the U.S. Military to strike at the Osama bin Laden Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and the military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, there was no question that the war on terrorism had begun. This was a moment expected ever since September 11.
Open Letter to the University of Liberia about a National Emergency
Lately, there were suggestions about imposing a state of emergency in Liberia in light of dissident activities in Lofa County, which, in tandem with antecedent conflicts, continue to cause deaths and misery in our country. The evidence before our eyes of what war can do to a nation suggests that, while there are gazillion things wrong with governance and the direction our country is taking, harboring sympathy for the pillagers adding insult to injury in Lofa County is not only unconscionable, but also treasonable. All patriotic and peace loving Liberians have an obligation to join hands in order to isolate these thugs to stop them from further arresting lives yet unborn.
Anniversary of Terror: October 12 - Operation Octopus
I was reminded this morning - as if anyone could ever forget - by a newsman that October 11 would mark the one-month anniversary of the terrorist attack on America. Memorial services will be held in New York and Washington for the victims. As we Liberians join Americans in their prayer, sharing their grief and anger, we must remember our own trauma.
Where is Thompson Adebayo?
Just a little over a month ago, the dictatorial government of President Charles Taylor issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Thompson Adebayor, the Executive Director of Liberia Watch for Human Rights (LWHR). His "alleged" crime - calling on the Liberian government, through a press release to, among other things, disband the country's feared security outfit, ironically called the Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU).
Life under NPP, with or without sanctions...
In a few days, the international community, through the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, will take note of the report card of Mr. Charles G. Taylor, President of the Republic of Liberia. It will be decided if the regime in Monrovia will be on continuous sanctions or if the members of the government of Mr. Taylor would be allowed to go to Abidjan, Paris and New York and taste some gourmet food and sleep in a bed without an armed body guard. The international community will also be deciding the fate of millions of Liberians, whatever its decision may be. Lifting the sanctions or maintaining them would mean a great deal to the government, to those who have the means to travel and can't wait to get out of the disaster land they have turned the country into. But for the common people, it would mean almost very little.
Exiled Liberian Journalists Support War on Terrorism, Cancel Conference : ALJA welcomes Liberian President Charles Taylor's call to the U.N. to convene a global conference at the earliest so that concerted actions can be taken to combat the rising crime of terrorism that has become an impediment to human existence. In order to become an effective partner in the global fight against terrorism, we hope Mr. Taylor would end his own campaign of terror that has caused the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Brumskine's Movement Launched in D.C.
Preparation for participation in Liberia's 2003 elections is evidently progressing with the launching of the Charles Brumskine Movement on October 6, 2001, in Washington, D.C.
After Morkonmana, Who's Next to Fall From Grace
Every revolution has its irony, and for most, it ends up being a paradox of its original intentions, or the antithesis of what it sets out to achieve. This was typical of the so-called "revolution," launched in 1980 by Samuel Kanyon Doe, together with 17 non-commissioned officers of the former People's Redemption Council (PRC), which supplanted the century-old True Whig Party oligarchy.
A Conversation with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
When I learned that Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was in town, I sought to speak with her. She has become known in the last few years as one of the most credible voices in the Liberian murky political arena. Like many who started their political career in the 1970's, she had to fight Sergeant Samuel Doe for a decade and now it is Mr. Charles Taylor. Although she only campaigned for three months in 1997, she achieved the greatest score among opposition leaders. Then, she was thrown into exile, like many who have opposed or voiced contrary opinions to those of His Excellency Charles Ghankay Taylor.
"Freedom's" Coalition - Liberia Just Doesn't Fit In
Since the devastating terrorists attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon, the United States has been working very hard and steadily to assemble a solid coalition to help it fight its "new war" against world-wide terrorism.
Liberia: A Victim of Modern Day Despotism, Terror and Tyranny
The American writer, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau once said: "It is no man's obligation as a matter of course to engage in the eradication of even the most enormous wrong. But if he decides not to pay it his attention, he should not lend it his support." Simply put, Thoreau meant that society does not necessarily require that any particular person should fight to end a prevailing evil, but it will definitely frown upon him or her if he or she is responsible for creating and/or perpetuating that evil.
Speaker Resigns Amid Duel Between Lawmakers and Law Practitioners
Just a few days ago, the President of the Liberian National Bar Association, Counselor Emmanuel Wureh, has been placed under detention where he has been for about a week. Last Monday, the Liberian House of Representatives ordered the detention of the Bar President for a statement he allegedly made against Representative Abel Massaley, during the house probe of charges and counter charges of corruption made by Mr. Massaley and the House Speaker, Nyudueh Morkonmana. Counselor is to remain in incarceration until the end of the 5th session of the 51st legislature - around the end of December, 2001.
Timber, Maritime Program and Democracy in Liberia
For its first public debut, the Liberian Democratic Initiative (LDI), scored a master stroke by bringing on stage a set of great panelists who one after another discussed issues ranging from the environment to the political climate in Liberia today.
Global Witness, ITF Cite Liberia's "Infringements" of UN Sanctions
Despite United Nations sanctions imposed on Liberia since May 7, 2001, for its role in fostering the war in Sierra Leone and its illicit trade in diamonds-for-guns, the Taylor government still continues to maintain its criminal infrastructure and other supporting links it has provided to the rebel Revolutionary United Front RUF). Not only is the Liberian government deliberately violating the sanctions imposed, but it has also adopted various other means of circumventing it.
Old Ruling Elite Making a Comeback in Liberia (Houston Chronicle)
Influential class crafts new plans for ruined nation. Flowers still bloom along the curves of what was once a long, gracious driveway. Orange blossoms wave gently in the humid breeze. But the last gardener fled two decades ago, and now only a narrow footpathwinds through the tall grass to the looming plantation house.