Beware of Taylor's Sanctions Ruse, MDCL Advises UN

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 18, 2002

Mr. President and Members of The Security Council:

Permit me, to extend warm greetings and salutations on behalf of the suffering people of Liberia, as well as on behalf of The Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia, MDCL.

Sirs/madam, as Liberians residing outside of our beloved country, advocating peaceful change in Liberia, we have taken keen interest in the efforts of the Sanctions Review Committee of the Security Council to verify compliance of the Government of Liberia with the requirements for lifting sanctions imposed on Mr. Charles Taylor and members of his government by the United Nations. It is with these efforts in view that we write to register our opinion on this all-important matter, and to dissuade the committee from possibly recommending their removal.

The president of Liberia, Mr. Taylor, has demonstrated, in no uncertain terms, his disdain and contempt for all efforts of The United Nations and members of ECOWAS towards securing lasting peace in the sub-region. His theatrics of orchestrated “rebel attacks” which resulted in death and destruction during the visit to Liberia by the Sanctions Review Committee was an indication of how far he would go. His actions over a period of more than ten years clearly proves that he is bereft of any goodwill towards the people of Liberia as well as of the Sub-region, and will do whatever is necessary to perpetuate himself in power, including the callous murder of his own people. Moreover, as members of the committee confirmed, weapons are in no short supply in Liberia, proving that the government has been involved in sanctions-busting arms purchases.

It is our considered opinion that to reward him with the lifting of sanctions would be premature and a disservice to the suffering of the people of Liberia as well as the people of Sierra Leone and Guinea, who continue to bleed on account of this one man. We at the MDCL liken Mr. Taylor to Jonas Savimbi, who, because of his brutal quest for state power, caused, knowingly or unknowingly, the deaths of over half a million Angolans. Likewise we, like U.S. Congressman Ed Royce asserted in his submission to The Congress of The United States, submit that Mr. Taylor is the single greatest obstacle to peace in Liberia and the West African Sub-region. Until the world seriously sends an unequivocal message that what he is doing cannot and will not be tolerated, the region will continue to be plagued by unrest.

Sirs/Madam, that message can continue to be sent through the existing sanctions. By allowing the sanctions regime to remain in place and considering additional ones, The United Nations would be demonstrating its resolve to champion the issues that affect mankind wherever they may be.

Consequently, we at the MDCL join our voices to those of the good people of Global Witness, Amnesty International and the Government of The United States in calling for the expansion of the existing sanctions on Mr. Taylor and members of his government to include the timber industry. Please do not allow the ruse of the sanctions hurting ordinary citizens to sway the decision of the committee. The sanctions were carefully considered by the UN prior to imposition, and designed to target only Mr. Taylor, and members of his government. To say that they are hurting ordinary citizens is an attempt by him to subvert the intended objective. Mr. Taylor takes pride in making fools of those he lures to negotiating tables. Countless, useless peace agreements signed during his quest for state power proves his strategy. We kindly urge you, not to allow the noble UN to fall prey to this.

With sentiments of the highest esteem, we join all peace-loving Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, and Guineans in applauding your efforts and those of the UN in the quest for lasting peace in our sub-region. May God bless us and save our region.

Sincerely yours,

Nohn R. Kidau
One West Lake Street
Suite 402. Minneapolis, MN 55408

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