West Africa and the Taylor Cancer
It was on June 1, 2001, when we wrote here that someday, Taylor would create the conditions to plunge the entire sub-region into flames in an article titled Desperate Taylor, the next war. Charles Taylor had just warned the international community that the whole region could be destabilized if nothing was done to stop the war that was coming to him from Guinea, in response to his attack against that country. After agreeing with both Conteh and Kabbah on peaceful co-existence, the Liberian leader backed dissidents from Guinea and used RUF fighters in an attack against Guinea
Political Reformers, Encourage Dr. Tipoteh And Matthews, Or Else...
War-weary Liberians, with fresh bad memories from the most vicious gun fighting between rebels of Taylor-Kromah versus rebels of Johnson in Liberia on April 5-June 17, 1996, woke up on the morning of May 1997 and saw a dark cloud over Liberia. The Alliance of seven (7) Political Parties, an amorphous group of fragile organizations, which had decided to challenge and deny the presidency to any of the warlords, including Charles Taylor had collapsed. Their worst fears came true.
I recently read with mixed emotions Mr. Willis Knuckles' attack on Senator Charles Brumskine. Mr. Knuckles challenged the former senator (and now presidential aspirant) to return to Liberia or shut up. He criticized Mr. Brumskine for sitting in an air-conditioned office in Washington, DC and attempting to run for the Liberian presidency.
Kaddafi, the Bishop and Taylor
It is rather sad, when we have to repeatedly say to our compatriots "we told you so..." It is sad to be proven right after predicting the worse. From the time the so-called conference started, we have said and repeated that there was nothing to look forward to, that whatever was taking place in Monrovia was but a charade and that Taylor would never come out with a solution to any of the issues that are paramount to the people of Liberia: create and maintain an atmosphere of peace and start a real process of reconciliation.
ALJA Urges Government to Address Crucial Issues affecting Liberia
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) cautiously welcomes the recent decision by the Liberian Government to lift the State of Emergency, but urges the government to show a genuine political will by addressing other crucial political issues affecting the country, such as the continued detention of journalist Hassan Bility and others and the creation of a conducive atmosphere for the holding of free and fair elections in Liberia.
Our Various Accords Revisited
In the continued Liberian obsessions with canards and colorable proclamations, it seems like the attendoublestandard.htmls now diverted away from the real issues confronting their country (poverty, theft of national wealth, ethnic hatred, religious manipulation and political prostitution, among others) to the hosting of so-called national conferences that not only insulate warlords and Liberian political criminals, but also shields these nefarious gangsters and buffoons behind impregnable walls - obviously keeping them away from critics and victims of our traumatizing civil catastrophe.
What's Happening at the University of Liberia?
I was not too surprise when a friend called me from Monrovia the other day and told me that in spite of the present high rate of unemployment, soaring salary arrears due civil servants and severe poverty levels in Liberia, authorities at the state university, the University of Liberia, have decided to hike tuition fees to a whopping US$40.00 or 2,800.00 Liberian Dollars per semester across the board (a fee equivalent to nearly four months of the average civil servant's salary at L$800 per month).
The Driver of Charles Taylor's Notorious Son Beaten to Death
Isaac Gono, driver of Chucky Taylor (Charles Taylor's notorious son) was recently beaten to death by Chuckie's body guards. Chucky Taylor instructed some of his guards to beat Mr. Gono for allegedly killing a dog. Gono death was not due to the killing of the dog, but because the blood of the dog splashed on Chucky's car.
Free the Nation, Free the People
A Statement By Nvasekie N. Konneh, Acting Chairman of the National Civil Right Movement (NCRM) during the People's Rally, which was held in Washington, DC on Monday, September 16, 2002 in opposition to the Taylor regime's violation of the civil and constitutional rights of the Liberian people.
Human Rights Defenders Elect New Leadership Team
MONROVIA, Wednesday, September 18, 2002: The Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (comprising nineteen human rights and pro-democracy groups) has elected a new corps of interim leadership.
In Defense of the TRUTH
If you ever had the occasion to converse with a Liberian and he or she voluntarily told you midway into the conversation, "Baa I swear that's the truth", you're most likely in good company and it should dawn on you not to take any information provided lightly. Conversely, if the person you're conversing with began the conversation with "My Man You Know... blah, blah, blah", you're better off being polite and passing off whatever information provided.
Former warlord, Alhaji G.V. Kromah, took The Perspective to task about a series articles the magazine carried, underlining, Kromah's role in the Liberian civil war. Apparently Mr. Kromah is upset about tune and contents of a few articles that began chronicling the devastating effects of his role in the civil war in Liberia in a dramatic and revealing way. It seems quite obvious that Kromah and the other Liberian war criminals do not want the truth to be known.
British Foreign Office Issues Travel Advisory on Liberia, Asks British Nationals in Monrovia to Play It Safe
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London has issued a travel advisory admonishing British nationals against travels to Liberia because of "regular clashes between rebels and Government forces." It also warned British nationals in Liberia to "make every effort to remain informed of developments and remain at home during periods of unrest" as well as ensure that the British Honorary Consul in Monrovia knows their whereabouts at all times.
Immediate UN action and embargo on Liberian timber needed to stop conflict in Liberia and safeguard peace in Sierra Leone (Global Witness)
Due to the UN Security Council's inaction on Liberia, the Liberian timber industry remains a primary source of funding for Liberia's war machine. Many logging companies continue to be actively engaged in illegal arms imports for the government, committing human rights abuses and destabilising Liberia and the entire West Africa sub-region.
Ex-warlord Kromah Again Failed To Take Responsibility
Alhaji V.G. Kromah, one of the principal architects responsible for the destruction of lives and properties in Liberia has once again failed to take responsibility for the atrocities he and his rebel forces committed during the 1990s. In a rambling diatribe distributed by Perspective website, the ULIMO-K's former supreme military commander blamed everybody but himself for his public relation problems.
Resolution Of Free The Nation/Free The People Rally
Whereas the government of Liberia since June 24, 2002 and up to present is detaining 20 Liberians, majority of whom happen to be of the Mandingo ethnic group;Whereas the government of Liberia is accusing the detainees of plotting to assassinate the President of Liberia...
When Is A Warlord Not A Warlord?
Denial is generally a human flaw, but in Liberia denial has become the logical shield from personal responsibility by some Liberian politicians and warlords whose atrocious deeds contributed to the current Liberian catastrophe. And denial may likely be the cankerous worms eating at the very heart and slow pace of peace and reconciliation in Liberia today.
A Peaceful March: One for the Conscience
"Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it." Wasn't that once said? Here is a story I once heard that demonstrates the validity of this quotation or paraphrase. This story has made a lasting impact on my psyche since I heard it. Here is the story:
HIV/AIDS in Africa: African-African American Cooperation
I wish to thank the Secretary of State, General Colin Powell for his continued support for the Secretary's Open Forum in the State Department as an avenue for exchange of ideas on crucial issues. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Constituency for Africa (CFA), Washington, DC, I am aware of Colin Powell's personal and professional commitment to HIV/AIDS remedial efforts in Africa.
"Taking Steps Beyond The Trauma"
I have entitled my brief remarks, "Taking Steps Beyond the Trauma". I will characterize Liberia’s current political state and make some suggestions regarding what I believe the government, civil society, including journalism associations, and the international community might do to change conditions. I aim to challenge you, to provoke you and to contribute to the public debate.
Charles Taylor Abruptly Ends Conference
President Charles Taylor on Monday, September 16, 2002, halted all deliberations of the so-called Ethnic Reconciliation Conference, which convened July 26, 2002. Mr. Taylor took the unexpected action after it was clear that the delegates were preparing a resolution, calling for an international Stabilization Force to take over the security of the state (prior to the holding of elections in 2003) so as to facilitate a peaceful environment for political activities in country.
Liberian in the Netherlands Elect New Leadership Team
Liberians in the Netherlands finally elected new core of leaders through a highly organised democratic election. Liberians came from the length and breadth of the Netherlands to cast their vote in order to bring the leadership crisis to an end.
Opposition: Who is the Real Target?
I am among those who have advocated the coming together of prominent leaders of the Liberian opposition to form a united front for opposing the apparent abuse of power by the government of Liberian President Charles Taylor. I still believe this is a noble effort among the opposition and that it should be pursued as far as is reasonable. Of late however, I get the impression that efforts to form a united opposition is being resisted not by the NPP government in Monrovia which should be its natural target, but by members of the opposition in the Diaspora.
Monrovians Rejoice As GOL Lifts 8-Month-Old State of Emergency
Parents and children of able-bodied young men residing in Monrovia had every reason to rejoice at news of the announcement Saturday by the Government of Liberia (GOL) that the 8-month-old state of emergency imposed last February has been lifted. Able-bodied young men caught under a curfew imposed by the Government during the state of emergency were forcibly recruited and sent to the frontlines to prop-up government forces fighting the dissident Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
War crimes, Kaddafi and the Bishop
In the past few months, there has been much talk about war crimes and war crimes tribunal to look into the atrocities meted against civilian populations during the deadly civil war. In a recent article, we argued that Liberians, by going to the polls in 1997 and accepting the results of the elections, had sort of decided to move on and leave the past behind them. However, the realities of the current situation have raised the issue of looking back and talk about the necessity of justice and reconciliation.
Tautology In The Midst Of Chaos
In introductory formal logic we are told that a statement or contingent proposition that is synthetically self-evident may or may not be true in all its manifestations. But the truth or falsity of such a statement is also not beholden to its logical form or definition. So the common example, "It will rain or it will not rain" is said to be synthetically self-evident in that its truth or falsity cannot be easily discerned by logical form or definition. But in the case of universal negative, the statement or proposition is deemed to be negative in all its manifestations.
Liberia Deserves Attention, Not Desertion
Statement by Charge d' Affairs Aaron B. Kollie of the Liberian Embassy in Washington, DC at the Congressional Black Caucus Issue Forum entitled: "Dialogue on Peace and Harmony in the Middle East and Africa: How should the US change its Foreign Policy?" at the Washington Convention Center, September 12, 2002.
Liberia ends state of emergency (BBC)
Liberian President Charles Taylor has lifted the state of emergency imposed eight months ago after rebels began threatening the capital, Monrovia.
Taylor's forces celebrate retaking of Liberian diamond town (AP)
BOPOLU, Liberia (AP) -- Liberian fighters celebrated in the streets of a northern diamond town newly retaken from the West African nation's rebels, shaking AK-47s in the air and displaying a wounded, pleading enemy.
LURD Denies Taylor's Claims
News report of yesterday,September 13, 2002 on the BBC"Focus On Africa" by Jonathan Paylaylay that Taylor's forces have recaptured the city-town of Bopolu is totally false, misleading and deceptive. Couple of weeks ago, Taylor said he took Voinjama and drove us out of Liberia, and today he is claiming that his forces recaptured Bopolu when we supposed to be out of Liberia according to his lies.
Fiascos in Opposition Making "Charlie" Look Good Again
It is generally believed (and rightfully so) that the victory Charles Taylor enjoyed at the polls in 1997 was thrust upon him by the opposition. It was observed that the opposition parties were so disorganized and antagonistic toward each other that the voters actually believed that electing Taylor was the lesser evil - in other words, they opted to stick with the devil they knew rather than to usher in a new band of leaders whose motives, methods and general disposition were not known.
Focusing On Hassan Bility Et Al - Where's The Justice!
For various but nonetheless selfish reasons, some Liberians, both from the Diaspora and within the war-wrecked nation, are presently said to be attending a so-called National Reconciliation Conference in Virginia, near the battle-scarred capital city of Monrovia, that is being sponsored by the repressive National Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by Charles Taylor.
Preliminary Findings Of The International Federation For Human Rights (Fidh)
Fact Finding Mission In Nigeria
Paris, 13 September 2002: From August 29th to September 6th the FIDH, in partnership with the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), its member organisation in Nigeria, conducted a fact-finding mission in Nigeria with the mandate to examine the human rights implications of the implementation of the Sharia criminal law in some states of Nigeria and the progress of the domestication of the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Symposium on African HIV/Aids Pandemic Opens in DC September 17
The Third Annual African Women's and Children's Health Symposium on multi-sectoral approach to assistance for African women and children battling the effects of the growing HIV/Aids epidemic in Africa opens at the World Bank Building in Washington, DC September 17. At least 13 million African children are said to be orphaned due to Aids.
The greatest battle that awaits Liberia is far beyond the military battle that we have experienced for a little over a decade. The anti-intellectual culture that is rapidly developing and been politicized in every aspect of our society must be vehemently dealt with. The titillating background to this anti-intellectual propaganda has blurred the profound issues that engendered our current political crisis.
Open Letter To Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis
Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the historic obligation you and your associates have assumed in leading our PEOPLE toward the "palava hut" of peace and reconciliation in Liberia.
Liberian War May Prompt UN to Keep Peacekeepers in Sierra Leone (VOA)
U.N. officials say the ongoing civil war in Liberia may prompt the United Nations to keep a massive force of peacekeepers in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Freedom's Flame: It's Growing!
In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren... He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. [I]t is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater... good ...which we stand in need of.
Liberians Express Their Views on the Government Reconciliation Conference
Shortly before the despotic National Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by Charles Taylor officially opened its so-called National Reconciliation Conference near the panic stricken capital city of Monrovia, this newsmagazine, The Perspective, set out to solicit through a survey the views of Liberians in the Diaspora on the conference, amongst them, several key opposition figures. Since then, we have published those views for the benefit of our readers.
George Nubo, Managing Editor, The Perspecitive: As you have no hesitation in continuing your campaign of character assasination against me, I hope you will find it fair to have my rejoinder published unedited and without undue accompanying notes to "guide" the reader. Thank you. Alhaji G.V.Kromah
Family Tree Lyrics
Blaming The Messenger -"Family tree can bend; but it can't break." In postwar Liberia, a notorious fallacy still haunts the intelligentsia: " the book people bring all the trouble; they bring the war on us". In other words, those educated people who were bold enough to call for fundamental changes in Liberia's social and political system were the ones who brought trouble and war on Liberia. To say the least, I disagree.
Genocide, Lies, Cover-up and... Silence
One look at the government website clearly indicates how desperate the regime's penmen and women have become desperate in trying to find things to write about. From the attacks on Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and insinuations about Kofi Woods, one can presume that there is a lack of real political issue to write about and that the usual song about the greatness of the Ghankay is getting tiring and boring. People live of bread foremost, and everything else comes later
The First National Convention of River Gee County Association in the Americas
During the Labor Day holiday weekend, August 30 - September 1, 2002, citizens from River Gee, one of the newly created counties of the Republic of Liberia had their first national convention. River Gee County was originally a part of Lower Grand Gedeh County. It became a county in 2000.
Ivory coast was often described as an oasis of calm in West Africa, a country with a buoyant economy, notwithstanding the mid eighties when the economy went on a downhill tumble, a trend similar in all African countries.
West Africa and the Taylor Cancer (II)
It was on September 17, 2002, when Honorable Alex Koroma, a Sierra Leonean legislator stopped in Monrovia on his way from Abuja where the ECOWAS Parliament had just met, to confront Charles Taylor, the recluse and reckless rebel leader of Liberia about the training of rebels in Monrovia. According to the Freetown Concord Times of September 18, 2002, "Honorable Alex Koroma insists that a source in Liberia [...] revealed that fighters were trained for the defunct RUF which was backed by Charles Taylor."
A Consortium of Human Rights Defenders Wants Charles Taylor, Jr. Arrested
MONROVIA, 27 SEPTEMBER 2002: The National Human Rights Center of Liberia, a consortium of nine local human rights organizations, says it wants the Government of Liberia to arrest, disrobe and prosecute the Commander of the Anti Terrorist Unit, Mr. Charles Taylor, Jr. commonly known as Chucky.
LLF Statement On The Establishment Of The International Contact Group On Liberia
The Coordinating Committee of the Liberian Leadership Forum welcomes and hails the establishment of the International Contact Group on Liberia and wishes to express deep thanks and appreciation to the governments and organizations that have accepted to serve as members of the Group.
Mixed Reaction To Cletus Wotorson's Call
The recent call by Cletus Wotorson , published on The Perspective [see http://www.theperspective.org/aplea.html ] and www.Liberiaorbit.org [see http://www.liberiaorbit.org/lonewscletustonedown.htm] for Liberians to tone down could not have come at a better time. That's because many of the discussions get personal and go down real "muddy" paths. There are a whole lot of things I could say regarding recent events but I prefer to select certain issues for discussion and I submit this commentary with mixed feelings about Wotorson's call.
The Role of Liberian Christian Church Leaders: A Case Restated
In an article I penned recently, I attempted to raise issue with the seeming silence of the (Liberian) Christian Church in the ongoing crises permeating our country. My view was that although the Church has a great deal of moral responsibility and authority to be vocal about issues between the government and the governed...
To Compromise Or Not To Compromise
In a country run by a dictator who doesn't give a damn even if he has to rule over the dead bodies of his citizens, there are only two options citizens with conscience have: to compromise or not to compromise. There is no middle ground. It's either one or the other. One will either stand his ground or compromise on corruption, right versus wrong, pure evil versus pure good, etc. etc. Of the two options, compromising is the easiest and the option chosen by many.
Opposition: Stop The Internal Fight
I am among those who have advocated the coming together of prominent leaders of the Liberian opposition to form a united front for opposing the apparent abuse of power by the government of Liberian President Charles Taylor. I still believe this is a noble effort among the opposition and that it should be pursued as far as is reasonable.
Where is the Accountability?
That the continuing illegal arrests, incarceration and intimidation of certain groups of Liberians by the autocratic regime of Charles Taylor and its criminal entities, the ironically named, Anti Terrorists Unit (ATU), Special Operations Division (SOD) and the Liberian National Police (LNP) force, respectively, are highly unwarranted, there can absolutely be no doubt. As of late, the ruthless Taylor government has elected to mistreat members of the Mandingo ethnic group, purely, it seems, out of his bitter resentment of his partner in the destruction of Liberia, Alhaji G.V. Kromah, who also happens to be a Mandingo.
Archbishop Francis' Freudian Slip
The Catholic Church is one of the most powerful and respected social institutions in Liberia. The Catholics are heavily invested in education, health care and charity work in Liberia, in addition to their visible ecumenical role in the greater Liberian society. Even in my hometown (county) of Rivercess, the Catholic influence is manifested in the number of Rivercess youths who regularly flock to Catholic schools and churches, and those who went on to become Catholic priests and nuns.
Now They Know!
The wretchedness of the inner soul can be determined by our interaction with people, colleagues, acquaintances and friends. There can be no other determinant of the viciousness and crudity of the "self" than the way we relate to those who accept us willingly into their confidence. The vicious man will scheme, lie and pretend, but in the final analysis, he will return to the defining traits of his character and invariably leave a trail of broken relationships, deals of treachery and unconscionable perfidy.
Participatory engagement requires good character traits. Good character traits, not levels of education, are key to Liberia's national success. They are key to the success of your organization. The foundation of good character is "good citizenship." When leaders are good citizens, their policies and programs, as well as their actions are community directed and oriented, and always in the best interest of the people. In respect to Liberia, I submit to you that President Taylor needs to demonstrate that he is a good citizen.
LPP-Americas' Resolution Classified as Illegal and Unconstitutional?
On behalf of the Liberian People's Party in the Americas (LPP), I am advising every partisan and the public in general to disregard the Press Release published on The Perspective's website on August 31, 2002, entitled "LPP-Americas' Resolution of 2002 National Convention." The Resolution along with all other decisions was derived at an illegal meeting chaired by the Secretary General, Mr. Wilmot Kunney, and not Bartee Togbah, Vice Chairman of LPP (USA) as reported in the Press Release.