MODEL Distributes "Spoils" of War?

By Winsley S. Nanka

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 6, 2003


The Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), one of the three rebel groups that carved up government ministries and public corporations as spoils of war at the recent peace conference in Ghana, is said to have selected Eugene Dean Wilson, the spokesman for the rebel group, as Liberia’s Foreign Minister to serve in the incoming interim government. According to MODEL sources, Dean Wilson’s selection was consummated at the end of the recent peace conference in Ghana; and is awaiting submission to Chairman Charles Bryant. Under the terms of the peace agreement recently signed in Ghana, the chairman of the interim government has no authority to select cabinet ministers, instead that authority is the responsibility of the warring factions, political parties and civic society groups.

Dean Wilson 46, graduated from the University of Liberia in 1981 with a bachelors degree in political science and economics. Shortly thereafter, he traveled to the United States where he has been a long time resident of the Philadelphia area. Dean also has a master’s degree in Human Services Science from Springfield College in Delaware.

According to sources, MODEL has also selected Sam Wlue as Commerce Minister, J. D. Slanger, Maritime Affairs Commissioner. The two men selected are also awaiting the submission of their names to Chairman Charles Bryant. The Foreign, Commerce, and Bureau of Maritime Affairs were among the government agencies awarded to MODEL for its role in the Liberian conflict.

Dean Wilson ’s selection as Foreign Minister by MODEL seems to conflict with the terms of the peace agreement that ended the civil war in Liberia. The agreement called for the nominations and appointments of technocrats to head the various Liberian government bureaucracies. Dean Wilson has little or no experience in foreign policy formulations.

The other MODEL selections, Sam Wlue, Commerce Minister and J.D. Slanger, Commissioner Bureau of Maritime Affairs also do not have experiences relevant to their government agencies. Their selections also seem to conflict with the provision of the peace agreement that called for the selection of technocrats to fill the various government positions.

The first batch of selections by MODEL is an indication that the incoming interim government may be replete with people who professional experiences are not relevant to the positions they may occupy in Liberia. Several attempts were made to contact MODEL’s J. D. Slangar so that he would comment on the information, but to no avail.

The selections of unqualified people to serve in the Liberian government are nothing new. In the 1980s, Liberian dictator Samuel Doe loaded his government with unqualified relatives and friends who were more interested in looting Liberia than developing the country. Also in the 1990s, successive interim governments and the recently deposed Taylor dictatorship awarded government positions to unqualified relatives and friends who plundered the resources of Liberia, thereby subjecting the Liberian people to untold sufferings.

The three warring factions and the political parties have obligations to the Liberian people to hire qualified Liberians for the various government positions. The interim government is expected to establish the foundation for Liberia’s transition to democracy. If it fails to hire qualified Liberians, it may end up like previous Liberian governments.