Remove President Taylor from Office to Achieve Peace in West Africa

By Winsley S. Nanka

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

December 9, 2002

President Charles Taylor on numerous occasions told the Liberian people and the international community that he was not involved in the destabilization of Sierra Leone either through his proxy, the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) thugs or through his NPFL (National Patriotic Forces of Liberia) rebel army. However, in the November 12, 2002, edition of the Washington Post, the Liberian government reportedly paid $310,968 for an advertisement in which President Taylor admitted his involvement in the destabilization of Sierra Leone out of [Mr. Taylor] "national security concerns".

President Taylor has also denied his involvement in the attempt to destabilize the Republic of Guinea, despite reports by Human Rights Watch and other international organizations establishing Mr. Taylor's support for the son of the late Sekou Toure in his efforts to overthrow the government of neighboring Guinea. President Taylor is reportedly supporting the late Guinean President's son to overthrow the Guinean government because he believes that the Guinean government currently supports the LURD rebels fighting to unseat him (Mr. Taylor) from power.

President Taylor and his government are again denying that they are not involved in latest anarchy that is mushrooming in the neighboring Republic of the Ivory Coast. The Taylor government is suggesting that it is former warlord Roosevelt Johnson and one of the late General Samuel Doe's alleged death squad members, George Dweh, who are behind the rebellion along the Liberian-Ivorian borders. However former NPFL (National Patriotic Forces of Liberia) fighters in exile in the Ivory Coast have confirmed through various sources that the Movement for Justice and Peace rebel group fighting in the Danane and the Man areas is predominantly NPFL fighters from Liberia.

What is the logic of Roosevelt Johnson and George Dweh starting an insurrection in the Ivory Coast? Remember that the Taylor government has persistently accused the two men of being LURD rebel supporters. If these men had all the resources to support a rebellion in the Ivory Coast, why are they not helping the LURD since Mr. Taylor claims that the two men are supporters of LURD? Mr. Taylor is using the two men as a diversion to cover-up his role in the Ivory Coast.

The Liberian people and the international community must not believe Mr. Taylor. He is a “pathological liar”. For more than nine years, Mr. Taylor proclaimed to the world that he was not involved in Sierra Leone. However, on November 12, 2002, Mr. Taylor admitted his involvement in the destruction of lives and properties in Sierra Leone for what he termed as "national security concerns”. I challenge Mr. Taylor and his government to show cause why the Liberian people and the international community should believe them this time.

Mr. Taylor has reason to destabilize the Ivory Coast. The death of Robert Guei in an allegedly failed coup attempt against the Ivorian government means that Mr. Taylor lost his major support along the Liberian-Ivorian borders. General Robert Guie and Charles Taylor’s arms smuggling activities along the Liberian-Ivorian borders are well documented in the United Nations reports on Liberia over the years.

The international community and the Liberian people need to understand that President Charles Taylor is the Chief Terrorist of the region. His goal is to destabilize the West African sub-region. If the United States, Great Britain and the rest of the international community want peace and stability in the sub-region, their goal should be the removal of Mr. Taylor from office. Anything short of the removal of Mr. Taylor from office is a waste of time and money. There can be no peace in the West African sub-region unless Mr. Taylor and his gang of thugs are removed from office in Liberia.

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