Charles Taylor's Son on the Rampage Again
By A Correspondent
December 20, 2002
Charles Taylor's notorious son is on the rampage again. According to the news reports, after he allegedly ordered the beating and subsequent killing of his driver, Isaac Gono, less than three months ago, he is now said to be involved in another killing. On Monday, December 16, 2002, one Fitzgerald Vimplet (Assistant Traffic Director) became the latest victim of Chuckie. Mr. Vimplet was a member of the Liberia national Police and part of the "advance team" which made sure that the Monrovia-Robertsfield Highway was safe for President Taylor's trip to Togo on Monday.
According to the reports, Chuckie shot him in the head. But Chuckie claims that his rear view mirror hit Mr. Vimplet and killed him on impact. Chuckie is said to have asked the guy who was riding with Vimplet not to explain how he was killed. Because of threats the fellow is now claiming that he was at sleep when the incident took place. Words around here indicate that the Taylor government suspected Vimplet to have been a supporter of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The government has refused to turn the body over to the family because if the family members take over the body, they will see how the bursted Mr. Vimplet's head.
During a meeting that Taylor had with the various political parties, he made reference to the death of the police officer by saying that it was a mirror accident that people are trying to blame it on his son.
In another development, Liberia's involvement in the Ivory Coast crisis is now very clear. Folks from the Danane area say that about 90% of the rebels in that town are Liberian security (ATU as well as former NPFL combatants) forces under the command of Cocoo Dennis. Some even suspect that the notorious RUF Sam Bockaire is involved. Benjamin Yeaten, Taylor's bodyguard who masterminded the killing of Sam Dokie and family is said to be involved too. Ivorian trucks are frequently spotted at border towns over on the Liberian territory.
Mr. Taylor was in Ganta on Wednesday presumably to obtain "progress report." It could never occur to anyone that he would ever attempt to destabilize a country that provided a passage for him to come and destroy his own home. As the saying goes, " What goes around comes around." The monster that they created has now turned against them. My only concern is for those innocent Liberians who are still in that country. This lesson is also good for a country like Ghana that has always bailed Taylor out of problems. They fail to realize that this is typically a "domino effect". Country A (Liberia fell), followed by country B (Sierra Leone), now, it is country C (Ivory Coast). Just how long it will take before leaders of the sub-region wake up to this menace, is the million dollar-question.
Part of the larger picture as far as the NPP government is concerned is to take away people's attention from the idea of an election in Liberia by next year. For now, everyone is focusing on what is happening in the Ivory Coast. Liberians who have returned home are in the thousands. They have added to the massive suffering that we are going through.
Despite his alleged involvement in the Ivory Coast Taylor is now emerging as the peacemaker. He recently stated: "There cannot and will not be any cross-border arms trafficking. Listen to me; if there were any arms in Liberia, I would need those arms to fight the LURD [Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy] rebels. We already have too much on our hands here, and we do not need a war on the other side of the border." He will take part in the peace talk on Ivory Coast.
But history is repeating itself - after Taylor masterminded the taking of 500 UN troops in Sierra Leone into hostage, he was hailed as a hero for his efforts in negotiating their release. The Taylor regime, which was recently referred to as the epic center for instability in the West African sub-region is once again emerging as the "peace maker." But what do you expect when you continuously apply a bandage to this West African cancer instead of excising it as one participant noted at the just ended "Eye of the Hurricane" forum.