Call For Chairman Bryant's Removal is a Blow to the Peace process

By Mohamedu F. Jones

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 30, 2004

Throughout his incumbency in the office of President of the Republic of Liberia, there was general and wide consensus that Charles Taylor was particularly the most dishonest, the most destructive, the most dangerous, the most depraved, the most debauched, and the most damaging ruler in Africa. Considering all the pitiable leadership in Africa, that Taylor could achieve this status is clearly reflective of the “evil emperor” that Mr. Taylor was, and the “evil empire” he created in Liberia.

During the armed rebellion against Taylor’s misrule, because he was so BAD, it was virtually impossible to make a credible argument against the armed conflict. Many conscientious Liberians were torn between a genuine desire to be rid of the “Monster Dahkpana” and our fear that yet another set of “liberators” were trying to remove an “oppressive and abusive government,” but suspecting all along that their motivation may have been driven primarily to take and hold power and to enjoy the privileges and opportunities (especially unlawful ones) that have exemplify holding political power in Liberia.

Recent news out of Monrovia indicates that the leaders of two participants (LURD and MODEL) in the coalition government have called for a “mini peace conference” for the purpose of replacing Mr. Gyude Bryant, Chairman of the government,. This call was made on the very eve of Mr. Bryant’s departure to attend an economic conference in Washington D.C. that will lay out international plans and commitments to funding the re-building of the country. One would assume (or at least hope) that minimally the Foreign Minister, one of those calling for the ouster of Bryant, would understand the significance and importance of the conference, and why such a call might be adverse to the nation’s interest, since it was not made in the national interests, but rather in parochial interests. It is noteworthy that in the case of LURD, another person claiming to be the leader has disavowed the call for Bryant’s replacement.

It is incredulous that these men would call for Bryant’s removal under the present circumstances, and without even offering an iota of evidence of wrong doing, but that they would do so almost literally just before he climbed on the plane to attend one of the most important conferences in the entire 153 year of the country’s independent history. This action clearly shows what it was all about all along: “taking power” and that Charles Taylor’s horrendous actions merely presented the justification.

The international community, led by the American Ambassador in Monrovia, has rightly and roundly rejected this bogus call because it is definitely hostile to the interest of all Liberians. The Ambassador said: "The US government has seen nothing done by Mr. Bryant that will justify such a request and we think that the transitional government - in its first hundred days - has made progress." If Mr. Bryant should offend the laws of Liberia, including the Peace Agreement that is now the fundamental law of the land, of course he should be removed. This same standard should obviously apply to all office holders. But to attempt to derail the peace process for no good reason (or for reason of one’s own good) is just like something Taylor would do.

The situation also raises rather interesting questions for Mr. Thomas Nimely-Yaya who is Foreign Minister. Under Article XXVI of the Peace Agreement, it is provided: “The mandate of the Cabinet shall include: a. Implementation of the decisions of the NTGL. b. Conduct of the usual activities of government ministries. c. Initiation of policies and recommendation of same to the Transitional Chairman for approval.” This applies to Mr. Nimely-Yaya, a member of the cabinet. This entire episode means that Nimely-Yaya is in the interesting position of working for a boss that he thinks is “biased, inadequate and inept.” (IrinNews.Org, Jan. 26, 2004).

There is no argument that Taylor was BAD. It is now also totally irrelevant as to whether it was right or wrong to use force or arms to remove him. But the question that remains to be answered is, will his removal lead to the better Liberia that the people deserve or is his ouster just another way-stop on the continuing downward spiral of the country? The world should not continue to indulge Liberian political faction’s insatiable appetites for destruction, which this nonsensical call for Bryant’s removal is merely the latest example of. It appears from Ambassador Blaney’s response that it will not. However, it would be useful if the Ambassador would state in no uncertain terms what the consequences for the intolerable act of derailing the peace process would be. Such a statement will go a long way to averting the machinations of the many Taylor wannabes of Liberia.