Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor, Conte and the UN Court

By Emmanuel Obed Towouh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

March 31, 2004

I am not writing out anger or hate but of rationalization.

It the very important that the International Police arrest criminals that have committed atrocities against unarmed politicians, Human Right Activists, and worst of all innocent civilians seeking refuge in churches, mosques, synagogues, or monasteries in time of war.

It is also too important to arrest individual or group of individuals who allow their territories to be used as breeding ground for insurgents.

Having this mind, from where I sit, I see lots of troublemakers roaming about freely in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. I also see group of individuals who have committed hideous crimes against unarmed civilian walking about in the Liberian society as if there is no justice. Charles Julu and George Dweh are just a few.

George Dweh was member of Doe’s death squad. George Dweh masterminded the killing of several civilians around the Duport Road area for listening to BBC in 1990. Shawn, the only surviving son of the family Dweh annihilated for listening to BBC is just the tip of the Dweh’s iceberg.

Charles Julu, is another wanted figure. No right-minded Liberian will ever forget the Lutheran Church massacre and the burying of innocent Nimba children by Charles Julu.

It is very, very funny how the International Community allow those criminals to hold public offices, while she accuses Charles Taylor alone for being the monster that must face the war crime court of Sierra Leone. Charles Taylor might have sponsored RUF, but Lasanna Conte openly sponsored LURD by importing arms from Iran. It is no hidden secret! So, what yardstick is the International Community using in terms of measuring wounds caused by Taylor in Sierra Leone?

What yardstick is the International Community using to measure the wounds caused by Conte in Liberia? If Taylor's actions in Sierra Leone is a War Crime, what is Conte's actions to the International Community? Is anyone out there hearing me? Charles Taylor and Lasanna Conte must be equally indicted. Do you agree?

Speaking of Sierra Leone, I don’t see why a War Crimes Court must operates from Sierra Leone to prosecute Liberian when in fact every military activities including the ousting of Tolbert and those that failed several times on Doe were organized and launched from this very Sierra Leone? Why is it all about Sierra Leonean civilians and not Liberian civilians?

Charles Taylor might be the key figure, but does the International Community know that Sierra Leone was very instrumental in giving death to thousand of Liberian civilians? Does the International Community know that Sierra Leone was the breeding ground for NPFL, ULIMO and LURD? Why must Liberians allow the so-called self-made UN Chief Prosecutor established a War Crimes court in Sierra Leone to prosecute Liberians in Sierra Leone? Is the death of innocent Liberian civilians at the hand of Sierra Leoneans not a significant matter?

We are sovereign state with laws even if we are undeveloped. We are the oldest African Republic and we have people who are capable of prosecuting criminals.

Our constitution is solely based on that of the United States? and it is imperative that the War Crimes court move to Liberia if in fact the court does operates under auspices of the United Nations to prosecute Liberians who killed Liberians, or Foreign Nationals.

Charles Taylor must be prosecuted but must be prosecute on Liberian soil along with other Liberian criminals we have in mind.

If the International community has forgotten, Liberians have not. Our little country has a rich history in bringing world peace. Liberia was the only country in Africa that declared war with Germany twice when Hitler reigned supreme in Europe during the World War. Egypt came in second and became the second African Nation to declare war on Germany but that was not until she really sure that Hitler was actually falling.

As little and underdeveloped she is, Liberia, is not just a mere member of United Nation but full founding member and the children of Liberia do matter as well. Liberia was the first African country to sign the establishment of the UN in San Francisco in 1945 when all the African Nations were afraid that Germany might rise again.

If Charles Taylor is to face the UN Court in Sierra Leone for sponsoring Sierra Leonean tugs that killed their own people, then the Sierra Leoneans too must face a Liberian UN Court for their activities in Liberia.

To prosecute Liberians who committed hideous crimes in the UN court, not UN backed court, either that court be establish in Liberia or the case taken directly to the UN Court at the United Nationals head quarters in New York, or the International Court.

Liberia is a sovereign state and bonified founder of the UN. Every Liberians must set that stage to be respected as such even though we are not reigning supreme in nukes.

Sierra Leone has done more damage to Liberia than Liberia did to her. Liberia’s history with the UN is crystal clear.