By Kadiatu Musa-Frantz
Brumskine and Taylor
Why does Liberty Party leader and presidential candidate Charles Walter Brumskine want the support of Liberian Muslims and Mandingos now? Does he forget that the 1994 Status of Forces Agreement http://trcofliberia.org/press_releases/74 he crafted for his then supreme master Charles Taylor killed Liberian Muslims and other Liberians? Why didn’t he care or play nice with Liberian Muslims and Mandingos when his old buddy Charles Taylor and their NPFL killing machine was operating, targeting people for being Mandingos or Muslims? It is time to hold people responsible for their characters in Liberia!
It is one thing to be fooled once and it is another thing to be fooled twice. Liberians must not be fooled twice by these doubled headed and mixed tongues politicians. Charles Walter Brumskine does not deserve the support of Liberian Muslims and Mandingos, especially the legitimate Mandinngos of Liberia. He can have the support of other Muslims and Mandingo people in Liberia who want false legitimacy in our country, but not those of us who are Liberian Mandingos and peaceful Liberian Muslims.
As Liberian Mandingos and Muslims, we have lived with our other Liberian brothers and sisters in peace and harmony until Charles Taylor, supported by few bad Liberian politicians, brought war to our country. Our people were doing business and few were involved in other activities, including government. We lived happily with all tribes - including Gios, Kpelles, Manos, Krahns and Lormas. We even inter-married with many of these tribes. In fact, my late father was a Mandingo and my mother is Gio. My father's mother was Lorma and my mother's mother was Krahn. This applies some Liberian Mandingos in Liberia too. In fact, one of our beloved leaders, the late Manyon Kamara of our Mandingo community was a senator for Bong County, a region populated by Kpelle people. The late Honorable Jallah K.K. Kamara was in charge of culture and tourism, the late Edward Sackor was in charge of internal affairs and local governments, Chief Musa Gboni Kamara was a powerful lawmaker and traditional chief from Lofa County, my region, just to name a few. Prior to that we had the late Dukuly who was secretary of state, the late Binyah Kesselly who was senior commander in the Armed Forces of Liberia. All of these people and others played vital roles in Liberian politics and society. That shows how harmonious our relationship was with all Liberians until Taylor came with his war.
Brumskine, for his part, was Taylor’s lead lawyer and one of his secret strategists. He strategically advised Charles Taylor privately on the legal execution of the war and defended the mayhem that followed through the Status of Forces Agreement he designed. What Brumskine did not know then, or say perhaps he knew, but did not care about was that Taylor’s war was targeting and killing mainly Krahn and Mandingo people. More importantly, it was Brumskine who deceptively crafted and championed the rationale for the so-called Status of Forces Agreement , giving Taylor full control of the West African Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeeping forces in 1994. His expressed intent was clear: Give Taylor control of the Peacekeepers to commit more harm that affected and targeted Krahns and Liberian Muslims, particularly the Mandingo ethnic group. Taylor in turn, rewarded he (Brumskine) not only with material compensation for his effort, he also ensured Brumskine became his chief lawmaker – President Pro-temp of the Liberian Senate. It does matter whether they fell out later or not. What matters is Brumskine did not care about Liberian Muslims and Mandingos in the past. So why now? Is it because he wants to fool our people to make him president of Liberia come election day? It is preposterous that some in our community who called themselves leaders will give money to this man campaign and even go around in West Africa to make traditional sacrifices for he to be president. Have they forgotten how Brumskine's advice to Taylor kept us and our people in exile in refugee camps? What makes people like Brumskine to believe that only Taylor should bear responsibility for the mayhem against our people? If you advise someone to act in a certain way you are equally responsible for that action. This is common sense, Mr. Brumskine. Suppose Taylor and his NPFL had killed all the Mandingos and Muslims in Liberia, whose support would you have asked for? The self-serving Mandingo people and Muslims around you do not represent the Liberian Muslim and Mandingo community. Liberian Muslims and Mandingos do not need you Brumskine to legitimize their status and residency in Liberia, except those who are around you for their selfish interest. We will organize against you no matter how many karamokos or sorcerers your followers take you to throughout West Africa.
Like other Liberians, our people died and some suffered as refugees, including many of the fake leaders we have in Liberia today from our Muslim and Mandingo communities. Why didn’t Brumskine make nice with Liberian Mandingos and Muslims when Taylor was killing them? Did Brumskine know that the Liberian Muslims and Mandingo support was important when he was crafting the legal instrument that gave Taylor power to chase out our people and make some of us who were young girls to graduate from high school in refugee camps while his children were schooling in the United States?
It is hard to comprehend why some self-seeking leaders in the Liberian Mandingo and Muslim community would support Brumskine, knowing his relationship with Taylor and the NPFL that sought to kill every Liberian Mandingo and Muslim of Liberian heritage in the 1990s. Brumskine does not deserve our support and money, and we should not be fooled. People who seek out friends in good times are deceptive, people who seek out friends when times are hard are better. We can forgive but we should not forget. To forget would mean we cannot have a history and if we do not have a history as Liberians we are bound to be doomed. Brumskine is no friend to Liberian Muslims and Mandingos. He is only playing nice because he wants to use us as a pawn to accomplish his personal and selfish aims and surprisingly he is aided by few in our community that only look after themselves. Like Taylor, Brumskine can do anything to accomplish his aims, even if it means making a Mandingo person as his running mate. He cannot be trusted. I honestly don’t see a Krahn supporting Brumskine because they are not fools. Are we the fools that Brumskine can use? I beg not!
About the Author: Kadiatu Musa –Frantz is a young female Liberian Muslim from the Mandingo ethnic group, and a businesswoman. She is originally from Lofa County, Liberia. She is married and lives in Diekirch, Luxembourg with her husband, Dr. Frantz. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org