The imperatives of ensuring lasting security in a shattered nation
Now that an interim government is about to assume
power, the ensuring of lasting security should be the foremost priority
for a society shattered by long years of fratricidal warfare. Liberia
is no exception and in fact she constitutes a contemporary case example
in this regard. Secured and sustainable peace has eluded the country
for almost two decades.
reach Liberian city (BBC)
Residents of Liberia's second city, Buchanan, have given a warm welcome
to western diplomats and West African peacekeepers, who have travelled
to the key port for the first time. Civilians and refugees lined the
streets to cheer the convoy of more than 20 vehicles, 118 km from
the peacekeepers' base in the capital, Monrovia
The Peace Agreement:
an analysis of some provisions
Cllr. Mohamedu Jones
As of the signing of the Peace
, that document replaced the Constitution as the organic
law of Liberia in respect to the structure and authority of the government
of Liberia, and in any manner in which the two are inconsistent, the
agreement prevails, until January 2006. The Peace Agreement states this
with certainty at Article XXXV. It is not a perfect document; there
are many provisions that could be different or even better, but this
is the only peace agreement Liberia has. This is the agreement we must
work with, and hopefully, many of our people would literally live with.
Of Another Phase Of The Liberian Saga
For the past fifteen years or so, the Liberian nation
has been overwhelmed by a catastrophe of humongous proportions. A
disproportionately small group of discontented citizens (aided by
mercenaries from other countries) had organized in various rebellious
groups and have continuously terrorized the country for that many
years. Accordingly, they have devastated the infrastructure and shattered
a national economy that was just beginning to pick up from a long
dormancy. These rebels have slaughtered, maimed and made cripple more
than a million of the country’s sparse population of 3.5 million.
Minister Kitt to make
Human Rights Defenders a priority of Irish EU Presidency
The Minister of State for Overseas Development and
Human Rights today welcomed two human rights defenders, Aloysius Toe
and Raihana Diani, to Iveagh House in Dublin. Minister Kitt has taken
a particular interest in the case of Aloysius Toe, who recently escaped
by boat from Liberia, and had made representations on his behalf.
War Crimes Tribunal and the task of rebuilding Liberia
The decade of the 90's saw a rise in civil conflicts
around the world, such as the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda,
just to name a few. When these conflicts came to an end, either with
the help of the international community or with the eventual defeat
of an opposing force, the perpetrators of mass violence and gross human
rights abuses during those civil conflicts were brought to trial. Thanks
in part to the United Nations through the establishment of the International
Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, International Criminal Tribunal of the
former Yugoslavia and the Special Court of Sierra Leone.
Women March to Hurry Peace (Associated
MONROVIA, Liberia - Women dressed in white T-shirts to symbolize peace
marched on West African peace forces' headquarters in driving rain Thursday,
pleading for faster deployment into Liberia's still-unsettled and starving
Grips Liberia Refugee Camps as Fighting Nears
TOTOTA, Liberia - After walking for two days, Siatta Golafale gave birth
by the roadside helped by a nurse who like her was fleeing the sound
of gunfire in Liberia's lawless countryside.
Way to Lasting Peace in Liberia
With a peace agreement signed by the warring parties and representatives
of the civilian population to end the on-going civil war in Liberia,
many Liberians and friends of Liberia are hoping that the guns will
be silenced and peace will return to Liberia. The question is whether
if peace returns to Liberia as all hope, it will be durable or might
just be a recess for another round of violence. It is this debate
on whether or not there will be lasting peace in Liberia following
the Accra Peace Agreement that I want to make a contribution to this
Statement on the Liberian Crisis
We, the citizens of the Bassa Counties (Grand Bassa, River Cess, Margbi
and Montserrado) residing in the United States of America, take this
opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to the Hon. Kofi
Anan, decision makers of the United Nations, the United States, the
people and governments of Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Great Britain and
the Republic of South Africa for their diplomatic gesture and intervention
in the Liberian civil conflict.
Is a War
Crimes Tribunal an Immediate Priority for Liberia?
Liberia’s interim-chairman-to-be, Mr. Gyude Bryant, has already
created a controversy – even before he actually takes the seat.
Although we have not the slightest idea what his government’s
agenda is, he is already being criticized because of what he says
he’s not going to do: namely, he has no intention of establishing
or requesting for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal.
New SILCA Officers Take Over
Saying that Liberia is a divided nation from the "disaster"
of the 14-year Liberian civil war, the President of the Staten Island
Liberian Community Association SILCA, has called for unity amongst
Liberian and vowed, "we will rise again" as a nation.
And Demobilization Towards A Civic Oriented Mission
Liberia is emerging from a traumatic civil war resembling the total
collapse of a failed state. It is characterized by sluggish GDP performance
during the past 14 years, non-empirical literacy rate below 30%, an
unprecedented displacement/flight of over 1,500,000 Liberians as IDPs
and refugees in the Diaspora of Africa, Asia, North America and the
Out Back of Australia, collapse of its physical structure for social
deliverance (schools, hospitals, markets, roads, waster, sanitation,
etc.), and the list goes on.
Letter To Gyude Bryant
Your recent pronouncement that your Interim Government
will not pursue a War Crimes Tribunal in any form overstepped your mandate.
That statement is an indication of the type of uniliteralism that is
not only very dangerous, but would divide our people and erode any support
for you among the "non-criminal elements and victims of the "War
of Liberia’s Transitional Vice Chairman Wesley Momo Johnson
After suffering the throes of civil conflict occasioned
by decades of long running saga, Liberians at home and in the Diaspora
can now breathe a sigh of relieve, with the formulation of a two-year
post-war transitional arrangement that is expected to set the stage
for an organized democratic elections in 2005.
The Healer Needs To Use More Than Just Bandage
For Our Wounds
"Absolutely not,'' Bryant said of the idea of
a war crimes tribunal. "I think it will do more damage than good.
I believe we should by ourselves concentrate on reconciling with each
other.'' This is what our Chairman is quoted as saying, soon in the
morning. It is just unfortunate that the people have to hear this,
especially coming from our Chairman soon-to-be. There has to be a
better support provided for this position. Spelling out what damages
we would sustain, and weighing them against the good that we would
obtain, would do the people a lot more good. Precisely, how do we,
by ourselves, reconcile with each other?
Deserves A War Crimes Tribunal
The 14 years of civil war in Liberia is well known to
Liberians and to the international community for the numerous cases
of gross human rights violations, atrocities and alleged war crimes
committed by all the warring factions and the "Armed Forces of
Liberia." Specific examples include massacres at the Monrovia Lutheran
Church, the Carter Camp and on Duopo Road in Monrovia, to name only
a few. Many of these atrocities and alleged war crimes have been documented
by domestic and international human rights groups, and the United Nations
President Asks U.S. for Help (AP)
Liberia's new president asked the U.S. Embassy for diplomatic intervention
to quell fighting that has surged in the countryside despite a week-old
peace deal. He also urged West African peacekeepers to speed up deployment
Who is Liberia’s
Transitional Chairman? -A Personality Profile
Following nearly three months of hard negotiations
aimed at finding a comprehensive framework for durable and sustainable
peace in Liberia, the Accra conference has finally produced the much
needed results, culminating in the formulation of a post-war transitional
administration headed by a Monrovia businessman Charles Gyude Bryant.
But who is C. Gyude Bryant? What has he stood for over the years?
President Blah Gets an "A" for Effort From a Liberian
As the Liberian peace conference in Ghana
commenced, President Taylor was backed into the corner as news of
his indictment was made public. He promised to step aside if his government
was allowed to remain in power until the end of its elected term.
The other parties to the negotiations, especially the rebels (LURD
and MODEL), rejected the proposal vehemently. Their position was quite
clear and to the point: Taylor's immediate resignation as well as
the cessation of his entire government.
over Liberia peace deal (BBC)
News that a peace deal had been reached between Liberia's
warring factions has evoked optimism, particular among ordinary Liberians,
according to African media reports. But some quarters fear the deal
may do little to remove the country's root problems of corruption
and power-hungry politicians.
dead in Liberian massacre' (BBC)
Liberians were dismayed by the departure of the US troops
Many people have been killed and villages set on fire in a town in
north east Liberia, according to reports.
Aircraft Grounded, Liberian Delegates Escaped Death
A national disaster would have ensued Thursday when 45 Liberian stakeholders
returning to Monrovia from Accra on board a Ghanaian military flight,
Airforce Fokker 27, reportedly failed to lift up while taking off at
the end of the "runway 27" at the Kotoka International Airport
The Need to
Protest Against Rewarding Liberia to Criminals
How can the UN and ECOWAS support war crimes charges against Taylor
for the sufferings and deaths of people in Sierra Leone and ignore the
very same or similar war crimes committed in Liberia against Liberians?
Isn't it an irony how a UN and its war crimes court in Sierra Leone
can indict the former president of Liberia for crimes in that country
and at the same time ignore similar acts of lawlessness and crimes committed
by warlords in Liberia?
the heat on Taylor (Christian
Liberia may be free from its infamous president, Charles Taylor,
but this indicted war criminal was not transported to where he belongs:
behind bars. Instead, Mr. Taylor received a red carpet welcome and a
hilltop mansion in Nigeria.
Saye Gongloe Receives A. Philip Randolph/Bayard Rustin Freedom Award
Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, one of the victims of state
of emergency imposed by Charles Taylor, recently received the A. Philip
Randolph / Bayard Rustin Freedom Award of the A. Philip Randolph Institute
at its 34th Annual Educational Conference held at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel on August 2, 2003, in Atlanta Georgia.
A Position Statement
by the Liberian Association of Metro Atlanta
We, the Liberian Association of Metro Atlanta, Friends of Liberia,
and people who care deeply about human dignity throughout the world,
are gathered here today on these steps of the capitol of this great
State of Georgia to demonstrate our thanks and appreciation to President
Bush and the people of the United States. We thank you for sending
your troops to be stationed off the Liberian coast for a possible
peacekeeping intervention. We also thank Secretary General, Kofi Annan,
the United Nations and ECOWAS for their leadership and support.
Picked Gyude Bryant, Wesley Johnson
West African and Western Mediators brokering peace for Liberia have
declared Liberia Action Party's Charles Gyude Bryant as Chairman of
the country's transitional administration. Similarly, Wesley Momo Johnson
of the United People's Party has also been declared as Vice Chairman
of the Government.
Ghana : The
Way I See It
Now that we are about to install an interim administration
to run the affairs of government In Liberia, I join many of my fellow
citizens who breathe a sigh of relief while catching glimpses of the
proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Given what we’ve gone
through, any decision reached now, hopefully, will be an improvement
over the defunct Taylor government - it is hard to argue otherwise.
Peacebuilding In Liberia: Foundational
Challenges And Appropriate Approaches
There should be almost immediate improvement in the security environment
in Liberia as a result of Charles Taylor’s resignation and departure.
LURD and MODEL should have no reason to continue fighting and Interim
President Moses Blah should be assisted in bringing government fighters
under control until the peacekeeping forces reach full strengthen and
disarmament gets underway.
Picked as Liberia Interim Leader -Delegates (Reuters)
Delegates from all Liberia's warring factions said on Thursday they
had picked Gyude Bryant as leader of a two-year transition government
at peace talks in nearby Ghana.
Parties Failed To Select Transitional Leaders
Despite several hours of brainstorming over who heads Liberia’s
transitional administration, contenders in the Liberian armed conflict
on Monday failed to select the chairman and vice chairman of the National
Transitional Government. Consequently, many Liberians, mostly refugees
who had thronged the M-Plaza Hotel in anticipation of celebrating the
new leadership, went home with disappointment and frowned faces.
The Selection Process Hits A Snag: Moniba Protests, Rebels Want "Country" and wimpy Interim President
Harry F. Moniba
Former Vice President Harry Moniba, one of the unsuccessful candidates during yesterday's voting, has sent a protest letter to Chief Negotiator Abdulsalami Abubakar, (carbon copies sent to MODEL, LURD, GOL, Chairman of ECOWAS, African Union, European Union, International Contact Group on Liberia and the United States of America) for what he calls "gross irregularities that took place during the selection process for candidates..."
Liberia: In Search of Leadership
After much drama, the Liberian peace talks, which started back on June 4, 2003, with the indictment of Charles Taylor, is now in its final act. The cease-fire signed on June 17, 2003 between the warring parties and the government and broken in July is now holding, thanks to the very visible presence of ECOMIL and the US Marines; Charles Taylor is in exile in Calabar, Nigeria, far remote from the political scene; and the Liberian political parties and civil society representatives have submitted to the warring parties the names of 3 persons to be considered for President of the Interim Government and 3 other names for the post of Vice-President.
Political Fever Heats UP At Peace: Warring Factions to Decide Ellen, Bryant, Sherman’s Fate
As the political fever heats up over the battle for who leads Liberia’s
transitional arrangement, representatives of the 18 political parties
and civil society groups have jointly nominated three names each for
both the chairmanship and vice chairmanship of the interim government.
The nomination follows an election held in the conference room of
the M-Plaza Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Profile of the
#1 Choice of Liberian Political Parties
As standard bearer for the Unity Party, Ms. Johnson Sirleaf has spent
the past two months in Accra representing her party at the peace talks
there. A presidential candidate in the widely contested 1997 Liberia
general elections, Ms. Johnson Sirleaf came in second to Charles Taylor
in a field of thirteen. Since the elections, Taylor has twice charged
her with treason. In 1985 her party LAP was winning in all counties
and in the presidential race when Samuel Doe stole the elections and
jailed her twice for a total of 9 months charging her with sedition.
Dream War NO More And
Build A New Nation
Liberia’s Ambassador at large to the Caribbean area has spoken
of the need for Liberians to disabuse their minds of acts inimical
to the development of the country and cultivate the tenacity of love
and courage that would allow them to dream war no more and build a
The Candidates: Under
the Microscope of the Liberian Youth Leadership Forum (LYLF)
On August 4, 2003 the Liberian Youth Leadership Forum (LYLF) published
its assessment of those vying for the presidency of the interim presidency..
Click the link above for excerpts from the assessment
Factions Poised to Pick Interim Leader (Reuters)
Liberia's warring factions were due to sit down together on Wednesday
to choose the leader of a two-year transition government meant to
end 14 years of bloodshed and prepare for elections.
Liberian foes to choose leader (BBC)
Government and rebel delegates are expected to select the head of
Liberia's power-sharing authority later on Wednesday. Interim President
Moses Blah is due to stand down in October in favour of the new administration,
which is supposed to organise elections in 2005.
Abubakar's Plan: A Recipe for More Disaster in Liberia
The warring factions meeting in Ghana have finally initialed an agreement, which Chief Negotiator Abdulsalami Abubakar thinks is the best prescription for ending the terror in Liberia. But, according to information reaching The Perspective, the agreement resembles Gen. Abacha’s formula which shared the entire nation among warlords and their supporters. We have seen the result of the Abacha's plan. In short, Genaral Abubakar has set the stage for more disaster, corruption, and ineffective interim government in Liberia. The winners in this Ghana job fair are the warring factions (Charles Taylor’s NPP government, LURD and MODEL).
Agreement Signed, Parties Take Chairmanship, Factions Chop Ministries
The long awaited Peace Agreement on Liberia was signed yesterday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. According to the document, the transitional government for Liberia will be headed by a Chairman and a vice chairman, positions that would be occupied by consensus candidates to be nominated by the 18 political parties. The parties’ nominations would be submitted to the warring parties for endorsement.
The Peace Agreement
Peace Agreement Between The Government Of Liberia (GOL), The Liberians United For Reconciliation And Democracy (LURD), The Movement For Democracy In Liberia (MODEL) And The Political Parties Accra, Ghana, 18th August 2003. We, The Government Of The Republic Of Liberia, The Liberians United For Reconciliation And Democracy (LURD), The Movement For Democracy In Liberia (MODEL) And The Political Parties.
Liberia: Pentagon quashed report (News24)
Washington - A team of US military specialists who visited Liberia in early July recommended the immediate dispatch of 2 300 US Marines to the war-torn west African country but the Pentagon quashed the report, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
Elections For Transitional Leaders In Sight
West African and Western mediators seeking a political settlement to the Liberian imbroglio have released what appears to be a final draft of the comprehensive peace agreement and guidelines for the elections of a transitional administration to replace the current government.
The Personality Traits Of Contestants For The Liberian Transitional Presidency
The Liberian Youth Leadership Forum (LYLF) presents
the personality traits of contestants for the transitional presidency.
Don’t wait to be told. Know them now to avoid repeating past
mistakes as you decide our nation’s future!
Power-Sharing Accord Near in Liberia (AP)
MONROVIA, Liberia - Mediators said they were close to signing a power-sharing accord for Liberia on Monday, cementing progress toward peace after the resignation of President Charles Taylor and the lifting of a 10-week rebel siege of the capital.
Peace Talks To Be Transferred To Monrovia?
Intense discontentment is said to be brewing amongst
delegates attending ongoing Liberian peace negotiations at the M-Plaza
Hotel in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. Liberian stakeholders, mainly
representatives of the 17 opposition political parties are diametrically
opposed to reported plans by the ECOWAS Mediation Team to transfer the
peace talks to Monrovia.
Qualified Liberians to Participate in Interim Government
Political parties, the belligerent forces and the interest
groups at the peace conference must invite qualified Liberians to participate
in the interim government that is being formed in Ghana. Now that Mr.
Taylor has departed Liberia, Liberians have the daunting task of harnessing
their resources for the creation of a sustainable political and economic
environment. Restructuring a modern Liberian state would be difficult
to achieve because the socio-economic infrastructures of Liberia have
been incapacitated by decades of barbaric civil wars.
Liberians reunite city
Thousands of people have raced across two bridges in the Liberian capital,
Monrovia, desperate to get food from warehouses near the port. Nigerian
peacekeepers had planned to open the Gabriel Tucker and Old Bridges
later on Friday but were overwhelmed by the massive crowds.
Break Barricades to Reunite City
MONROVIA, Liberia - Desperate for food, tens of thousands of civilians
broke through barricades on Monrovia's front-line bridges Friday, reuniting
Liberia's war-divided capital after 10 weeks of rebel siege.
Charles Taylor: Those Who Make History Don't Usually Write History
to his nature, Charles Taylor, the exiled former president of Liberia,
lied and schemed at the last hours to avert his inevitable political
demise on August 11, 2003. As his regime faced imminent collapse from
attacks by rebel forces and relentless diplomatic pressure, Taylor called
for international peacekeepers to end the deadly war that had reportedly
killed hundreds of innocent civilians. He promised to step down once
the peacekeepers arrived. Yet all along, Taylor intended neither to
stop fighting nor to step down: He smuggled an airplane load of arms
into Liberia while the very peacekeepers he had requested were on the
A Liberian Human Rights
Lawyer Decries the deafening Silence, Complacency and Inaction to the
Terror in Liberia
I write to bring to your urgent attention the extreme human
catastrophe taking place in Liberia. Over the past few months, the human
rights emergency has grown from bad to worse. As fighting intensified
between various armed groups and the Government of Liberia, ordinary
civilians have been constantly subjected to horrendous abuses perpetrated
by all sides.
HIV/AIDS in Africa: South Africa’s Leadership
The recent announcement that South Africa’s government
will roll out a comprehensive anti-retroviral treatment program by the
end of September 2003 is a major step in the right direction for the
estimated 5 million South Africans living with HIV/AIDS. It is also
a giant step forward for the more than half-a-million South Africans
that need immediate access to antiretroviral therapy. A comprehensive
and effective treatment plan for South Africa is also welcome news to
South African families that dread the death of a loved one from AIDS:
Every day, at least 600 South Africans die of AIDS associated illnesses.
Land in Liberia as Rebels Pull Back (Reuters)
U.S. Marines, helicopters and screaming jets backed up West African
peacekeepers as they pushed into rebel-held areas of Liberia's battle-worn
capital Monrovia on Thursday to a riotous heroes' welcome.
peace force secures food supplies (BBC)
Rebel forces have handed control of the port in Liberia's capital, Monrovia,
to West African peacekeepers. Although much of the food in the port's
warehouses has been looted during two months of fighting in Monrovia,
deliveries of badly-needed food, water and medicines can now be stepped
Another Chance to do Good
The demise of the Taylor regime has been expected
from the day it was inaugurated into office. A friend with a cynical
mind once said that the best way to get rid of Charles Taylor was to
give him power, then he would make every possible mistake and would
ultimately work himself out of power. And indeed, it worked. Liberians
can pat themselves on the back for pushing out of office one of the
most cruel and corrupt human beings to ever lead a nation. Those who
doubt this only need to look at Monrovia at its worse in January 1989
and Monrovia in 2003.
will not be kind to Mr. Taylor because he deserves its condemnation
In one of the statements he made shortly before leaving Liberia
to go into exile, former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, said that
history would be kind to him. This self-assessment is another example
of Mr. Taylor's misjudgment, or perhaps another illustration of his
delusion of grandeur. Charles Taylor represents the premier example
of failed leadership in modern African history. His company is Jean
Bedell Bokassa and Idi Amin, leaders, who like him wreaked havoc on
their countries and the lives of their people.
Boil The Pot Of
"We are going to die o. Let's die".
This is an ageless adage from our national archives. O, so we are going
to die for standing up for what is right? Well, let's die then. This,
in essence, is what is being pitched from the unified voice of the opposition
leadership at the Peace Talks at Akosumbo, Ghana. All Liberians should
give this drum beat a keen ear, and stand up. Cowering in light of the
proposed set up of a War Crimes tribunal, interpreting it as a loaded
gun that would plunge us into another gunfire deja-vu, would not be
the thing for us to do now, at the moment of truth. Succumbing to such
cowardice amounts to a self infliction of injustice.
Rebels Sign Pledge to Leave Port
Rebels laying siege to Liberia's capital signed a pledge Tuesday
to withdraw from Monrovia's port, allowing food and aid to flow to people
isolated and starving on the government-held side of the city, the U.S.
plea to Liberian rebels (BBC)
Liberia's interim president, Moses Blah, has used his first full day
in office to urge rebels to lay down their weapons and help to rebuild
the country.But his call coincided with reports of renewed fighting
on the road between the capital Monrovia and Liberia's second city,
Buchanan, involving government forces and the rebel Model group.
U.S. Commander to Go Ashore in Liberia Soon (Reuters)
The commander of the U.S. task force off Liberia's coast will go ashore
in the next day or so to see how the United States might help open up
a rebel-held port to allow the flow of humanitarian aid, Secretary of
State Colin Powell said on Monday.
The Liberian Peace Talks which is in its 10th week
is getting closer to an end with the signing of a comprehensive peace
agreement among the parties to the Talks and election of the interim
leadership as the two outstanding issues on hand. As we are all aware,
the military situation on the ground is still precarious with all
warring factions violating the June 17the Ceasefire Agreement. We
are grateful that at last ECOWAS has dispatched a contingent of Nigerian
troops to Liberia to keep the hope of war weary Liberians alive.
Taylor Resigns, to Leave Country (Reuters)
Liberia's President Charles Taylor resigned Monday under pressure
from the United States, which hopes his departure will speed an end
to violence that has gripped Liberia and West Africa for nearly 14
offers Free legal Advice to Charles Taylor
For the past two months President Charles Taylor and
his supporters have been finding ways to relieve him of the burden of
appearing before the UN backed Special Court in Sierra Leone for charges
against him for his role in the Sierra Leone in the Sierra Leoneon civil
war. At one point Taylor’s foreign minister argued that the Government
of Liberia did not recognize the jurisdiction of the court and therefore,
the issuance of a warrant from that court of no legal effect.
offer Liberians slim hope
The people were walking with determined strides through central
Monrovia, past the derelict buildings of Broad Street and down towards
the bridge that links the city with the port.
Rebels Pushed to Open Port for Hungry (Reuters)
U.S. and West African officials were to renew pressure on Liberian rebels
on Saturday to open Monrovia's vital port and allow food supplies to
flow to famished refugees and residents in the capital.
Went To Libya For Arms, Sources Say No Confirmation From U.S. Officials
President Charles Taylor flew to Libya last week during a pitched
battle for this capital city and returned with a cargo of ammunition
and arms, according to individuals in Monrovia with knowledge of the
flights. On both legs of his trip, Taylor changed planes in the capital
of Burkina Faso, according to those who knew of the trip. Bad weather
in Ouagadougou delayed Taylor's return, causing him to cancel an Aug.
1 meeting with West African foreign ministers to discuss peace efforts.
of Compassion? (The New Republic)
S ince Liberia hit America's front pages roughly two months ago, it
has sparked a debate over compassion, not justice. The press often
calls Liberia a "humanitarian crisis." It's a familiar phrase
in reporting on Africa, and it encourages people to think apolitically.
Famine and aids are described as "humanitarian crises."
Peace In Unconventional Conflicts
Since the end of the cold war, the world has seen
major changes in the number and nature of armed conflicts. The proliferation
of civil wars and other internal conflicts within states now threaten
international peace and security and cause massive human suffering.
Peacekeeping, which developed as a means of dealing with inter-state
conflicts, is now being applied increasingly to intra-state conflicts
and civil wars.
with Chief Negotiator Abdusalami Abubakar
As the quest to end fourteen years of carnage in Liberia draws
near with the initial deployment of Nigerian peacekeepers and the United
States and United Nations endorsements of peacekeeping forces to Liberia,
negotiators in Ghana arguing the political future of the country, continue
to advance proposal after proposal for an interim government.
Pathways From War to Peace
Why does civil war in Liberia continue? This inquiry presents a fundamental
premise on which to formulate any "path towards peace." Multiple
peace agreements were signed. Peacekeepers came. Free and fair elections
were declared. Constitutional governance resumed. Peacekeepers left.
However, peace was definitely not assured. Two years into the term of
the Taylor administration, the civil war flared up again - full force.
Why did the conflict restart? Could it be that factions were planning
to launch a fresh assault all along?
Rebels Raise Stakes in Broken Capital
Liberia's rebels added tough new conditions for opening Monrovia's desperately
needed port on Friday as West African peacekeepers faced the challenge
of reuniting the hungry and broken city.
aid lifeline sought (BBC)
The leader of the West African peacekeeping force and the United States
ambassador to Liberia are trying to meet rebel commanders later on Friday,
to ask them to let the Nigerian troops into their sector of the capital,
Monrovia. On Thursday, the Nigerians were given an ecstatic welcome
when they began patrols of Monrovia for the first time since their arrival
in the country on Monday.
President Charles Taylor's letter of resignation
The resignation letter from Liberian President Charles Taylor:
A little over two months ago I made a profound declaration in Accra,
Ghana at the summit of heads of state of the Economic Community of West
African States and the African Union that is helping to shift the destiny
of our common patrimony in the 21st century.
to go to Liberia for power hand over (SABC)
President Thabo Mbeki today said he expected to fly to Monrovia on Monday
to attend a ceremony marking the hand over of power by Charles Taylor,
the Liberian President. Mbeki told a business forum in Johannesburg
he had been asked to make the trip by John Kufuor, the Ghanaian President
and current chairperson of the West African economic bloc ECOWAS. "I
have agreed," he said. "Arrangements (to go to Liberia) will
Homeland Security Extends TPS For Liberians
The Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Liberians
residing in the US, which is expected to expire on October 1, 2003,
has been extended by the Department of Homeland Security for another
year. The new TPS designation runs from October 1, 2003 to October 1,
2004. Eligible candidates are required to re-register from August 6,
2003 through October 6, 2003.
President Choosing Successor (AP)
Arguing voices echo through the halls of Liberia's bullet-scarred Congress.
Behind closed doors, lawmakers haggle over who should succeed warlord-turned-president
Charles Taylor, a choice of two longtime Taylor allies.
A Rejoinder To "Pat Robertson on Liberia"
I am writing as a Liberian to thank Rev. Pat Robertson for his interest
in Liberia and his concern for its people. As expressed in the Washington
Post of July 9th, 2003 entitled, "Pat Robertson on Liberia".
Leader Cancels Appearance
MONROVIA, Liberia - Embattled President Charles Taylor canceled an appearance
before Congress on Thursday in which he was expected to announce his
successor, but officials insist he will still leave office as planned.
West African peacekeepers have left Liberia's main airport to patrol
the streets of the capital, Monrovia, for the first time since arriving
A Defeat to the Tangibility
and Objectives of the Liberian Transitional Process
It seems as though the delegates in Accra are about
to make the same mistakes they have made in the past- including warring
faction leaders and political parties in the interim leadership. It
may seem to be a means of satisfying all hands in the political opposition
but this is not a feasible approach to cultivating lasting peace, establishing
democratic precepts, and preventing regression. This idea or framework
will expose the transitional process to biases, unfairness, and subjectivity.
rebels 'to allow aid supplies' (BBC)
Liberia's rebels have promised West African peacekeepers that aid agencies
can use the port in the capital, Monrovia, to deliver badly needed supplies
of food, water and medicine, West African peacekeepers say. The Chief-of-Staff
of the West African peacekeeping force, Ecomil, Colonel Theophilus Tawiah
told BBC News Online that the rebels had given this commitment following
a meeting in rebel-held territory near the port on Tuesday.
Liberia Will Make
History on August 11, 2003
Never before in the history of Africa have the concerted
efforts of the international community and the citizens of a country
force a sitting dictator out of office. August 11, 2003 will be an important
date in the history of Africa, indeed Liberia in two respects:
rebels hail truce as victory : Thousands made to cheer fighters despite
The rebels besieging the Liberian capital made a surreal bid
for respectability yesterday by herding thousands of civilians from
the ruins of the city to sing their praises.
Recommend Amendments in Draft Peace Agreement -- Factions on board,
elections in 2005
Negotiating parties at the ongoing Peace Conference
on Liberia in Accra, Ghana have made several recommendations to amend
the ‘Draft Peace Agreement’ put forward by ECOWAS mediators.
The mediators are holding consultation with individual parties for aconsensus
before a final document can be drawn and signed.
Liberian enemies embrace (BBC)
Liberian rebel and government fighters have crossed the front line to
hug in the capital, Monrovia, as Nigerian peacekeepers have continued
to arrive, along with military vehicles.
The BBC's Barnaby Phillips in Monrovia says the unarmed youths, high
on drugs, walked from opposite ends of the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to
meet in the middle, saying "We want peace".
A Nation Still Struggling To Live Up To Its Meaning
Liberia was proclaimed as sovereign state in Africa in 1847. It evolved
from a colony established on the west coast of Africa by the American
colonization society (ACS) for the repatriation of freed American slaves.
It was the only colony established in Africa by a non-governmental organization.
All other colonies in Africa were established by European governments.
The establishment of the colony that became Liberia was, therefore perceived
as a philanthropic endeavor and an act of goodwill.
Women Solve Africa's Problem? (BBC)
With the current events in Liberia, some people have suggested that
Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf be made president of the country. After
all she has previously run for the post and came second. If this were
to happen, she would become the first woman to lead an African country.
At the very least it may prevent a power struggle between the two
rebel factions in the country.
Who Created This Mess?
Liberia is a tiny crayon dot situated on the West Coast Of Africa.
For nearly two months now, its horrible civil war has made front-page
news here. We've have seen pictures of nine-year olds towing machine
guns, the military shooting into unarmed crowds, and thousands of
people panicking and pointlessly stampeding. And we've have read arguments
both for and against the U.S.A. Intervention.
joy as peace troops land
More than 100 West African peacekeepers have received a heroes' welcome
after arriving in Liberia with the goal of ending two months of bloody
clashes in the capital, Monrovia. Hundreds of civilians rushed onto
the runway of Robertsfield airport, 40km from Monrovia, carrying a Nigerian
troop commander shoulder high, shouting "We want peace".
peace-keepers arrive in Liberia (The
West African peace-keeping troops arrrived in Liberia
today, welcomed by hundreds of people who hoisted a commander on their
shoulders chanting "We want peace." The task of the deployment,
promised to build to 3,250-strong and be followed by a UN force: ending
14 years of carnage in this once prosperous nation and overseeing departure
of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor.
Ahead In the Transition
Once again, Liberia is stranded in that era of doom
for weeks, just as it has been so many times in the past 20 years. Uncertainty,
dashed hopes and ruined lives have become part of the Liberia recent
history. Every now and then, there is a flicker of light suddenly blown
away by the stormy winds of violence.
Making the Choice:
The Interim Leadership
It is now important more than ever, that we critically evaluate
the credentials of our Presidential aspirants. It is also important
that we are cautious about who we select to lead the transitional government.
The transition period is very critical in the peace process because
it the period during which political trends are sat. In the past we
have seen other interim or transitional administrations degenerate into
political parties or warring factions. As a result, neutrality and objectivity
Crowds Greet Troops on Arrival (AP)
MONROVIA, Liberia - West Africa's first troops landed Monday on an international
rescue mission for Liberia, greeted by overjoyed civilians who spilled
onto the airfield by the hundreds, screaming, "We want peace!"
Who decides in Liberia
The Liberian embattled President Charles Taylor has,
for the first time almost within two decades publicly, given a definite
date and time that he shall resign from office: 11th of August 2003
(11:59 AM) and turn over office to possibly his vice president - who
most be sworn in immediately after his resignation. The news is laudable
yet there is a need to remain cautious knowing Mr. Taylor's chameleon
behavior whenever it comes to backing his promises with action. The
promise contains loopholes and leaves several case scenarios possible.
Special Court: Promises and Pitfalls (Press
Release Issued by ICG)
Freetown/Brussels, 4 August 2003:
The Special Court for Sierra
Leone is in the first stages of attempting to bring to justice those
who bear the "greatest responsibility" for war crimes and
crimes against humanity during the country's eleven-year civil war.
The Court has made important progress - indicting and arresting a number
of top commanders as well as indicting the President of neighbouring
Liberia, Charles Taylor.
High as Peacekeepers Touch Down in Liberia (Reuters)
Long-awaited West African peacekeepers swooped into Liberia by helicopter
on Monday, as war-weary Liberians danced for joy in ruined streets
on hopes of an end to 14 years of bloodshed.
Dance as Peacekeepers Arrive in Liberia
MONROVIA (Reuters) - On the bullet-strewn frontline, Liberian rebel
fighters danced in the rain, played football and waved white flags
on Monday, delighted that West African peacekeepers had finally arrived.
Leadership for an Interim Government In Liberia
We have followed the talks in Ghana of political parties, civil
society and dissident forces to form an interim government to take over
the government of Charles Taylor for a period and set in place those
conditions necessary for a free and fair election. We are dismayed that
people who claim that they are only interested in seeing Democracy in
Liberia, and therefore want Charles Taylor to go and an interim government
put in place to ensure that conditions are set, will sit and take weeks
vying for the position of leadership of in an interim government as
if this interim government is the only chance these people have of leading
leader agrees on departure day (BBC)
The Liberian President, Charles Taylor, has agreed to step down on 11
August, Ghana's foreign minister has said. The announcement came after
West African ministers held a meeting with Mr Taylor to discuss plans
for him to go into exile.
Battles as Liberia's Taylor Meets Envoys (Reuters)
President Charles Taylor's forces launched a blistering attack on rebel
positions in the capital Monrovia on Saturday as their embattled leader,
fighting for his political survival, held talks with West African envoys.
Votes for Peacekeepers in Liberia (VOA)
The United Nations Security Council has passed a U.S.-sponsored resolution
to create a multinational peacekeeping force in war-torn Liberia.
Action Needed to Save Liberia
Liberia is burning and the international community must
now ratchet up its pressure on the men of violence, as well as its efforts
to signal an unequivocal and practical commitment to quell the fire
of hell that has engulfed this country. The violence is quickly engulfing
other population centers in the country and there is now a desperate
need to stop the needless equivocation and diplomatic squabbles and
take immediate action to save lives.
Call on Taylor to Leave Liberia (AP)
MONROVIA, Liberia - Embattled President Charles Taylor met
Saturday with West African envoys seeking his departure from power,
welcoming them to his mansion by the Atlantic Ocean as fighting surged
in Liberia's capital.
Director Issues Plea to African American Decision Makers: "Tell
Bush Liberia Must Have Direct Intervention Now"
ACCRA, GHANA & NEW YORK, NY 8/1/03 Frustrated with sluggish U.S.
response to the desperate Liberian crisis, global humanitarian agency
Church World Service will join Liberian church and civil society leaders
in Accra, Ghana, Sunday August 3, 2:00 PM, for an emergency Liberia
Consultation, as the Liberian groups determine a joint regional and
international advocacy strategy to help hasten the Liberian recovery
As LURD Accuses
Taylor of Importing Arms
With reports of the absence of President Charles Taylor in
Monrovia on Friday to meet an ECOWAS diplomatic delegation, the main
rebel group, LURD has accused Mr. Taylor of importing two ship loads
of arms in the country.
by Opposition Political Parties of Liberia On the Upsurge of Military
Hostilities in Liberia
Today marks the 58th day since the commencement of the Accra Peace Conference
on Liberia and the 43rd since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement
among the belligerents, to which we were witnesses. Over this period
of time, the opposition political parties have, in good faith, cooperated
with other stakeholders, particularly the warring parties, in an effort
to bring genuine and lasting peace to our motherland, Liberia. In the
same vein, we have also worked assiduously with the Mediator and his
corps of facilitators
Parties Want Stringent Measures Against Rebel Supporters
Representatives of 17 Liberian opposition political parties
attending ongoing peace talks in Ghana have unanimously deprecated the
continuous military arrogance leading to an acute humanitarian crisis
in Liberia. Consequently, they are calling for the expulsion of all
elements of the political and military leaderships of the rebels, LURD
and MODEL, from all ECOWAS countries, mainly Guinea and Ivory Coast.
African Leaders Arrive in Liberia (AP)
MONROVIA, Liberia - West African leaders arrived in Liberia's bloodied
capital under heavy military guard Friday, beginning their mission to
press President Charles Taylor to step down as promised and leave his
war-ruined nation for exile.
Shatter Liberian Calm (BBC)
Fighting has resumed in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, as West African
mediators arrive to discuss plans for President Charles Taylor to step
down and go into exile.
Several shells landed in the diplomatic area of Mamba Point and rebels
and government fighters have exchanged fire around two bridges which
lead to the city centre.
Fighting Kills 9, Peace Force Due Monday (Reuters)
Mortar and gunfire erupted in Liberia's capital Monrovia on Friday, killing at least nine people, as Nigerian peacekeepers said they would deploy to the war-battered country on Monday