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Re-engaging Africa---The West's New Frontier
At the end of the Cold War in the 1991, influential Western and Eastern nations that once supported autocratic regimes in Africa departed from Africa, shifting their attention to Eastern Europe and deprived Africa of much needed international financial aid and the United Nations' assistance, particularly in peaceful conflict resolution. Africa's share of global foreign direct investment dropped miserably in the 1990s, which prompted the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, and the Economist Newsmagazine to declare Africa as a continent faced with "imminent economic disaster".

Maryland Youths Reject Representative (The Inquirer)
The Concerned Youth of Maryland County has sharply reacted to the election of Mr. Samuel Wilson to represent the county in the National Transitional Ligislative Assembly (NTLA.) The youth group said their decision to oppose the election of Mr. Wilson is predicated upon the fact that his nomination was done outside of political participation of the four nominating districts of that county: Harper, Pleebo, Karluway and Barrabo districts.

Liberian Lawyer Foresees Brighter Future for Liberia (The Inquirer)
A prominent Liberian lawyer, Cllr. Varney Sherman says he foresees a brighter future for Liberia, but pointed out that good leadership and good governance are sine quo non for transforming the country. Speaking on Sunday at the convocation exercises of the Cuttington University College(CUC) at the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street...
For The Record: We Need Answers
(By: Ramses K. Nah)
So many times in the history of this Republic, have so-called leaders/rulers come to power and we, the people, have no insight into their educational, financial and social standings. For the record, it is now time for full accountability from all who seek political offices in the Republic of Liberia. We, Liberians do not want, at the end of the day, to find these leaders building big houses in Paynesville, ELWA ro

Do You Reprint Anything and Everything as Long as it Seems Tantalizing? (Letter)
Do you reprint anything and everything as long as it seems tantalizing? The article about Mr. Ranney B. Jackson, Sr. and Mr. Mohammed S. Kromah seems like something straight out of a gossip column, if I ever saw one.

Liberian Rebels Block U.N. Deployment (Reuters)
Liberia's biggest rebel faction on Thursday stopped U.N. troops deploying into their territory outside the capital, Monrovia -- the latest setback in a checkered disarmament process.

Gyude Bryant
Why is Chairman Bryant so Impervious to Advice?
(By A. Sayku Kromah)
Mr. James Kollie's article "Above All Else, Jobs - Especially GOL jobs!!" is about the "War for Jobs" that forms the root cause of the Liberian vicious cycle of killings. Mr. Kollie's words will fall on deaf ears (like most of us). Ours is a society where rogues are honored, flamboyancy takes precedence over substance, and mediocrity thrives.

Jobs, Guns and Peace
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
Liberia Foreign Minister, Mr. Thomas Nimley-Yaya said that the memorandum signed by the warring factions and submitted to transitional President Gyude Bryant was not simply about jobs. He said it was about creating a new administrative environment where those who had been excluded are again participating in the process of running the government. We are not attempting to take jobs from people who have served their country for the past 13 years without pay, health benefits of anything of that sort.
Above All Else, Jobs - Especially GOL jobs!!
(James F. Kollie, Jr.)
A few months ago I authored an article on The Perspective web site in which I tried to ask a number questions including Chairman Bryant's power regarding firing of ministers appointed by warring factions and also the prosecution of people who have plundered our national wealth. I am not an experienced historian or writer but I have concerns, which I believed could help, in a minute way, shape the destiny of our country. I may not have all the words necessary to describe so eloquently my views, but I believe that I owe it to my conscience and prosperity to air my view no matter who is offended.

Patricia Toe: An Unsolicited Eulogy
(By: Ezekiel Pajibo)
One way I have taken in my need to get re-immersed in the "Liberian way of life" is to attend Mass regularly, to fellowship, to worship and for the inevitable - running into old acquaintances. But this Sunday, the sermon was as telling as it was relevant. My parish priest said that his sermon was being delivered with a "heavy heart." He said his heart was heavy because he just lost a best friend, a childhood friend, a schoolmate and a neighbour, he grew up with. He lost Patricia Toe. He did not mention her married name, the one that makes the woman belongs to a man. He did not even mention the fact that she was married and a mother of three. He remembered only that she was a close friend and that he had only last seen her the Thursday before her death.

"Leave the People's Thing Alone" or Mind Your Business!"
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
In my previous article entitled: "The Tax Collector and the Canoe Operator," published by The Perspective on December 9, 2003, I talked about an incident that occurred between a tax collector from Monrovia, and a Klao (Kru) man, whose duties it was to provide services for those that had to go across the Sanquin River. But when the Government official who was on an "important Government business" arrived at the crossing, he did not meet the Canoe Operator.

Liberia Ex-Soldiers Eye Disarmament Deal (AP)
MONROVIA, Liberia - Ex-soldiers from an elite military unit loyal to former President Charles Taylor demonstrated in Monrovia's streets Monday, demanding that they be eligible to receive cash in exchange for turning in their weapons.

UN Council Extends Liberia Sanctions Another Year (Reuters)
U.N. sanctions must stay in force in Liberia for now, despite an end to years of civil war, because the West African nation's government and economy remain in shambles, U.N. envoy Jacques Klein said on Monday.

UNMIL Team Visits Buchanan (The Inquirer)
The acting commander of MODEL forces in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, has expressed their readiness for the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) exercise in their controlled areas, but with some concerns.

Civil Society In Liberia Blasts Warring Parties (The Inquirer)
The Coordinating Council of the segmental groupings of Civil Society Organizations in Liberia says the "Memorandum of Understanding" between the former Government of Liberia (GOL), the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Liberia does not provide convincing clarification for peace in Liberia, and must be abandoned.
Confusion in Washington: Who Runs the Liberian Embassy (Part III)
"I am not aware of any letter of recall sent to Mr. Abdullah Dunbar and when we get back home, I will look into the issue and find out who wrote such a letter," the Minister of Foreign Affairs said when he spoke to us from Accra, Ghana where he was attending the annual ECOWAS Summit. The Minister was referring to two letters sent to Aaron Kollie at the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, D.C. regarding the confusion as to who is the Chargé d'Affairs at the Liberian embassy in Washington, D.C. The letters were dated December 15 and 16, 2003.
Elie E. Saleeby, Governor of Central Bank of Liberia
Looting Our National Coffer With Impunity?
(By: Theophilus Totee Bettie)
Nowadays, one can barely engage a fellow Liberian in a conversation over the current state of affairs of our country without arriving at a mutual desire: the need to bring to justice those warlords who raped, maimed, and slaughtered our fellow compatriots. As understandable as this may be, what is disconcerting is the lack of a comparable outrage that ought to be apportioned to a group of noncombatants equally culpable for the current misery of the Liberian people. This group comprises of those who have perfected the art of looting our national coffer with impunity.

UNMIL's Faux Pas

(By: Ezekiel Pajibo)
The decision by the United Missions In Liberia (UNMIL) to suspend the disarmament of militias in Monrovia until late January is most unwelcome news for Liberians who are anxious to rid their country of the thousands of weapons in the hands of individuals who would shoot before they ask questions or think. The fact that the disarmament process would not re-commence until after the holidays certainly will make Liberians more cautious in their desire to celebrate during the festive seasons. This is a huge damper.

Liberian Political Parties Threaten to Pull Out of Government (The Inquirer)
Nine of the country's 18 registered political parties have lashed at the three warring factions in the Liberian conflict of masterminding an attempt to relocate positions allotted to them under the comprehensive Accra peace accord.
Liberia: First Impressions
(By: Ezekiel Pajibo)
As the Air Weasua landed at Roberts International Airport, and the 16 seater Soviet built plane opened its rear door and passengers disembarked, the hot and humid wind of the South Atlantic hit my face and the sweat began to stream from my bald head down my face, I knew that at long last, I had arrived home, sweet home. I left on February 12, 1986 and was making my first trip to Liberia. I finally returned to the blessed land of Liberty. Strangely, a line from the Liberian national anthem came to mind: "…We will shout the freedom of a race benighted…"

Over 11,000 Liberian Fighters Disarmed So Far - UN (Reuters)
More than 11,000 Liberian fighters have given up their weapons, including 8,555 guns, since the start of a disarmament scheme meant to end 14 years of war, the United Nations said Wednesday.
Disarmament Day Two
(By: Ezekiel Pajibo)
On the evening of Tuesday, December 9th the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant in effect declared a state of emergency only slightly less than two months into his tenure, when he imposed a curfew from 10:00 P.M. - 6:30 A.M. This declaration underscores the difficult task in bringing peace to Liberia and the need for due diligence, careful planning, deliberative consultations and participatory processes to animate the implementation of the Comprehensive Accra Peace Agreement (CAP).

UN Gives reasons for Suspension of Disarmament in Liberia, But... (The Inquirer)
Amidst public outcry over the temporary suspension of the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration program(DDRRP), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says the suspension is timely. To disappointment of many Liberians, UNMIL recently announced that the cardinal part of the peace process, which is the DDRR, will be temporary suspended as of 2:00p.m. today. The DDRR exercise according to the UNMIL release will resume on January 20, 2004.

Mainland China to Renovate Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex (The Inquirer)
The People's Republic of China (Mainland China) has accepted in principle to carry out a comprehensive renovation of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, which lies in ruins due to its occupation by thousand of IDPs.

Charles Taylor Top Security Officer Kills Wife, Commits Suicide (The Inquirer)
A top officer of the Special Security Service(SSS) and one-time aide to former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, has murdered his wife and committed suicide, on 13th December in Monrovia. Mrs. Patricia Toe-Korvah, 28, was murdered on last Saturday at about 12 midnight by her husband Mr. William Korvah, also known as Bill, on suspicion of having an extramarital affair.

Disarmament Day One: Lessons Learnt
(By: Ezekiel Pajibo)
It appears that anything that could have gone wrong on the first day of disarmament did go wrong. A large number of disgruntled militias belonging to the defunct Government of Liberia were seen on the ELWA Road and in other areas including Paynesville, Congo Town and nearby locations menacingly brandishing their weapons and incessantly shooting "into the air." In the Paynesville area, near the red light, the shooting erupted during the daytime and was followed by a lull. At about 2300 hours the shooting began again and continue until dawn when it subsided. There was sporadic gunfire the following day and residents were exercising caution in going about their work. They were not necessarily panicked, not yet anyway.

New Deal's George Klay Kieh, Jr. Visits Liberia
(By Winsley S. Nanka)
Dr. George Klay Kieh, Jr. the New Democratic Alternative for Liberia (New Deal Movement) presidential aspirant visits Liberia on December 15, 2003 to participate in the national stabilization process in Liberia. In view of this, Dr. Kieh has reiterated his commitment as contained in a communication to Interim Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant "to offer his services to the interim government in whatever capacity that will help bring peace and stability to Liberia".

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Wants Three Major Reforms in Liberia (The Inquirer)
The Standard Bearer of the Unity Party (UP), Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has underscored the need for social, economic and political reforms in the country. In her keynote address delivered recently at the First commencement exercises of the Smythe Institute of Management and Technology in Monrovia, Madam Sirleaf discussed the three major reforms separately.

8,000 Combatants Disarm To UN In Liberia (The Inquirer)
Despite the two-day disruption of the DDRR program that formally commenced on 7 December, at the Camp Schieffelin cantonment site, UNMIL has disclosed that some 8,000 combatants were screened, whilst 4,002 weapons were collected at the site.

Confusion in Washington: Who Runs the Liberian Embassy? (Part II)
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
In a state of confusion, the messenger always gets the slap. So I did and I deserve it, because I put myself in the position of bringing to the public, in a Liberian web-magazine, a situation that has the potential of embarrassing our government. Rather than look at the issue, people jumped on me, wondering where and when I served as a journalist, questioning my moral integrity and my judgment. I received calls and emails asking "whose side I am on" as if I owed anyone any explanation about my political leaning.

UNMIL Alone Is Not Enough! Let's Involve The People
(By Gbe Sneh)
Disarmament is a nationwide campaign. Several articles by various writers articulated the importance of the involvement of the public in the process. Already we have seen the result of downplaying or perhaps ignoring this pivotal instrument of the engagement to get the ex-combatants to tender their weapons.

For The Love Of Country
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
The Holy Bible reminds us that "The desirable thing in earthling man is his loving-kindness" (Proverbs 19:22). In retrospect, acts of kindness rendered for the sake of love - are truly desirable. The "Loving-Kindness" referred to in the Bible is based on an already existing relationship, such as one founded on a prior act of kindness on the part of another,

UN Suspends Disarmament Exercises In Liberia (The Inquirer)
Following detailed discussions with Liberian political and military leaders, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) announces that the disarmament of ex-combatants and payments of an advance reinsertion allowance will continue until 2:00 p.m. of Wednesday, 17 December, and will resume after the holiday season on 20 January, 2004.

Who is the Lawful Chargé d'Affaires at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, DC?
(By Mohamedu F. Jones)
After reading the December 10 2003 story by Abdoulaye W. Dukulé captioned "Confusion in Washington: Who Runs the Liberian Embassy?" like many Liberians, I was particularly troubled by the events reported by this respected journalist. The story suggests that there is so much "confusion" at the Embassy, which to say the least, (is another thing to add to all the others) that is not good for our country. It is not precisely clear from the story whether Mr. Aaron Kollie or Mr. Abdullah Dunbar is the legitimate representative here in Washington.

Combatants In Monrovia Start Disarming Again, But... (The Inquirer)
Following two days of an abrupt disruption of the ongoing disarmament exercise that commenced on 7th December at the Camp Schieffelin cantonment site out side Monrovia, an overwhelming number of combatants submitted themselves on 12th December, ready to disarm.

Liberian Deputy Information Ministers at Confirmation Hearing (The Inquirer)
Deputy Minister for Administration-designate Bernard Waritay, at the Ministry of Information, says MICAT must at all times remain government's only mouthpiece.
Mr. Waritay said in order for its information dissemination system to be cohesive, responsible and proactive government must allow MICAT to effectively carry out its mandate.

Fifty-Four Vulnerable Women Training Skills Training At Displaced Center In Liberia (The Inquirer)
Several vulnerable women, sheltering at various IDPs centers in Montserrado and Bong counties were last Thursday, proud recipients of certificates after successfully completing a six- month intensive training in various disciplines. The training program, aimed at empowering the vulnerable women and making them productive citizens in the Liberian society, was organized and sponsored by the Concerned Christian Community (CCC), a leading local NGO in the country.
Liberian Government Imposes Curfew In Monrovia (The Inquirer)
The National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), has announced the imposition of a curfew beginning Tuesday, December 9th, 2003. The government's action comes in the wake of acts of vandalism by former GOL combatants as protest to demand incentives and other benefits before surrendering their weapons in the ongoing DDRR program.

ULAA Decries Unfolding Events in Monrovia
The Union of Liberian Association in the Americas, ULAA is deeply saddened by the unfolding events in Liberia that have threatened few months of relative stability since the signing of the Peace Accord on August 18th 2003 in Accra, Ghana by all parties to the Liberian conflict.

LURD Says Fighters Will Not Disarm, Until... (The Inquirer)
The Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) has warned that its fighters will not surrender their weapons, not even a bayonet to any peacekeeper until proper education on the disarmament process and the full package promised is made available.

U.N.Envoy Blamed For Recent Chaos In Monrovia (The Inquirer)
Speaker George Dweh of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) has blamed the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative to Liberia Jacques Paul Klein for the insecurity created in Monrovia by former GOL fighters during the start of the DDRR program.

Confusion in Washington: Who Runs the Liberian Embassy?
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
At a recent donors preparatory conference on Liberia in Washington, DC, after the State Department recognized the presence of the Liberian Chargé d'Affairs at the conference table, another voice rose in the back of the room and said: "My name is Abdullah K. Dunbar and I am the new Chargé d'Affairs and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of Liberia and I represent the government of Liberia." The whole room, filled with ministers and ambassadors from the United States government, European Union, Japan, China among others turned to look and then there was a moment of embarrassment. The question on every face in the room seemed to be: "Whom are we dealing with?"

Several Persons Killed, Others Wounded Outside Monrovia
(By: Josephus Moses Gray)
The violent protest that started in Paynesville on the second day of disarmament has taken the lives of several persons, while the looting of properties, harassment and intimidation of unarmed civilians in various parts of the capital continue. Despite of the presence of the United Nations Military Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the chaotic situation continues, leaving scores of persons dead, several wounded and properties looted and damaged. The situation is concentrated in the suburbs of Paynesville and its surrounding areas.

Nyanyan Gogh-manan: History, Migration And Government of the Bassa
(By Pianapue Kept Early)
In today's New Africa where wars and civil wars are the order of the day, Dr. Syrulwa Somah has provided a model that can end some of Africa's deadliest conflicts, if the leadership models put in place were applied in Africa. The model itself originates out of the Bassa cultural group, a Liberian ethnic group and that of the author. The book identifies other African nations where the Bassa people, a once nomadic cultural group, are concentrated.
Rights and the Politics of Fear and Violence
(By Tiawan Gongloe)
First, I want to thank Dr. Paul martin and his dynamic staff of the Center for the Study of Human Rights for inviting me to speak at this historic conference, marking the 25th Anniversary of the existence of the Center for the Study of Human Rights here at Columbia University in the City of New York.

The Tax Collector and the Canoe Operator

(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
In the 1940s, an incident occurred between a tax collector from Monrovia, and a Klao (Kru) man who provided services for those who had to go across the Sanquin River. In those days, some government officials such as district commissioners, tax collectors and constables had what in Liberia we referred to as "bad attitude" when dealing with those they regarded as "natives" or "country people," and this tax collector was one of those persons.

Liberian Fighters on Rampage After Gun Cash Offer (Reuters)
Liberian militia fighters smashed and hijacked cars in the capital Monrovia Tuesday and then raced to a disarmament camp, firing their guns in the air, after hearing they would be given hard cash for guns.

Scenes from December 7 Commencement of Disarmament - Photos by Josephus Moses Gray
UN Agencies, Relief Workers Flee Disarmament Site In Liberia (The Inquirer)
Barely 24 hours after the successful commencement of the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDRR) of about 40,000 combatants of the bloody and devastated war in the West African State of Liberia, several hundred fighters of the disbanded ex-president Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party-led government staged a violent protests in the suburbs of Paynesville, some 10 miles from the capital.

Several Hundred Fighters Start Disarming In Liberia (The Inquirer)
The process of disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) of Liberian combatants got off on good foot on Sunday, December 7th with several former Government of Liberia (GOL) militias turning in their weapons.

Catholic Bishop Wants Liberians to Stand Up For Principles (The Inquirer)
Catholic Archbishop Michael K. Francis has urged Liberians to cultivate the habit of taking the destiny of the country in their own hands. He said Liberians should stand up for principles and speak out against vices that could plunge the nation into chaos or to make it retrogress.

Over 2000 Vulnerable IDPs In Central Liberia Receive Food Assistance (The Inquirer)
The Concerned Christian Community (CCC), recently distributed rice, mixed soy blend, salt, underclothes, lappas, and enriched cooking oil to more than 2000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in central Liberia. The beneficiaries were the IDPs of Salala, Maimu II, and E. J. Yancy camps in Lower Bong County. The recipients are mainly sexually abused, battered, or otherwise affected women who are currently benefiting from CCC's Psychosocial and Skill Training Programs in targeted camps in the country.

"Disarmament is Key to Any Progress," says Minister Christian Herbert
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
The Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Mr. Christian Herbert was in Washington, DC last week to attend a preparatory meeting of a major donors conference scheduled for early February 2004 under the joint auspices of the US government and the United nations.

Deadlock in La Cote d'Ivoire: Implications for Liberia
(By Ezekiel Pajibo)
Recent news report that the Ivorian Government and the rebel forces have reached a deadlock in their negotiation to peacefully resolve their conflict is bad news for Liberia. The news is worsened by the fact that our government officials, at least publicly, appear to be disinterested in the diplomatic activities next door. About a week ago, ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana John Kufour convened a meeting in Accra to assist in resolving the impasse between President Laurent Gbagbo of La Cote d'Ivoire and the New Forces, as the rebel group is known. Liberia is not known to have participated in that meeting.

Liberian Fighters Begin Disarmament (AP)

CAMP SCHIEFFELIN, Liberia, Dec. 7 -- Thrusting their AK-47s in the air one last time, Liberia's fighters started surrendering weapons to United Nations peacekeepers Sunday, a major step toward ending 14 years of bloodshed and one of West Africa's most vicious conflicts.

Nigerian President: Turn Mr. Taylor Over to The UN War Crimes Court
(By Winsley S. Nanka)
The recent statement by the Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo that if the interim government requests that exiled brutal Liberian dictator Charles G. Taylor faces war crimes trial, Nigeria will honor the request and turn Mr. Taylor over for prosecution is intended to accomplish two things:

UNMIL Says Renewed Fighting In Central Liberia
(The Inquirer)
As December 7, the scheduled date for the commencement of disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) of combatants draws nearer, news about fighting in Nimba County has been reported in Monrovia.

Liberian Refugees in Ghana Honor Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (The Inquirer)
Liberian refugees in the Republic of Ghana recently bestowed a prestigious honor on Unity Party's Standard-bearer, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is described as the "Iron-lady of Liberian politics". According to a dispatch from the Buduburam Refugees Camp, outside Accra, the wonderful event which brought together hundreds of Liberian refugees and representatives of various organizations, was climaxed with the gowning of Madam Sirleaf.

Health Workers Still On Minister Coleman's Back (The Inquirer)
Contrary to claims by some officials of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia that Dr. Peter Coleman as Health Minister did not enter into any agreement with the Monrovia Developer and Management Corporation (MDMC) for the printing of Birth and Death certificates, documentary evidence, copies of which are in the possession of this paper, has proved otherwise.

Liberian Police Prepared To Respond to Armed Roberies In Monrovia
(The Inquirer)
In a bid to curb the wave of insecurity including armed robbery in Monrovia and its environs, the international police force of UNMIL in collaboration with the Liberia National Police (LNP), has taken a series of measures to arrest the situation.
Whatever Happened to the Watchdogs of Government
(By Ezekiel Pajibo)
Two recent announcements have got me thinking about the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the current Liberia transitional process and the re-creation of the new Liberian state. (In this piece, NGO is in reference to local Liberian non-governmental organizations.) The first has to do with the November 30, 2003 announcement by the Ministry of Finance of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation that is visiting Liberia from December 1-14, 2003. Among the list of names, i.e. stakeholders that the delegation is to meet, not one Liberian NGO was mentioned. I have yet to hear any protest from the Liberian NGO sector on this totally unacceptable practice.

Issues in the Transition
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
Dr. Alfred Kulah said he planned to return home soon and contribute whatever he can to the transition to peace. When asked what he thought of the chances of success of the Gyude Bryant government. Dr. Kulah said, "Bryant is between a rock and hard place. On the one hand, he is beholding to the warring factions who elected him and, on the other hand, he must assert himself as leader for a new Liberia, hungry for peace and everything else that comes with peace and stability and that means, jobs, education and health."

Firing procedure for a Civil War six pound cannon
Matilda Newport and the Miracle at Crown Hill
(By Mohamedu F. Jones)
I drafted the PRC Decree that ended Matilda Newport Day. In November 1980, I was a senior civil servant in the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs. A few months before, I had been a professional staff member of the National True Whig Party of Liberia. Dr. George Boley, the Minister of State, and Mr. Emanuel Shaw, Deputy Minister of State had sought me out in May 1980 to come to work in the Mansion, "for the good of our country." I had worked with Shaw and Boley the year before on a Task Force appointed by President Tolbert to reform the True Whig party, and by definition of the circumstances, the political process in Liberia

United Nations Intervention: An Opportunity for Peace in Liberia
(By Tiawan Gongloe)
Since the Liberian civil war started on December 24, 1989, there have been several efforts made by Liberians and the international community to find lasting peace. These efforts have largely led to periodic cessation of hostilities but not peace. The first initiative to bring peace to Liberia was led by the Interfaith Mediation Committee of Liberia, a group comprising of Muslim and Christian leaders of Liberia. The Economic Community of West African States led the second initiative. ECOWAS and the International Contact Group led the third initiative again on Liberia.

The Struggle this Time!
(By Jeremiah Jefferson Kringar Harris)
After almost fourteen years of constant warfare and internecine strife, the Dove of Peace suddenly hovers on the horizon of our woefully besaddened nation. As this divine messenger of peace majestically glides in the extraordinarily beautiful and brilliant African sunlit sky, the eyes of the Liberian people, glistened by years of tears, are locked in bewilderment and anticipation on this heavenly host, the bearer of good tidings and hope for our nation. The Dove of Peace firmly clasps in its golden claws, the message of peace.
What the Warlords Say
(By Ezekiel Pajibo)
The last weekend in November assumed a disquietude with the news that warring factions' representatives walked out of a meeting with United Nations official at which time issues related to Disarmament, Demobilization Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) were to be discussed. According to press accounts, the various warring factions are contending that unless and until they scoop all the jobs they believe they are entitled to they essentially would not disarm. The response from the UN is very heartening indeed.

Why Are You Drawing Back Now? Hand Over The Weapons And Let's Step Into The Political Arena
(By Gbe Sneh)
"The full package must be disclosed. It is not a hidden agenda. The people that are going to be disarmed must know what is in the package for them," Nimely said."All we want is that the (peace) accord should be respected by all parties and once that is respected, once the government is fully seated, we will be able to participate fully in the disarmament process." This one is by Cheaye Doe. (courtesy IRIN)

Côte d'Ivoire: "The War Is Not Yet Over" (ICG)
There are ominous signs that the Côte d'Ivoire peace process initiated in January 2003 has broken down. If the country goes back to war, it could well take all West Africa with it, endangering even recent progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

ULAA Board Opens Investigation into the Seating of Ranney Jackson on the NTLA
(By Sam Stevquoah)
December 3, 2003, Lowell, Massachusetts:-Members of the ULAA National Board of Directors will, this Friday, December 5, kick off investigations into the circumstances surrounding the seating of former ULAA Board Chairman Ranney B. Jackson on the National Transitional Legislative Assembly in the Republic of Liberia.

Chairman Bryant Nominates Several Persons (The Inquirer)
The Chairman of the NTGL, C. Gyude Bryant this week nominated the following individuals to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly for confirmation consideration.

"Liberia Is Still Rich In Minerals" -Says Min. Mayson (The Inquirer)
Lands, Mines and Energy Minister-designate Jonathan Mason has disclosed that Liberia still has huge deposits of mineral resources despite the past extensive mining of 35% - 40% of the country's iron ore deposits.

FAO, GOL Sign Over US$400,000 Projects (The Inquirer)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Liberia (GOL) have signed two projects totaling US$478,000.

British Government To Assistance Liberia
(The Inquirer)
The Government of Great Britain has promised to provide assistance to Liberia in a number of areas in the reconstruction process of the country.

Women Want Action Against Gender Violence Violators (The Inquirer)
Gender and Development Minister-designate, Mrs. Vabah Gayflor, wants the transitional government and the international community along with all peace-loving Liberians and human rights advocacy groups in Liberia, to ensure that the rights of women are protected and respected and that perpetrators of violence against women are brought to justice.

Brumskine Wants Land Reform Law (The Inquirer)
Liberian Unification Party's presidential aspirant, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine says there will be land-reform law in the country.
Mah Sarah's Birthday
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
It was over the Thanksgiving weekend at a party for Ms. Sarah Sawyer, in Silver Spring, Maryland. As usual, on these occasions, there were tens of Liberian professionals. I counted at least 5 former ministers, all well-oiled professionals, a former president and scores of young people who could have all been in Liberia, were not for the decades of folly we imposed on ourselves and our people in the name of "liberation." Every liberation movement brought its own lot of miseries, death and exile.

U.S. Gov"t, Catholic Bishops, Several Others Denounce Liberian Warring Groups (The Inquirer)
The walk-out by representatives of the three warring factions from the maiden meeting of the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration(NCDDRR) last Thursday, has provoked a barrage of condemnations from several quarters.

Stop The Violence Against Women (The Inquirer)
"If we can stop violence at home, it will be the start of peace in the world," asserts UNHCR Deputy Rep. Martin Bucumi at programs marking the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women on 25 November, 2003 at the Banjor refugee camp, outside Monrovia.

Two Liberian Students Top West African Examinations (The Inquirer)
Finally, the Monrovia National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has released the names of students who made exceptional marks by topping the 2001/2002 Liberia Senior High School Certificate examinations.

U.S. Based NGO Assesses Humanitarian Situation In Central Liberia (The Inquirer)
A mission from the United States-based International relief and humanitarian organization, Mano River Relief and Development Network (MRRDN) last week paid a one-day visit to the embattled county of Nimba to assess the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the area. Nimba is situated in Central Liberia.

The Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas is Shocked by News of the Walk Out by the Three Warring Factions
The Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas, Inc. was shocked by news of the three warring factions to the Liberian conflict walking out of the inaugural meeting of the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration. The Commission is charged with the responsibility of disarming all combatants under the Accra Peace Accord that brought the current interim government of Liberia to power.

HIV/AIDS in Africa: Politics, Policies, Programs and Logistics
By Chinua Akukwe)
The UNAIDS 2003 update on the AIDS crisis in Africa paints a gloomy picture after more than two decades of battling the epidemic: 26.6 million Africans live with HIV/AIDS; Southern Africa account for 30% of all HIV/AIDS in world while representing only 2% of the global population; Africa is the only region where more women than men live with HIV, with highest disparities among the 15-24 age group; less than 1% of all infected Africans have access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy; a mere 1% of pregnant women in countries with the highest rates of HIV have access to proven strategies that can drastically reduce mother-to-child transmission, although 95% of such transmissions occur in Africa; and, two countries, Botswana and Swaziland have at least 39% of their adult population living with HIV/AIDS.

Putting the Matilda Newport Myth to Rest - Part I
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
Liberian history is replete with accounts of heroism on the part of Americo-Liberians (Settlers), and accounts of cowardice on the part of Native-Liberians (the aborigines). And it is this slanted view of Liberian history, and this false sense of heroism and cowardice that have been the main source of conflict amongst generations of Liberians on either side of the political and social divide, and undermined true patriotism and nationalism in Liberia.

The Controversy of the Legendary Matilda Newport
By Theodore Hodge)
No sooner had I learned how to read, I was introduced to the legend of Matilda Newport, the heroine who purportedly used a single piece of coal from her pipe to light a canon that exploded and killed a multitude of advancing hostile natives, whose apparent intention it was to wreck havoc on a settlement peopled by peace-loving pioneers - immigrants newly arrived on the Liberian coast. From the point of view of some 'historians', this one act of bravery and heroism may have saved the union - the Liberian union, that is.

Breaking The Chains in Liberia (The New York Sun)
Tiawan Gongloe, a lawyer and torture victim in exile from Liberia, was in town to receive a much-deserved award from Human Rights Watch last night. He stopped by The New York Sun to discuss the situation in Liberia and remind us all of America's unfinished business in West Africa.Over and over, as if reciting a mantra, Mr. Gongloe emphasized the two things that his country desperately requires: respect for human rights, and the rule of law. There are only 200 attorneys in Liberia, no independent judiciary to speak of, and a small number of newspapers that are subject to intimidation and worse by the tens of thousands of armed soldiers, many of them children, who still control large swaths of the country.