Bethesda, Ouagadougou, and Alhaji Kromah: a rejoinder to "Sharing the blame for Our present Mess (part 1)"

By: Abdullah Tombekai Kiatamba

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 18, 2002

The need to critically examine the fundamental questions that are unique to the Liberian tragedy has never been important.

It seems that anytime solutions are proffered, they tend to evoke more questions than answers. Some solutions, if one takes a closer look, point to more of an exercise in vicious political labeling and an attempt at elevating the vice of prejudice to the pedestal of truth than consolidation of efforts aimed at reaching a reasonable and realistic end to our national quagmire.

The article penned by Brother James W. Harris provides a particularly interesting reading in revealing the forces at work in this respect (article posted by the Perspective website, July 22, In the article ( , Brother Harris misleads his audience by giving the impression that he has in his possession the authoritative and exclusive panacea to the Liberian tragedy. The article borders on the discussion of everything as it does on substantively nothing. He actually said a whole lot. It would therefore take more than a single response to address all of the disparagements that emanate from that divisive piece. But let me bring into sharp focus what I think is the quintessential elements of his presentation.

The supposedly learned journalist contends that the involvement of the present breed of national leaders in the search of peace in Liberia is potentially dangerous in and of itself and that their lacking of legitimacy in handling or in forming consensus around issues of national priority theoretically disqualifies them from further participating in the process of national healing and renewal.

To understand Brother Harris' argument is to understand the targets of his vicious diatribe. I should like to name some of the Personalities and organizations he lambasted. At the individual level, he mentioned the Brumskines, the Johnson-Sirleafs, the Sawyers, the Kromahs (Harris No.1 enemy?), the Wotorsons, and the Greaves (Harry Greaves, jr.), among others. He was, as he has always been, generous in the distribution of the " national blame". He even faulted political parties and civic organizations, including the Association of Female Lawyers. He interestingly doled out charges like candies to all these "illegitimate organizations"(inferred emphasis placed in parenthesis are mine) that failed to assemble refugees from Bujumbura camp in Ghana, to John camp in Danane, before discussing about Liberia. The blanket accusations and charges that defined his vulgar rage ranged from "Sawyer serving as a praise singer for Blaise Campoare" to the questioning of the collective motive of key opposition figures in those discussions. By extension, he directed his slanderous charges at those whom he claimed were responsible for his being kicked out of a conference (Bethesda) and at the basis of accommodating people like the Kromahs at the "discussion table" (the calumny against Kromah and his anger at being kicked out of a conference were contained in the Part 2 of his "treatise").

Mr. Harris made a focused reference to participants involved in both the Bethesda Conference and the Ouagadougou meeting. It could be said, however, that he had particular targets in mind when he developed his argument to a different level as reflected in Part 2 of his article "Sharing the blame for our present mess". Since my attention should be trained on Part 1, I shall try avoiding the temptation of veering off to the contents of Part 2, except when elements in the latter substantially reinforce element or elements in the former.

The implications of such argument can be variously defined. For the purpose of this piece, I would like to categorize his position into three main segments: The question of legitimacy or the contention on authority. Second, the character questions surrounding "key" opposition figures, and how their "dismal records" potentially spell disaster for the ongoing process of national healing. The third element is the Kromah factor. This constitutes a factor in itself since Mr. Harris, in all of his writings, places premium on Alhaji Kromah as a politically convenient object of what is evidently a deep-seated prejudice.

First, his legitimacy argument is premised on the following points: 1) "Liberian people have yet {much yet} to finally determine who their real leaders are", and since most of them are languishing in refugee camps and in shantytowns near Monrovia, anything done outside their consent is considered illegitimate (emphasis mine). Journalist Harris’ second premise on the legitimacy question appears to be rooted in the conviction that because elections are not enough in themselves, any decision or leadership that is derived from them, cannot claim to carry legitimate authority or cannot claim to represent the interests and welfare of the Liberian people. Based on these supporting premises, he concludes,"And to know that the whole DESTINY of our country still lies in the bloodstained hands of some of these heartless souls is just unacceptable, depressing and heart wrenching".

Here, as in many parts of his piece, he single-handedly rejects the authority or legitimacy of these leaders without involving the refugees and the Liberians in shantytowns near Monrovia for whom he implicitly claims to represent. The question that arises is: what authorities have you not to involve the refugees in the rejection of these leaders? How come it is wrong for our national leaders to make decision without the endorsement of refugees and other Liberians, and you are here making grand proclamations in isolation of the very refugees you purport to speak for. It is fair to say then that I am using his own standard to understand what he really means. So, the right to determine authority or legitimacy is the exclusive domain of Mr. Harris and the forbidden terrain of the Brumskines and the Kromahs?

I am further astounded by the way in which he places Thomas Jefferson in middle of such a misguided presentation. He carelessly throws in Thomas Jefferson without sufficiently conceptualizing the true meanings of his (Jefferson) statement or at least logically situating it in the appropriate manner. In these words he averred: "But even Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers and preeminent advocate of democratic principles and values, did not consider elections to be THE first priority for establishing a democracy, particularly, when the nation is bitterly divided like ours". Clearly, He wants us to believe that because Jefferson said it, it is right or it can be directly applied to the Liberian situation.

What is the basis of this assumption? Maybe because the word Liberia is written close to the words Jefferson and elections. His bringing in of Jefferson is what authorities (authorities of philosophy) sometimes refer to as an "appeal to authority". This, without doubt, is a futile appeal to authority. For, it only exposes the weakness of his argument when he hides behind Thomas Jefferson to throw stones. The strength of his legitimacy or authority argument is clearly reflected in these words "And the evidently weary international community should be warned before hand that the whole question of leadership for Liberia has yet to be settled as LIBERIAN PEOPLE-many of whom are now driven cruelly into the various refugee camps, bushes in the country's vast interior, shanty towns near Monrovia, etc-are the only ones that can make the determination. And so far, they really haven't been given the opportunity to do so-no, not yet!"

Let us quickly give some shapes to the content of the second argument. The Second argument is the character argument, and it highlights how the "dismal political and leadership credentials" of participants at those two conferences provide sufficient condition in themselves to spell disaster for the country. What baffles me is his failure to establish a casual link between the "dismal political spreadsheets" of participants of both conferences and how those "disappointing records" negatively or directly affect the outcomes of those meetings. Rather, he opted to pursue arguments that are totally removed from the painstaking analysis that befits a work of a real professional journalist. In looking at this argument, we see that Mr. Harris is not interested in analyzing issues but interested in unleashing scathing condemnations against a cross-section of Liberians who invested their valuable time in the hope of changing the lamentable conditions of a brutalized people seeking for the Liberia of their dreams and of their hopes. Scrolling down his words we hear the echo: "What are witnessing today in the seemingly endless Liberian crisis is simply a charade of failed politicians and diehard opportunists who would stop at nothing to accomplish their selfish aims, i.e., keeping their niche in the collapsed country without "clearly" providing a plan by which it {Liberia} could quickly pull itself out of the present mess that it is in. Frankly, don't you think the country would have been reclaimed by now and fast on its way to full recovery if those in the opposition had anything better to offer? But the fact is, they surely don't! All they seem to be fixated on are elections, elections and elections to give themselves some legitimacy in order to enable them to further plunder the nation and squander its wealth {valuable resources} for their personal gains." How did Brother Harris arrive at his conclusion?

We can now confidently infer that inorder to support his second argument, Brother Harris desperately sought refuge in many laughable evidences. At one important point he insisted that the objectives of participants at both conferences were, "Keeping their niche, and using the elections to give themselves legitimacy in order to plunder the nation's wealth". In another area, he shouted, "If they thought that their latest conferences in Bethesda and Ouagadougou would have salvaged their bad image or correct certain negative impressions about them, then they've obviously failed". What evidence or what prove does Brother Harris have to support these assertions?

Should we abandon the search for peace because participants at meetings are all "stigmatized" with some sort of "skeletons in their closets"? Should tens of thousands of Liberians be deprived of representation at conferences because Mr. Harris is not comfortable with their leaders? Should Mr.Harrris concern himself with how consensus is generated or which leader should be present?

The third element is the Kromah factor, the factor that has never ever escaped his rhetorical bayonet. He raises a litany of issues around the character composition and around the involvement of Alhaji Kromah in the Liberian peace process. We will attempt to identify his problems with Alhaji Kromah after we shall have addressed the first and second arguments respectively.

Before proceeding to probe each of his claims, let me hasten to accentuate our agreements. I agree that we must engage in sustained questioning of our political leaders, the basis of their policy formation, and the level of involvement in the composition of a national agenda; I affirm that we should fearlessly raise alarms when we find out that few persons are selfishly determined to squeeze success from an exercise that is expressly intentioned on advancing the general good; I concur that we must make certain that our political leaders don't mistake their limited authority for license to do whatever is needed to advance personal goals. We agreed on these points, and I am proud to acknowledge such convergence of positions.

Now, let us endeavor to review his arguments on a point-by-point basis, beginning with argument one.Mr.Harris has not proven to understand the basic concept of legitimacy, let alone apply it to the issue under consideration. This I find extremely disappointing for a man who wants to come across as a well-rounded journalist. It does not matter that in addressing such issues one has to provide working definitions to relevant concepts. It matters only when he can escape the responsibility of doing so, and then go on the reckless speed of casting aspersions on the intents of people without substantiating them.

But let us briefly look at the concept of authority or legitimacy in a brief theoretical framework. It is clear that Brother Harris is referring to the sources and basis of legitimacy if one looks at the context in which he uses the term. We will therefore pick up from that point. What are the sources of legitimacy and/or authority? Theoretically speaking, legitimacy and/or authority can be derived from many sources. It can be generated from consensus or agreements to elections or referendums. In a narrower sense, we are taking about the "consent-based theory of authority or legitimacy". This theory is essentially rooted in the idea that the authority to lead or represent resides in the consent of a people in a community or in an organization, etc. Consent could be expressed in elections or shown in other forms of generally acceptable mechanisms .It is worth noting, however, that there is a thin line between the two concepts. In our case, as in most cases, we can interchangeably wield the two terms.

An elected leader carries authority and legitimacy. An endorsed representative possesses some level of authority or legitimacy. The extent to which one exercises that authority or legitimacy is often determines by some rules/agreements or laws, or the combination of both. Although by deriving a consent from the approval of the people, either through elections or through general approbation, does not necessarily give a leader a "carte blanche" in making absolute decisions in the interests of the people. While that is established, it is still the heads of these groups (interest groups or communities) who are the primary and legitimate representatives of their institutions.

An authority can be also be derived from knowledge. A medical doctor in a particular field has a greater authority to recommend solutions to health problems than a Harris whose only expertise is being a nursing assistant at an Old folks home in the state of Georgia (No veiled reference to Brother James Harris). If Mr. Harris thinks that these leaders lack legitimacy on account of their failure to honestly represent the interests of their people or on account of their "indifference to the welfare of the Liberian people", he must prove it by evidences, rather than reckless charges.

Sadly, he shamelessly assumes that his audience would understand the concept not by definition, but by mere application of it to distorted events. This is a colossal betrayal of the cherished profession of journalism, a profession that attaches values to painstaking analysis and interpretation.

By way of information, some or most these people (representatives at these two conferences) carry lot of authorities. They represent political organizations, social movements, and civic organizations with real political clouts; they lead large segments of the Liberian population, some of whom are languishing in refugee camps, shantytowns, etc.; they advance topical policy agendas and approaches that constitute paradigms in the Liberian political equation.

Even before the 1997 elections, interest groups of different shades established leadership structures empowered to foster their various interests. Those leaders are legitimate now as they were before (except when new leadership emerged). If the 1997 elections are any measurement to determine who are legitimate opinion leaders, then, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first runner-up, and, Alhaji Kromah, the Second runner-up, are needed ingredients in any serious discussion on Liberia. The list could continue from important people like Cletus Wotorson, head of a coalition of more than five political parties, to Dr.Amos Sawyer, a rich source of theoretical guidance in understanding the pulsating beats of the complexities of the Liberian conflict

It is getting clearer that each source of legitimacy or authority (consent and knowledge in our case) can claim any one of these participants as its own. It does not require a PhD in political philosophy to understand that most of the people Brother Harris referred to embody authority or legitimacy derived from both "authority based on consent and authority based on knowledge".

At one point Mr. Harris questioned the lack of legitimacy, and at another point, he attached nefarious intents to any attempt aimed at deriving the very legitimacy he demanded. What is he really thinking? Did participants at these conferences contend that elections are the only means to salvage Liberia from drifting asunder? Is it a bad thing to demand that necessary or enabling environment be created before the holding of elections? Is it too much for him to stomach the demands that are being made on Mr. Taylor? Does he feel offended by that? If not, then what is his contention?

In essence, Mr. Harris is telling us that when an inferno or a fire rages a house, a neighbor needs an authority derived from consent before attempting to put off the fire. According to his theory, derivation of consent should be preferred to the saving of lives. But how would a neighbor get this consent when the sources of the very consent are all burning in the fire. That a man who fancies himself as a "trained and sophisticated journalist" would risk his reputation by engaging in such a bizarre claim is absurd.

So, he angrily demands that these leaders fulfill his requirement for legitimacy and at the same time insist that even the fulfillment of such requirement is not enough .He is evidently attempting an unprecedented assault on a much-needed unity and conducting the political equivalent of driving his perceived opponents across the river and burning the bridge behind them.

Beyond the philosophical and theoretical speculations, every Liberians has a right to participate in any conference, whether directly or indirectly. Every Liberian has a stake in the fate of Liberia. Legitimacy or no legitimacy, the involvement of Liberians from all political shades should be highly appreciated and openly welcomed. We need as much participants as possible in developing the path to a better Liberia. At the same time, we cannot afford to wait for the representation of every single Liberian before proceeding with the search of an acceptable and realistic approach as to how we can rescue Liberia from the throes of war, the abyss of international isolation, and the slough of economic exploitation. I even believe that the NPP-led government should be invited to all conferences because we need to save Charles Taylor from himself, as we need to save the Liberian people from the ruthlessness of his mischief.

To waste precious energy responding to the second arguments, having dealt with it in many different ways, would be the equivalent of falling prey to cheap distraction and burying myself in the rubbles of redundancy. But let me just make few remarks regarding that argument. By now, we know that Brother Harris has not presented a shred of evidence to prove that participants at those conferences intentioned their involvement on creating conditions for the exploitation of Liberia. Is exploitation of Liberia or the creation of a political “niche” for each of the major participants reflected in the final resolutions or is it shown in the way proposals were made? What is the point Brother Harris? I don't get it!

In this same argument, he rambled about how the "so-called opposition" failed in their desire to use the conference to salvage their "tainted images". Let us address this point with an example. Assume for a moment that a father's image is tainted, as the result of playing a poor fatherly role in a home. Is it wrong for him (the father) to assume the true role of a father by cementing that filial bond and engaging in activities that fulfill the requirements of an ideal father? If this is the case, as he (Harris) clearly suggests, who benefits? The answer is resounding: the home benefits; the wife benefits; and the children benefit. In the case of Liberia, if our national Leaders now realized that they have not done enough or have blundered in the past and are now determined to reverse the effects of the past, who benefits? Liberia benefits; refugee Liberians benefit; and Liberians in shantytowns benefit. What is your claim Brother Harris?

There are several indications pointing to the fact that most of these participants are potentially checking one another so much so that if anyone desires to tread a partisan or mischievous path, an alarm would be sounded very quickly. There is inherent check-and- balance with the kind of representations and discussions that are taking place. Few may attempt, as history has shown, to overshadow or attempt to marginalize others, but such plan is likely to fail as it emerges. This is the kind of incisive speculation I expected Brother Harris to immerse himself in as a "schooled journalist".

I have learned one thing: some people are always unhappy when opponents who are at each other's throat attempt to resolve their differences and move ahead. Perhaps nothing explains this malady than the fact that when a united front is created, the fifth columnists in the ranks of the opposition would go out of business. Like sycophants, they don't thrive when there is no antagonism or when there is no social cleavages to exploit. We should avoid succumbing to this kind of mindset, Brother Harris. I am excited that leaders of the opposition are closing ranks and constructing the united front needed to battle against the entrenched forces of backward social arrangement in Monrovia. I am indeed exhilarated. I salute them all. I kowtow to Cletus Wotorson, Charles Brumskine, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Alhaji Kromah, Harry Greaves, jr., Dr.Marcus Dahn, and others for initiating this worthy cause. I also hope that a man like Dr.H. Boimah Fahnbulleh would join this great effort for he has proven to display an uncanny familiarity with the destructive undercurrents and the chameleonic personalities that are always predisposed to reverse the gains of such forward-looking movements.

We need to put the apostles of bigotry out of career; we need put the high priests of prejudice out of relevance; we need to put the peddlers of gloom and doom out of the way.

Finally, the Kromah Factor. Of late, as if inspired by some partisan agenda, certain individuals have sought to selectively demonize Alhaji Kromah in their writings. We can understand the anger of many people when it comes to how things went in Liberia during the war. What we cannot understand is the extend to which certain people are predisposed to sacrifice the overall good of the greatest number in the process of feeding the passion of their prejudice

It is absolutely clear by now that Paul Japheth Sunwabee [] and Brother James W.Harris have opted to make career out of insulting and demonizing Alhaji Kromah.Their main claims are that Mr.Kromah as a "warlord" is involved in the peace process and that he is getting very vociferous on national issues. Is it wrong for Alhaji Kromah with a huge constituency made of diverse group of Liberians be denied the right to participate in meetings which are focused on catapulting Liberia to a greater height?

The term warlord or the role of being a warlord is not necessarily negative. The term has historical roots and, and in the Liberian context, a social construct. Some great men in history were warlords. Napoleon Bonaparte was a great warlord. The legendary Almamy Samoury Toure, who courageously challenged the racial subordination, which accompanied French imperialist expansion in West Africa, was a warlord. We could go on and on. The meaning one attaches to term is all that makes it good or bad.

When people are slaughtered on the basis of their tribal origins or on the basis of their religious beliefs, and are driven from the homes, they have the right to self-defense. When an ethnically diverse group of Liberians are thrown into refuges camps and chased to those very camps and butchered, and they see no existing means of seeking redress or justice, they have the right to self-defense. The right to self-defense is natural as it is universal. It is not the aggressors who should determine how victims should respond to injustice and wholesale destruction. No way! It is right to of victims to do whatever is necessary to protect their lives and the lives of their fellow compatriots.

The emergence of UlIMO was a legitimate expression of this fact of life. We all regret the death of innocent lives, the destruction of valuable properties and the mass displacement of Liberians during the civil war. It is absolutely unacceptable to victimize innocent people whether your cause is just or not. This we must condemn at all times even with guns at our heads.

Many terrible things happened during the war, some overzealous Mandingoes killed Lormas; some heartless Lormas encouraged the mass slaughter of Mandingoes; some programmed Gios decimated Krahns; many Americo-Liberians toasted glasses of wine in Abidjan over the impending fall of Monrovia during the Octopus (1992 NPFL's attack on Monrovia). And the list goes on. When Taylor unleashed his brutal arsenal against defenseless Liberians, particularly certain ethnic groups, many Liberians chose to remain silent because they wanted Samuel Doe out at all costs. Many of them contributed "few thousands of dollars" to lubricate NPFL's machines (NPFL: National Patriotic Front of Liberia), and those lubricated wheels marched on the irreplaceable lives, the valuable properties and the nostalgic future of countless number of Liberians and foreigners alike. What we see here is collective guilt.

A very dear friend told me that she would never ever like to see Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf because she (Ellen) admitted contributing to Taylor's calamitous war. When I asked her why, she said, "A seed fund is far more a vital support than any subsequent financial assistance". She is convinced to those who provided the original fund to Charles Taylor actually created the chaos in which we are engulfed. Her father, the late Boimah Kiawu, was among the first martyrs of Taylor's reckless bravado (May his soul rest in peace).

But we don't need to look at the issue from such a parochial perspective. While we need to admit what happened, we don't need to chain ourselves to our dark past. A truth and reconciliation commission could perhaps better serve the purpose than the futility of finger pointing. We are only shouting at Taylor because he refuses to see beyond today, and because he thinks his Machiavellian tactic of inspiring fear in the people holds the key to the future.

Charles Brumskine remained an unrepentant member of the NPFL when Taylor was proving how reckless he could be in plunging Liberia into a seemingly irredeemable dilemma. He even vehemently opposed the restructuring of the Security apparatus, an apparatus that has now practically turned Liberia into an abattoir. He learned his lessons and he is now fully involved in reversing some of the effects of those dispositions. Should we frown upon his desire to help lift Liberia up? Should we alienate him from contributing to the national dialogue as resourceful as he has proven to be lately? The answer would be an overwhelming NO.

If we decide to elevate the blame game to another level, many heads would roll, including some of our "critical journalists". Many observers could not come to terms with some of the names that were confessed when Rwanda decided to "spoil the thing". Is this the route we intend to take?

Jesus Christ is truly a guiding example for us to follow. In St.John Chapter 8,Verse 7,Jesus said to the Pharisees, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". The Pharisees had come to ask that an adulterous lady be stoned to death because it was enshrined in Moses' law that the price for adultery was death.

Some of us remain grateful to the positive roles played by ULIMO at particular points in our civil war. Though we were not members of ULIMO, we can defend the truth, whether it is politically fashionable or not. It is undeniable that when the NPFL launched its unprovoked and unwarranted attack against the civilian population in Monrovia, ULIMO drained men from some of its strategic frontlines to protect the lives and properties of defenseless Liberians of all ethnic, religious, and political affiliations. We used to say thank God for Ecomog, thank God for Black Beret, and thank God for ULIMO.

There is almost an overwhelming consensus that the presence of ULIMO decidedly conditioned Taylor to take the democratic route. When the myth about the impregnability of Gbarnga was stretched to legendary heights, the gallant forces of ULIMO, and later, the coalition forces, heroically stormed it, and consequently, forced Taylor to see the wisdom of investing in the peace process. These are great achievements by the men you referred to as "thugs". Alhaji Kromah, the "warlord", ordered his men to defend the city and its inhabitants with their lives. Was that a tribal struggle? . Those soldiers died in the conviction that it is better to die fighting for justice than to live without freedom.

When Ecomog soldiers were being dehumanized in Gbarnga as hostages, the "Islamic thugs" rescued and delivered them safely to the field commander of Ecomog.This is nothing but the truth. I challenge anybody to refute these claims, PhDs or DhPs.

I have always maintained that ULIMO cannot excuse itself for reprehensible acts some of its members may have committed. The leadership has to take responsibility and say exactly what happened in each of those instances. But equally, it is regrettable the way the way in which some Lormas allowed themselves to be used by Taylor to dehumanize Mandingoes and then aggravate the problems that might have existed between Mandingoes and Lormas in Lofa.

ULIMO consisted of different kinds of people. I came to realize that bulk of the command structure was made of guys who were engaged in a variety of productive endeavors before the Liberian Civil war, ie.drivers, traders, tailors, and students. On the other hand, there were fighters who were common criminals and regular "bad boys". While a vast majority of them were focused on the big picture, the criminals and regular "bad boys" were interested in loots and using the opportunity to do their own thing. I would think, like most objective observers have concluded, that problems created by the latter elements (criminals and bad boys) seemed to have conflicted with the true aims of ULIMO.This understanding has, in many instances, come to blur the perspectives of many seekers of truth who have attempted to appreciate ULIMO's achievements.

It would be a grievous misreading of history for anyone to suggest that Alhaji Kromah ordered or sanctioned any act of vengeance or killing as head of ULIMO. I can't imagine anyone saying such thing unless out of ignorance or prejudice. Many social scientists are keen in distinguishing between what is referred to as "Crimes of Obedience" from individual crimes against civilians. Crimes of obedience take place when morally reprehensible acts committed by subordinates are ordered or sanctioned by their authority, or at least consciously ignored by such authority. There is no evidence whatsoever that Alhaji Kromah ordered the death of innocent civilians on account of their ethnic affiliations or on the basis of their religious beliefs.

If one takes time to study the history of many legitimate armed movements, one would find out that these organizations sometimes victimize some innocent people in the process of protecting the very people. This has been the vexing predicament of most just wars-violating a value in defense of values.

The question that comes out of all of this is why Mr. Kromah is being singled out as a target? Is it because he is a Mandingo and a Muslim? I am beginning to suspect that since elections are getting nearer potential rivals are using their hard-edged surrogates to deliver the "elimination punches" against their perceived opponents.

I have not read any objective or incisive analysis advanced by Paul Japheth Sunwabee and Brother James W.Harris.I have yet to see even one example of intellectual honesty, let alone anything resembling the search of truth. All I have read are lies, distortions, and self-serving myths. They have exposed themselves for who they really are: spiteful propagandists inspired by prejudice and sustained by nefarious objectives.

About the author: Abdullah Tombekai Kiatamba is a student reading Philosophy and Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. He worked with the National Disarmament and Demobilization commission (NDDC) in Liberia, and was actively involved in the disarmament and demobilization of combatants.

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