New Deal Appeals for International Solidarity

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 3, 2002

Since the arrest of Mr. Nigba Wiaplah, Acting National Chairman of the New DEAL Movement on Wednesday, March 27, 2002, a new wave of arrests has followed in Liberia, this time involving the leading human rights activists, Aloysius Toe and the staff of the Movement for the Defense of Human Rights (MODHAR), which is based at the Center for Human Rights in Liberia. Aloysius Toe is the Director of MODHAR and the Project Officer for Amnesty International in Liberia. He was arrested on Thursday, March 28, 2002 along with Tunny Zoegar, the Administrative Secretary of the Center for Human Rights. Others being detained from the human rights community are Peter Nichoson, John Okai and Samuel Nelson. Up to this time, none of the detainees have been formally charged by the Government of the Republic of Liberia.

Much like the circumstances under which Mr. Wiaplah was arrested, the apparent reason for the arrest of Aloysius Toe was his boldness in questioning the basis for the illegal detention of Nigba Wiaplah, the Acting National Chairman of the New DEAL Movement. The message contained in the simultaneous attack on the political opposition and the human rights community is that the Liberian Government is inclined to breaking down all popular and legitimate non-governmental institutions in order to remove every possible means of protection standing between Government and the ordinary people of the country. By atomizing the country in this way, citizens of Liberia will then become more vulnerable to direct threats, intimidation, illegal arrests and possible elimination. In addition, the atmosphere of insecurity is expected to intensify the mass exodus of Liberians, leaving the country to the arbitrary rule of the National Patriotic Party of Mr. Charles Taylor.

It is the position of the New DEAL Movement that the path to chaos and anarchy being paved by the Taylor administration will serve no interest in Liberia or the West African sub-region. We note that there are diverse means by which a people can choose to change any political administration or maintain same. Our choice of the democratic path in these times is well contemplated and very deliberate. We have reached the conclusion that the level of struggle pursued by any serious and responsible political organization should be informed by the disposition, will, or mandate of the popular masses. We believe that lasting peace and stability can be achieve if the popular mandate of the Liberian people ultimately become the basis for leadership selection, and if the people are brought into the center of decision making and the implementation of programs on those social and economic questions that affect their lives. Our movement and those who support the democratic agenda in Liberia are under attack because recent developments in the political field indicate very poor electoral prospects for the National Patriotic Party of Mr. Charles Taylor. National Elections in Liberia are scheduled for 2003.

Against this background, the New DEAL Movement hereby appeals to all men and women of goodwill in Liberia and abroad, the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Heads of State and Governments of Africa, The United Nations Organization, the European Union, the Government of the United States of America, all democratic political organizations and social movements, and every agency concerned with peace building in the world to intervene in Liberia and secure the release of Nigba Wiaplah, Aloysius Toe and other political detainees. We stand in need of solidarity because we will not respond to the avalanche of state brutality by leaving Liberia. We will persist in the mobilization of the Liberian people toward the capture of state power within the framework of the constitution of the Republic of Liberia. We will participate in and win the forthcoming elections in order to make Liberia a better place for all to live. This prospect of electoral victory on the part of the New DEAL Movement is the actual basis for the cowardly attack on the leadership of the Movement and the critical observers in the human rights community.

Signed: Alaric Tokpa
Chairman of the New Democratic Alternative for Liberia Movement (The New DEAL Movement)

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