Re-Opening The Old Wounds, Are They Prepared?

By Wellington Geevon-Smith

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 26, 2002

Somewhere down memory lane a nursery rhythm says "stakes and stones may break my bones but words cannot." Life in today's world is quite different. Words, especially hit speech, has been the cause of most evils, civil wars, massacre, division, and destruction of the human race than in any period in history. Rwanda is a case study.

Our country from 1989 got its fair share, [as a climax] of "hit speech" through misguided statements, false promises and doomsday prophecy. The end of the first half of the 1990s reduced the country to what some Western missionaries said about Burundi in 1994, "there are no devils left in hell, they are all in Burundi." Perhaps, their agents of death were assigned to Liberia and the worst happened. The liberators acted like people from outer space who don't know anybody on plant earth. When they finally got what they wanted [at all cost], from Mount Barclay to Mount Nimba became graveyard, the countryside turned to ghost towns and thousands of widows and orphans are left alone to lick their wounds while the untold stories buried somewhere waiting on history to decide their fate.

How to bring total healing to the battered country was now the issue but there have been disagreement over method to be used. Most people hold the views that events of the war should not be left with "let bye-gone, be bye-gone." They want the victims to have the opportunity to tell the story. For some, it would be in the national interest for us to first confront the issue of reconciliation by cooling down the pains before we all can decide where to go next. In the interim, the former fighters/officials of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), progenitor of the ruling party, chose to use detraction [after five years of ignominious rule] by shifting blames. Recent statement made by the pliant Representative Sando D. Johnson gave the clear signal that [to the former NPFL group] identifying the carriers of evil and those whose hands are stained with innocent blood is the priority of a country in darkness and no safe-drinking water. The question now is are they prepared to hum the song they have raised? The "playback" should not cause mysterious disappearance and linking people with LURD rebels.

Mr. Johnson presented his list of accused in the 1992 murder of the catholic Nuns. As much circumstance surrounding the murder are "open" secret in Liberia, Johnson's accusation seems to suggest that it is now time for everybody to equally present his/her list. But as the saying goes "if you don't have plenty children, do not join witchcraft" because if the rule is one child every month, yourself may go before December.

In response to Mr. Johnson's accusation, former interim President Amos Sawyer [also accused] proposed an international tribunal that would provide the platform for the facts surrounding the darkness that descended on the country to come out. Perfect suggestion. "One who seeks equity should come with clean hands."

Mr. Johnson and his cohorts with their sponsors are sitting "in the glasshouse" decided to throw stone because they are buried in the lust for power, forgetting yesteryear. There is no alternative for us [the aggrieved] but to prepare the list of our fathers, mothers, children, relatives and loved ones so that we can all identify the culprits of our sordid past. They have reopened the old wounds but are they prepared to share the pain?

© The Perspective
P.O. Box 450493
Atlanta, GA 31145