The Need to Protest Against Rewarding Liberia to Criminals


By Rodney Chesson

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 22, 2003

For nearly three decades, the people of Liberia have been plagued with civil wars and unrests that have resulted in unimaginable sufferings and atrocities. Throughout this period the wealth and resources of Liberia have been stolen, squandered, and misappropriated by a few group of people who have consistently enriched themselves and their families at the expense of the suffering and dying masses of Liberians.

With the removal and subsequent exile of Charles Taylor; the ongoing conference in Ghana to select an interim government to spearhead the rehabilitation and return of basic necessities in the country, and initiation of a process of free and fair election; and US and ECOMIL peacekeepers on ground in Liberia, Liberians around the world believed that they could breathe a breath of fresh air - as it appeared that imminent change and progress was underway for Liberia and Liberians. Nevertheless, all of the feelings of hope and jubilation for a better Liberia came to an abrupt end with the announcement and publication of the agreement reached at the Ghana conference (August 2003) that divides the government of Liberia among the various warring faction (LURD, MODEL, and Taylor's Forces). Not only was/is this a slap in the face to the masses of Liberians around the world, but what is worse is that it is indeed a travesty of justice against Liberians who have suffered, and still are suffering, or have died at the hands of potential war criminals who are now rewarded positions in the Government of Liberia.

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? It’s it an irony that leaders of Africa who should be men and women of high moral and ethical standards to promote liberty and justice on the continent, can form an agreement for the interim leadership of Liberia and reward potential war criminals government positions? Is this UN and/or African justice or what?

It is evident more now than ever that the interest and welfare of Liberians is solely a duty and responsibility for Liberians. It is evident more now than ever of the need for us to unify ourselves and stand up and speak out with ONE voice in protest of this ''illegal'' division of the Government of Liberia. Just because a group of African leaders and people in Ghana have initiated an agreement for the leadership of Liberia does not mean that the masses of Liberian people have to accept or endorse it. So long as the majority of Liberians find that this agreement is ''illegal'' because it rewards potential war criminals for their criminal activities against the Liberian people, and, as such, is NOT in the best interests of Liberians and Liberia, by all mean we have a right to reject it and ask for it to be overturned, abolished, and/or amended.

Consequently, if Liberians around the world are opposed to this illegal, improper, and detrimental agreement for the leadership of Liberia by a band of potential war criminals and untrustworthy Liberians, then I am proposing that we form a collective front to petition for the intervention of the UN, United States of America, and other world organizations - through letters, demonstrations, and meeting with local Congressmen/women, etc. - to overturn/amend this agreement.

For this one time in the history of Liberia, let us come to gather to send a loud and clear message to America, the UN, ECOWAS, and anyone else that Liberians are AWAKE and collectively ready to take control of the direction of Liberia and Liberians - and our destiny.