It's Time for Taylor to Go

By Winsley S. Nanka

The Perspective

December 26, 2001

The Liberian people and the international community have hoped that President Charles G. Taylor would redeem himself from the atrocities he committed as a warlord by instituting good governance in Liberia and exhibiting good neighborliness in the West African sub-region . Thus far, this has been wishful thinking for those Liberians and members of the community of civilized nations that have taught that Taylor would redeem himself. President Taylor and his followers have failed to deliver to the Liberian people the kind of government that will steer the country toward political stability, economic reconstruction, a genuine national reconciliation and adherence to the principle of non interference in the internal affairs of other nations.

The social-economic condition in Liberia is worsening by the day. President Taylor and his criminal gang in Monrovia have accelerated the pilferage of the Liberian economy and the destabilization of West Africa with the participation of their international criminal collaborators. In Liberia, the basic social services like water, electricity, telecommunications amongst others, barely exist or are nonfunctional. Economic mismanagement and corruption are the acceptable standard of living in Liberia. In Liberia today, the majority of the citizens would rather live in another country than Liberia. Four years after the "democratic elections" that brought Taylor to power, Liberians have less hope in the future of Liberia than at anytime in their national existence. President Taylor and his supporters do not have the integrity or credibility to rebuild Liberia. Power has become a means of self-enrichment and an instrument of destabilization of the West African sub-region.

Taylor and his followers have turned Liberia into a base for the destabilization of the West African sub-region and the center for smuggling diamonds out of West Africa according to published reports. Taylor has supported the notorious RUF of Sierra Leone with military hardware, medicine, and food. His goal is to continue to maintain control over the diamond rich region of Sierra Leone. According to media reports, Taylor is also providing support to the rebels fighting the Guinean government with his objective to remove it from power.

The sad and simple truth is that President Taylor is an embarrassment to Liberia, the West African sub-region and the international community. Therefore, the time has come for him to resign the rulership of the country.

Liberians that currently reside in Liberia, the Diaspora and the international community should take the steps mentioned below in 2002 to force Taylor and his cronies to relinquish the rulership of Liberia:

1. The student movement in Liberia, the Liberian market men and women and the religious community should organize mass protests until Taylor leaves from power. Examples of successful mass protests that led to political changes include the mass protests in 1979 by the people of Iran that led to the overthrow of the brutal regime of the Shah of Iran. In the late 1980s, the workers, students and the religious communities in Eastern organized mass protests against repressive communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe that led to their downfall. The students, workers and religious communities in the Philippines also organized mass protests that led to the overthrow of Fernados Marcos in earlier 1980s. Closer to home in the Ivory Coast, mass protest removed Robert Guei from power a few years ago. Liberians have the moral obligation to remove Taylor from power.

2. Liberians in the Diaspora should organize a cohesive alliance that will serve as a resource base and support system for the agents of democratic change (mass protests movement) in Liberia. Liberians in the Diaspora, should also make Liberia's case for the expansion of the sanction by the international community with the goal to remove Taylor from power.

3. The international community including the United Nations should expand the targeted sanctions imposed by the United States, Britain and the United Nations on Taylor and his followers. The international community should also include the logging and maritime operations into the sanctions. The sanctions should include such measure as freezing the assets of Taylor and his supporters abroad, blocking international financial transactions by the government, restricting loans or credit as the European Union did by blocking about 65 million dollars to Liberia. The goals of these sanctions should be to make Taylor and his criminal gang undesirable behaviors costly and difficult. The sanctions will prove more harmful to President Taylor and ruling elite and will result into their removal from power.

Liberians in the Diaspora should work with Liberians at home and the international community to implement the steps listed above. They will result into the removal of Charles McArthur Taylor from power. President Taylor cannot remain in power in Liberia beyond 2002 because he is a destabilizing force in the West African sub-region. Taylor is personally responsible for the massive destruction of lives and properties in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Therefore, there will be no peace in the West African sub-region unless Taylor is removed from power.

The Perspective
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