An Urgent Call To Action
By S. Gwemea Yarkpawolo
May 4, 2001
As our beloved country, its people and the West African sub-region suffer under the misrule (and its collateral effect) of Charles Taylor and his NPP partisans and business associates, it is now pass time Liberians fortunate enough to have escaped from the living hell (no light, no safe drinking water, no pay, no jobs, no hospitals and no hope) our beloved homeland has become, stop complaining to each other and take the necessary actions that will bring massive pressure to bear on Mr. Taylor and his "play-play" (incompetent) government.
For too long, we have argued back and forth without anything being accomplished other than spewing lot of hot air. What is the point of continuing to complain to each other when we already know the problem? Let's be truthful - for even a blind person can see in situations like these. Mr. Taylor has told us he is confident he will win come "the next election" with greater margin than his last victory. Is this not telling us in no uncertain terms that he does not intend to allow "free and fair elections"? Are we that shortsighted as to have forgotten how Mr. Samuel K. Doe, and now President of the Liberian Senate, Senator Keikura Kpoto et al ran elections and the affairs of state, a few years ago? Isn't Senator Kpoto still on the scene playing his role as usual?
On more than one occasions, since the coming to power of Taylor and his gang, we have witnessed history repeated to the detriment of Liberia and its people. Do we know whether the opposition will be allowed to campaign freely during the elections of 2003? Given the prevailing social and political climate in Liberia, we doubt that the elections will be "free and fair."
Therefore, we should not behave as usual - sit idly by waiting for the dissidents to overthrow Mr. Taylor as he has the means to finance a long drawn-out fight, and we have no assurances the dissidents, if successful, will be any better than Mr. Taylor. Have we forgotten "The Devil I Know" cliché?
It is for the above reasons that I call upon all concerned Liberians and friends of Liberia to form a united front, and join with like-minded individuals and groups including the United States, Great Britain, and other countries of influence to have the United Nations impose sanctions on Liberia. In addition:
1. Ask the Republic of Taiwan to cease immediately all direct and indirect support of Mr. Taylor based on the fact that said support contributes directly to the continued oppression and subjugation of the Liberian people. The reason this request can be made is quite simple without US support, the Republic of Taiwan cannot maintain its prosperity and individual freedoms, which our people so long for, but cannot have nor enjoy, as recent history has shown under Mr. Taylor's regime.
2. Ask the Security Council to amend the proposed embargo against Liberia to include ALL forest products. Our people are already laying on the bottom and can't get any lower. Remember, only Taylor and his cohorts are benefiting from the country and its resources, which he has often referred to as his "pepper-bush".
3. Unilaterally freeze all individual and joint bank accounts of the Government of Liberia (GOL) officials held in US banks and revoke all green cards held by said officials. It is well known that many GOL officials are supporting and advising Mr. Taylor and profiting from the chaos he has created. These profits are in turn being used to support their families and homes here so that they will have a safe haven to run to when the hot air hits the fan, and
4. Aggressively support and fund the establishment of the proposed UN War Crimes Court for our sister state of Sierra Leone so that it can hear charges and try these criminals. This court is needed in order to make known to the RUF, Taylor and others in no uncertain terms that the world community will no longer permit self proclaimed false "revolutionaries" to continue to kill and maim helpless people with impunity.
We must be prepared to clamor continually to the nations of the world to help us stop Mr. Taylor's mayhem for the sake of our homeland, its prosperity and future generations. If those of us who are fortunate enough to be living outside Liberia do not push for decisive and immediate change, why should we expect others to push for us?
Please, I beg you! Don't be afraid to ask for help because the worst they can do is to tell us No! Remember, God helps those who help themselves and God knows well that we must do so for the sake of our beloved country.
Our people must no longer be allowed to continue suffering under Mr. Taylor's orchestration of the absurd. We must join hands in this effort to show him and the world that we are determined to bring about peaceful change at home and help raise to higher heights, those hapless souls left behind. In so doing, we will generate a rebirth of the Liberian spirit in our nation and its people.
May our one God bless all oppressed peoples of the world and grace our effort to eliminate once and for all the evils that have befallen our beloved country.