An Urgent Call For Help!!!!
(Open Letter to President Bush, US Congress)
By Eric S. Kaba
Taylor has exported his adventure of terror to neighboring countries such as Sierra Leone (west of Liberia). A very brutal and bloody 10-year civil war claimed the lives of more that 100,000 Sierra Leonean men, women and children. It was also in Sierra Leone that rebels belonging to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), co-founded by Taylor, hacked off the limbs of innocent people, including 18-month old babies. Britain intervened in Sierra Leone about two years ago. Peace, though very fragile, is gradually returning to that country. Taylor’s child soldiers also attacked Guinea to the north. More than 5,000 Guineans died and several villages and towns were burned down to the ground. Charles Taylor’s insatiable appetite for trouble-making led him to send his former RUF loyalists, into Ivory Coast (Liberia’s neighbor to the east) to cause trouble in that once peaceful nation. The French had to intervene about 4 months ago to avert a human catastrophe in Ivory Coast. Millions of people have been displaced in the West African sub-region as a direct result of Taylor’s war for power and wealth.
During the recent rounds of fighting in Monrovia (which spanned over a two-week period), more than 700 people were killed by rocket propelled grenades and other weapons. Scores of women and girls as young as 7 years old were raped and brutalized by Taylor’s thugs and murderers. Even as you read this message, the streets of Monrovia are still littered with decaying corpses. Hundreds of thousands of people are cramped in the center of Monrovia and a sports stadium, afraid to return to their homes and Displaced Persons’ Camps for fear that they will be hounded by Taylor’s drugged child soldiers. The city has not had electricity, pipe-borne water and a working sewer system for nearly a decade now, despite the enormous wealth Taylor and his friends and family have unscrupulously and forcefully accumulated over the years. There are fears of an outbreak of a cholera epidemic in the city.
The international community (including Britain and the United Nations) has offered to send troops to separate the warring factions in Liberia and bring relief to the people in that country and possibly the entire region. However, due to Liberia’s historical ties to the US which date back to the 1820s, the international community has said that it wants the US to take the lead in this matter. Indeed no military involvement is risk-free, but given the fact that better than 90% of the fighters in Liberia are child soldiers who are often forcefully conscripted, drugged and given AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades to go out and fight, most people believe that any danger to US troops will be very minimal.
The task of bringing peace to Liberia should not be left to the so-called African leaders of the region and/or the continent. The last time the Economic Community of West Africa States’ (ECOWAS) leaders sent a peace-keeping mission to Liberia, they (through the late Nigerian tyrant and sex addict, Sani Abacha) ended up choosing and imposing a brutal dictator on the Liberian people by the name of Charles McArthur Taylor. Most people who are aware of the history of African conflicts, do not trust those so-called African leaders to make credible decisions about bringing peace and democracy to Liberia or any part of Africa for that matter. They will do everything within their means to protect (and even further promote) Charles Taylor and his gang of henchmen and looters.
Some African leaders in the region have already shamelessly suggested that the UN Special War Crimes Tribunal for Sierra Leone drop its June 4, 2003 indictment against Charles Taylor as a condition for Taylor’s willingness to negotiate for peace. In fact the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) news service reported on June 30, 2003 that Ghanaian President John Kufuor has urged the United Nations to consider setting aside Taylor’s indictment for war crimes “in order to facilitate a negotiated settlement in Liberia’s civil war”. I hope and pray that the UN and the world never, ever buy into that nonsense and let Charles Taylor off the hook for the horrendous crimes he committed against the peace-loving people of Sierra Leone through his active support of the RUF.
So I hope you will do right by God's suffering children in Liberia and the sub-region by calling and/or writing to President George W. Bush and your elected representatives and senators to ask them to effect an immediate intervention in the Liberian crisis.
May God Almighty bless you for your help.
Eric S. Kaba