Wednesday, February 10, 2010

War Crime Charges May Await George Boley

Source: http://www.liberianobserver.com/node/4535

War Crime Charges May Await George Boley
Publication Date: February 10, 2010

By: Observer Staff

NEW YORK – A foreign journalist who covered the Liberian civil war in the mid-90s, Jeffrey Goldberg, has reported in his blog that former warlord, George Boley, was arrested January 15th by U.S. Immigration and Customs and is now sitting in a jail cell in upstate Batavia.

So far, according to Goldberg, Boley is being charged administratively with lying in order to gain entry into the U.S., and with committing extra-judicial killings while in another country.

Other branches of government such as the Department of Homeland Security are looking at charging Boley with actual war crimes.

When the Daily Observer contacted the Liberian Consulate in New York on January 29, more than two weeks after Boley’s arrest, officials said they had not been informed by local authorities as protocol would dictate. Liberian Ambassador to the United States, M. Nathaniel Barnes, said he had not been contacted by authorities either, but said that the Boley’s family had reached out to him.

Goldberg, in his online publication, said he first met Boley in the 90s while covering the civil war in Liberia.

“I’ve been involved with Boley’s case for a little while. I was subpoenaed by a human rights group in Minnesota, the Advocates for Human Rights, to testify against Boley in a defamation lawsuit that he himself filed against the group... I eventually provided a sworn affidavit in the case, in which I detailed what I knew of Boley’s activities in the civil war...

“I knew, from firsthand observation, that his organization, the grossly misnamed ‘Liberian Peace Council’, recruited and armed child soldiers, fed them drugs and ordered them to rape and kill for starters. The lawsuit, unsurprisingly, was dismissed earlier this month,” Goldberg writes.

Boley, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Akron, received his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Brockport and kept his family in upstate New York for the duration of the civil war.

“I’ve been speaking to him on and off now for a year,” Goldberg notes, “and his excuse-making had become increasingly ridiculous. The last time we spoke, he told me that there had been two organizations in Liberia during the civil war named the Liberian Peace Council – his, which was “peaceful”, and someone else’s which was a fighting faction. This was an absurd line of argument, especially to someone like me, who had seen him actually in command of child soldiers in the war zone.”

A Liberian web publication, Bushchicken.com, observes that “With this latest arrest, warlords and other perpetrators of the Liberian civil war will seriously contemplate their travels from the comfort of Liberia. [Charles] Taylor and George Boley are two of the many that have been arrested by the long arm of the US criminal system.”

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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