Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Anyone Listening to UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon?

Source: New Democrat Monrovia

UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, in his various reports on prevailing security and economic conditions in Liberia, has been issuing the same warnings and making the basically the same observations: progress is undeniable, but not all that glitters is gold.


In his latest report to the Security Council, there are key phrases that are instructive and should capture the attention of policy makers.

Amongst the standing observations is the phrase 'increased perceptions of impunity,' bitter acrimonies over audit results that tend to bury their value, the lack of internal controls within the financial management system, and the accompanying dangers. He observed:

"Anti-corruption efforts gained increased momentum, even as the General Audit Commission's high-profile ministerial audits, covering the Ministries of Education, Finance, Health, Lands, Mines and Energy and Public Works, generated heated media debate and accusations that the Commission was pursuing a political agenda. While the lack of basic internal controls was a common audit finding, the substance of the audits was overshadowed by the political and acrimonious public debate about the Commission's credibility, resulting in limited implementation of the recommendations in the audits and increased perceptions of impunity. Sharp public disputes between the Commission and audited entities could undermine the Government's anti-corruption drive."

The Secretary General's observation reflects the general mindset in the society, which is the tendency to read motives in all things while ignoring the issues. The audits were shelved on the stage of multiplying motives so that the real issues that the Secretary General has noticed--lack of internal controls--could go untouched on the continuum of graft. He further observed:

"The overall security situation in the country is generally stable, but fragile. Ethnic and communal tensions, disputes over access to land and resources, and a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system continued to affect security. Serious criminal activity, including rape and armed robbery, remained prevalent. Of particular concern is that over 70 per cent of reported rapes during the period involved victims under the age of 16. 11. Relatively minor disputes continued to rapidly escalate into major destabilizing incidents, as exemplified by widespread violence in Lofa County in February between the predominantly Christian Lorma and Muslim Mandingo communities that was triggered by allegations of a ritual killing, aggravating existing ethnic tensions. The two groups, armed with cutlasses, shotguns and other weapons, attacked each other, and places of worship and other property. Four people were killed, 18 were injured, and numerous churches, mosques and homes were destroyed or burnt. During the chaos, 58 prisoners escaped from the prison, 39 of whom remain at large. The intervention of UNMIL military and police, together with the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police, was required to restore order."

The growing lack of confidence in the criminal justice system, despite progress in gradually jumping out of the orbit of arbitrariness and lawlessness inherited, is a real problem. Corruption at most levels of the system is an impediment to further progress and stability.

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Everyone is a genius

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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