Thursday, October 28, 2010

Liberia: More mass graves discovered in five Liberian counties in September of 2010

By Emmanuel Abalo and Liberian Media Reports

Source: Running Africa

There are reports of the discovery of more mass graves in several counties in Liberia. According to a local non-governmental organization the Liberia Massacre Survival Association (LMSA) operating in the country, the graves were recently identified in the counties of Margibi, Grand Gedeh Nimba, Bong and Montserrado.

An executive of the organization Peterson Sonyeh who made the disclosure of the discovery said the mass graves were not part of findings which were recorded by Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) during its operation which ended in June of 2009.

In June 2006, two separate mass graves were discovered in Tenebu village, Lofa County. A former town chief Jefferson Wanly at the time told reporters that "that over hundred persons, mostly women and children were "gruesomely" murdered in cold blood, allegedly by fighters of the now disbanded Lofa Defense Force (LDF) in February, 1993 at the height of the Liberian civil war. The smallest grave held about 78 bodies.

The LDF was one of several warring factions in the country but operated principally in the northwest Lofa County.

According to Ms. Corrine Dufka of the Human Rights Watch senior researcher for West Africa and an expert on Liberia, "Lofa County was an epicenter of both military activity and human rights abuses."

Another mass grave which is believed to have held over 2000 persons was discovered near the beach area in the diplomatic enclave of Mamba Point in Monrovia in the first quarter of 1996. This area was notorious for scores of executions carried out by the warring factions during a fierce and indiscriminate battle known as World War Three" between forces loyal to then former President Charles Taylor and dissidents.

Health workers cleaning up after the fighting were forced to bury victims in mass graves. Even some of the factions also disposed of their victims by burying them in hastily dug mass graves.

Liberia's TRC has identified nearly 200 mass graves across the country.

In October, 1996, health workers also discovered dozens of mass graves in Tubmanburg, Bomi County which lies about 50 miles north of the capital Monrovia. According to reports at the time, health workers were investigating the graves which contained nearly 2,000 victims of starvation and factional fighting.

The Liberia Massacres Survivors Association says the 62 new mass graves discovered recently are believed to contain the remains of victims killed by the warring factions. The group says it will continue its work.

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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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