Saturday, November 20, 2010

ICC is 'Keeping an Eye on Events'

The International Criminal Court has issued a warning to Guinean security forces on the ground on Friday and has called for calm. The Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, released a statement saying the ICC is keeping 'a close eye on the situation.' Some critics are now condemning the International Criminal Court for not giving credence to what took place in Liberia when:

• More than 40 people were killed in riots following a proposed increase in the price of rice in 1979.
• More than 13 people were killed in 1980 during a military take-over.
• About 500 or more people were killed and more than 50 people raped in 1985 during a coup attempt.
• An estimated 300,000 Liberians were killed, and thousands of people violated during Liberia’s civil war which lasted from 1989 – 2003. Five Americans were killed during this same period.

Critics are starting to question the ICC role when it comes to crimes committed in Liberia. Up to now the International Criminal court has yet to address any of the above incidents that took place in Liberia. The above incidents that took place in Liberia are equivalent to genocide. But the ICC is now keeping a close eye on current situation in Guinea. Whereas, the Guinean situation which should not be negated, but if compare to what took place in Liberia, would be like a drop of sand in the middle of a mighty ocean. - Bernard G. Goah Portland Oregon, USA

- Daniel Finnian


The International Criminal Court has issued a warning to Guinean security forces on the ground on Friday and has called for calm. The Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, released a statement saying the ICC is keeping 'a close eye on the situation.'

"I invite the Guinean authorities to investigate the criminal incidents that have already occurred and any possible future ones," said Bensouda.

"All reported act of violence will be closely scrutinised by the office in order to determine whether crimes falling under the court's jurisdiction are committed and should warrant an investigation," she added in the statement.

Seven people were killed in Guinea this past week after preliminary second-round election results were announced.

Bensouda headed the ICC investigation into the 150 killings and mass rapes that took place at an opposition political rally in Conakry, the capital, on 29 September 2009. Earlier this month, while in Conakry for the investigation, she vowed justice for those who committed crimes at that time.

The ICC's call for calm follows similar calls from the UN Security Council and the French government after violence in Conakry.

The UN Security Council condemned the violence in Guinea. It "urged all parties to follow the existing legal procedures, resolve their differences peacefully and respect the final decision of the Supreme Court."

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged those in the security field, political leaders and activists "to refrain from violence and inciting ethnic hatred."

"UNHCR also calls on the transitional government, which proclaimed a state of emergency, to scrupulously adhere to national norms regarding states of emergency including the respect of all rights and obligations," spokesman Rupert Colville said on Friday.

Final results from the presidential election are due to be confirmed by the Supreme Court by 2 December at the latest. Court officials said the results of the vote, which put Alpha Condé as winner, had been referred to the court. They say they will begin to examine the files and that they have been allowed eight days to do so by the electoral commission.

And France also warned its citizens against travelling to Guinea under the current circumstances. "We want French tourists and citizens to avoid travel to Guinea before the situation is more calm and more clear on the result of the elections and the state of the institutions," said France's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Christine Farges.

"We are supporting the EU and all the African partners who are working on the ground in Guinea [...] We call on all Guineans to act with responsibility," she added.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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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