Monday, December 20, 2010

‘America Not Above International Court’: Liberians on WikiLeaks Cable

By Steve V. Jarvey and Clara K. Mallah
Source: FrontPage Africa

Monrovia -

In the wake of the controversy engulfing the information leakages that exposed America’s top diplomatic secrets, another vital report has surfaced in the WIKILEAKS dossier centering on the much publicized trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor which has embarrassed the United States as a result of the dubious roles played in Taylor’s arrest, detention and subsequent trial. Front Page Africa has been sampling the views of some Liberians regarding the reports emanating as to whether Mr. Taylor can face trial in America if he is acquitted from The Hague’s proceedings. Even though, some of those whose views were sampled refused for their photographs to be taken, yet others spoke their minds as some preferred Taylor returning to Liberia.
Elisha A. Johnson- Teacher, E. Wilmont Blyden Presbyterian School:” if the court is to find Taylor not guilty, Taylor should be a free man, and should not be taken to any other country to have another case against him. If you are to take Taylor to your country for a case, it must be that you have case against him, or he has done something wrong to your country or your people, order than that, I do not see it befitting for Taylor to go America or anywhere else when he is free. If America takes case against Mr. Taylor after the court sets him free, then America will be violating the basic rights of the former Liberian leader. Mr. Johnson said even though Taylor allegedly killed people in Liberia and other neighboring countries, it does not mean if the court finds him not guilty, America should retry him (Taylor) under the American law.”

A boy who prefers to be called BK says “the war crime court in The Hague is the highest court when it comes to international criminal cases. If Taylor is tried at the War crime court and is vindicated, he should be set free no matter what. I do not think USA should reopen the trial under their law, which will surely undermine the international law.

S. Caesar Yancy- worker at the Forestry Development Authority: “It will be right for Mr.Taylor be given a retrial in the USA. I see the going of Mr. Taylor free as an injustice, no matter the outcome of the case, Taylor should be retried.”

Betty Gbelee-Business Woman

“As for me, I want former president Charles Taylor to be freed from prison and his freedom restored, so that he can return to Liberia. He is a Liberian and needs to come back home and partake in the development process of this post-conflict nation. We, as nation must learn to put the past behind us and concentrate on how best we can build this country. If the people don’t find any fault on this man, then let them release him from further detention.”

Romell Hallowanger-Student

“My brother, why should Taylor be tried in America as if he has committed any wrong doing against them? If the people find out that the former president is not guilty of any crime; then let them set him free, so that he can return home and contribute his quota towards the development of the country, instead of keeping him in The Hague for no specific reason. Taylor is a good leader, but the western leaders are not in favor of him, this is why they are doing everything within their power to get rid of him.”

Abraham Kiadii, a High School graduate (refused to have photo taken): “The issue relating to Taylor is an international issue, since Taylor is being tried in The Hague for war crimes, and crimes against humanity, for his alleged role in the Sierra Leonean’s war. If the international court in The Hague finds him not guilty, the Americans have no right to retry him in the USA under the American law. He says the America is not above the international court, if the international court is saying Mr. Taylor should be set free, America has no rights to re-arrest Mr. Taylor for further trial.

America should not be fooling the world because they want Mr. Taylor to be detained for a long time in prison. Even if Mr. Taylor be set free, he will come back to Liberia to be a peaceful citizen in this country, to see how best he can contribute to the development of Liberia,”

Cephus K. Roberts-Student at the University Of Liberia (UL), (refused to have photo taken): “as a Liberian, the case against Mr. Taylor is alleged, and if the court finds him not guilty, then he has the right to come back to Liberia. Actually, I’m not in favor of Charles Taylor, the crimes allegedly made against him, if the international court proceeding shows that Mr. Taylor is not guilty, he should be allowed to come home, and I think when Charles Taylor comes back to Liberia, he will be a better citizen”

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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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