Monday, December 20, 2010

Charles Taylor Return to Liberia A Freed Man

Charles Taylor
[The Hague – Judges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone today found the indicted war criminal Charles Taylor not guilty. Shortly thereafter he was seen boarding a plane heading for Liberia.

Speaking to reporters at the airport Mr. Taylor said, his return to Liberia as a freed man is the fulfillment of a promise made in 2003: “God willing I shall return.” When asked whether he intends to run for president in 2011; Taylor replied: “I'm keeping my options open.”
 Meanwhile, in Liberia, news of Taylor's release from prison has created heightened fear, as large numbers of people have begun filing across the border into neighboring countries. Businesses have shut down. Panic has gripped this nation.]

Before dashing for your remote control to turn on CNN or tuning in to the BBC or logging in to

your favorite online news site or calling your most reliable “EL-They Say” to verify this report;

let me be the first to say what you have just read has not yet happened.

However, any good defense Attorney will tell you that the charges leveled against Charles

Taylor are grave and compelling, but a conviction even at this moment is not an absolute

certainty. Therefore it is possible this fictional scenario could very well become reality. Ever

wondered what would happen if Charles Taylor were to return as a freed man before Liberia is

stabilized? What would you do?

Regardless of his intention, Charles Taylor's presence will no doubt paralyze the entire nation

and reverse whatever gains have been made since cessation of major hostilities. Furthermore, it

would be almost impossible to hold anyone accountable for the carnage and destruction of the

country's infrastructure. Efforts to instill rule of law would be severely hampered. Even worse,

Liberia might again plunge into war. Should that happen, this author assuredly will be found at

the center of the fight because lessons of the recent past have shown that Liberians in general are

more inclined to embrace individuals who have inflicted injury upon them. They do not hesitate

to reward, befriend and defend evil while rejecting those who seek to do what is right and just.

As a people we are a great disappointment not only to our rescuers, but also to our own

humanity. Woman and children have been violently raped, many tortured, and more than

200,000 of our compatriots murdered in cold-blood, yet we have shown no compassion or

changed our attitude.

In 1997 massive international pressure was brought to bear on the warlords, leaving them no

other alternative than to abandoned their violent pursuit of power and yield to the democratic

process. The world felt our pain and responded accordingly. In return, we showed our

appreciation by electing a man who caused us the greatest heartache, pain and suffering.

Not long after, people from every corner of the globe rallied to our aid after watching the mass

suffering, deaths and destruction played out on television sets around the world. World leaders

mobilized in our behalf and did what many said was impossible: they backed the first ever

indictment of a sitting African head of state and forced him into exile, creating space for

Liberians to rebuild their lives.

Tens of thousands international troops were deployed in the country to protect the defenseless

citizens, while self-proclaimed leaders were flown to Ghana and hosted with an all-expense paid

trip for the purpose of forming a government that would begin the healing and rebuilding. They

were given the opportunity to map out a new direction for Liberia; instead, this critical moment

was reduced to a circus of continuous merrymaking, selling of votes, wheeling and dealing; not

to mention the bickering and posturing, jostling for position and endless debates. While the

people they represented were being shot at, shelled and starved to death; the group in Ghana

sought only to advance their selfish agendas. Among others, they voted for a Truth Commission

without any intention of accepting its recommendations.

Surely in 2005 Liberians voted against their own best interests in an election that should not have

taken place. It was abundantly clear the National Transitional Government had failed to

adequately prepare the country for post-war civilian governance. The Election, therefore, would

only return power to the very individuals who abused and dehumanized the population. Knowing

this, we went to the polls and conferred legitimacy on our abusers. Now there is the real

possibility that Charles Taylor might yet again disrupt the lives of Liberians. And Ellen Johnson

Sirleaf would rather see thousands more innocent men, women and children die than pursue the

path of genuine healing.

There is still time to avert yet another disaster and prevent further loss of innocent lives which is

bound to happen should Charles Taylor return to Liberia a freed man. We must mobilize all

available resources and demand that the U.N. Security Council authorizes the formation of a war

crimes tribunal that will indict Charles Taylor for atrocities he committed in Liberia before a

verdict is handed down by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Under no circumstance must

Charles Taylor leave that court room in the Hague as a freed man!

If the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration cannot protect the people; the people must take

appropriate action to protect themselves. To this end, Liberians must take matters into their own


To those who have forgotten how we got into this awful predicament, I hasten to remind you that

in 1990 following the assassination of President Samuel Doe the entire government vanished into

thin air leaving the citizens to fend for themselves. The same could very well be repeated.

Therefore we must act now.

As it stands, there is nothing to prevent Charles Taylor from returning to Liberia like a

conquering hero other than an indictment for the heinous crimes he perpetrated against the

Liberian people. Therefore he must again be indicted before the conclusion of his current trial at

the Hague. This way he will be arrested regardless of the verdict and taken into custody.

Stopping Charles Taylor before he enters Liberia will no doubt prevent unnecessary loss of lives.

For the sake of our children and the future of this nation, lend your voice to the call for a war

crimes Tribunal for Liberia.

Call us in Liberia at (+231) 6 538827 or email us at  
Note: The above article was written few months ago by TQ Harris Jr. And it is a rerun.

News Headline

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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