Sunday, December 19, 2010

Liberia: UN Demands Government Take Action to Freeze Former Warlord's Assets

Source: UN News Center

Former Liberian president
Charles Taylor (right)
on trial for war crimes

For the fourth consecutive year, the Security Council today demanded that the Liberian Government "make all necessary efforts to fulfil its obligations" to freeze the assets of former president Charles Taylor, currently facing trial for war crimes before an international court.

At the same time, it welcomed the Government's leadership at regional and international levels in the Kimberley Process that seeks to ban so-called "blood diamonds" - gems illegally mined or traded to finance conflicts, a major factor in unrest in Africa and a tool that Mr. Taylor is alleged to have used in the decade and a half when civil wars ravaged Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone.
In a unanimous resolution on sanctions that aim to shut off the sources of conflict, from illegal funding to illicit trade in natural resources to arms trafficking, the 15-member body noted "with serious concern the lack of progress" in implementing a 2004 resolution demanding that all the assets of Mr. Taylor, family members and associates be frozen to prevent them from obstructing the restoration of peace in Liberia and the region.

Mr. Taylor is on trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity before the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague, the Netherlands. He left his country amid violent conflict in 2003, and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has since then helped the West African country return to peace through democratic elections.

The Council extended for another year the mandate of a Panel of Experts set up in 2007 to monitor compliance with the sanctions imposed in connection with the civil war.

It urged the Government to redouble its efforts to ensure the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process under which diamonds have to be certified to have come from conflict-free sources, and said insufficient progress had been made on issues relating to arms trafficking.

Recalling an earlier decision not to renew sanctions on the export of timber, one of many natural resources that have been used to fund conflicts in Africa, it stressed that Liberia must continue to enforce forestry reform and revenue transparency laws.

It called on the Panel during the coming year to conduct two assessment missions to Liberia and neighbouring States to investigate any violations with regard to the illicit trade in arms, including individual perpetrators and sources of financing, such as natural resources, and to monitor progress in the freezing of assets, forestry reform and the Kimberley process.

As it has in past years, the Council warned that despite the significant progress made in Liberia since 2003, "the situation there continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region," and stressed UNMIL's continuing importance in improving security and helping the Government establish its authority throughout the country, particularly in the diamond, timber, and other natural resources-producing regions, and border areas.

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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