Tuesday, January 18, 2011

West Africa: MRU Supports Ecowas On Ivory Coast Crisis

Source: allAfrica.com

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, chair of the Mano River Union (MRU) organization, has declared that the Union fully supports the decision of ECOWAS on the crisis in Ivory Coast, but has rejected military intervention as an option.

The MRU is a sub regional basin of West Africa that seeks to promote peace, security, free movement of people and trade among Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, while ECOWAS is mother-body of all 15 states making up West Africa.

A November 28 2010 presidential run-off election conducted between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara has plunged Ivory Coast into serious crisis, causing more than 200 deaths and over 50,000 refugees.

Both Gbagbo and Quattara have claimed the presidency after the electoral commission declared the later winners, but the Constitutional court overturned the results in favor of Gbagbo.

The two men were separately inaugurated as President and the impasse has left the country with two governments, each with its own group of cabinet ministers, appointed simultaneously.

The current political standoff between Gbagbo and Quattara has placed La Cote d'Ivoire at the brink of a full scale civil war.

The United Nations, ECOWAS, EU, AU, and other multilateral institutions as well as the governments of France, USA, and other western countries are all backing the results released by the Electoral Commission which announced Quattara as the winner of the election; and are calling on Gbagbo to relinquish state power.

He has vehemently refused to step down, prompting ECOWAS to threaten military force to end the crisis after several failed diplomatic intervention.

But President Sirleaf, speaking Monday at the opening an Extraordinary Ministerial Council Meeting on Peace and Security, said military intervention would not be the appropriate option in finding a lasting solution to the escalating internal strife in Ivory Coast.

The Liberian leader said using force in Ivory Coast would have a detrimental spillover effect on neighboring countries including Liberia, already playing host to some 30,000 Ivorian refugees.

This is the MRU and President Sirleaf's first official statement on the Ivorian crisis, besides cautioning Liberians to pray for their neighbors and not to get involved in the crisis.

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills two weeks ago denounced military intervention by ECOWAS in Ivory Coast. He said Ghana would not support the cause because there were over one million Ghanaians in that West African state. He has been widely criticized.

President Sirleaf said the situation in Ivory Coast was threatening to the MRU basin and the West African sub region in general and called for appropriate actions in solving the impasse.

President Sirleaf said while the international community tries to find an amicable solution to the crisis, it must be mindful of the decision derived, looking at what has happened in Liberia in the 90s.

The Liberian leader called for the protection of lives of Liberians and people in the region, before admonishing the MRU ministerial council to hold fruitful discussion and peace and security of the basin.

She reminded them that n o decision other than ECOWAS' would be appropriate, but should come up with decision just "in case of any eventuality."

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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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