Saturday, October 8, 2011

CDC: Nobel Peace Prize to Johnson-Sirleaf, War Planner and War Financier (Press Statement)

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu
The Liberian civil war

The Nobel Committee Has Made its Most Controversial Nobel Peace Prize Decision Ever in awarding War Planner and War Financier Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize

While more than half a million Liberians have shut down Monrovia today in their show of rejection of President Sirleaf, the Nobel Committee at Oslo has just made its most controversial decision ever: awarding Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, veteran Liberian war planner and war financier, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The Committee made the award:  "for [her] non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work".

This statement so brutally angers millions of Liberians as to drive them in droves to the polls on October 11 to reject her. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is anything but non-violent in the history of Liberia. She is singularly responsible for planning and financing the Liberian civil war which killed more than 300,000 Liberians, about   half of them women and children, and which destroyed the dreams of more than 3 million more. How can this be non-violent? In the early days of the Liberian civil war, Mrs. Sirleaf flew into Liberia as a member of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) to supply arms and discuss war strategy and tactics. How can that be non-violent? In his “Open Letter to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,” published on September 15, 2005, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, former defense minister of the NPFL, addresses Mrs. Sirleaf: “My first trip to the Ivory Coast to meet with Charles Taylor, Harry Yuan, Moses Duopu and others to assess the level of military plan of action for the purpose of removing Doe was sponsored by you and others in the wake of the failed Quiwonkpa coup in which you played a major role.”

How can her history be non-violent? Mr. Woewiyu’s account has been supported by Mr. Prince Y. Johnson, former leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia, INPFL, who has publicly spoken of Mrs. Sirleaf’s planning and executing the 1984 Nimba raid. How can she ever be non-violent?

We know Mrs. Sirleaf planned both the Nimba raid of 1984 and the abortive coup of 1985. Even Mrs. Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa, wife of the late Gen Thomas Quiwonkpa, who led the abortive 1985 coup, has publicly attacked Mrs. Sirleaf to explain the death of Gen Quiwonkpa. How could the Nobel Committee ignore all of these facts?

Mrs. Sirleaf in a BBC interview in 1990 told the world she would have to ‘level the Executive Mansion and rebuild it’ – Tom Woewiyu claims Ellen said to ‘level Monrovia’-- if the Mansion stood in her way to political power. But to level the Mansion means countless number of women and children would have to be killed. By admitting she said ‘level the Mansion,’ and not ‘level Monrovia’, as claimed by Mr. Woewiyu, Mrs. Sirleaf is effectively admitting to have historically sanctioned the maiming and killing of women and children. How can the Nobel Committee claim she has ‘struggled for the safety of women’? How can the Committee ignore such callous and inhumane disregard for the lives of Liberians?

After breaking away from the NPFL, Mrs. Sirleaf supported Liberian warring factions such as ULIMO and armed groups such as the Black Beret to challenge the NPFL, in the hope of undermining Charles Taylor who stood in the way of her presidential ambition. In the early 2000’s, she supported rebel factions MODEL and LURD in their attempts to unseat Taylor. How can this political history be non-violent? President Sirleaf has just brought in more than more than 1,000 Nigerian troops to threaten and harass Liberians during the Tuesday 11 October 2011 balloting, in which we are expected to boot her from power. Mrs. Sirleaf, as observed by the Carter Center in its recent press release, is tempering with the 11 October 2011 elections which may have dangerous security implications for all Liberians, especially women and children. As observed by the International Crisis Group in its August 2011 report, Mrs. Sirleaf presides over an empire of corruption, a major factor in the onset of wars and civil conflicts, which can have the most devastating impact on women and children.

By giving Mrs. Sirleaf the Peace Prize, the Committee has shown itself highly susceptible to the influence of lobbyists. Mrs. Sirleaf has reportedly spent upwards of US$25 million to pay high-priced Washington- and London-based Nobel-award lobbyists to get her the nomination and to influence Committee members’ selection. Her selection is a perennial smear on the Nobel Committee, devaluing awards previously given to many notable international personalities.

Controversial awards such that given to Dr. Henry Kissinger for his role in the Vietnam War pale in comparison to the Ellen award. In awarding Mrs. Sirleaf, the Committee has given a Peace prize to a direct militant, war planner and war financier. Mrs. Sirleaf was actually involved in deploying rebels in Gadaffi’s Libya for training during the late 80’s.  This award is unprecedented in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize.

We congratulate Leymah Gbowee for bringing pride to Liberia. The CDC will remain supportive of her efforts to use activism to advance the cause of women and peace. While celebrating Leymah Gbowee, the CDC will send Mrs. Sirleaf into retirement both with her Nobel award money and the millions she has looted from the national coffers.

Our victory on October 11 could never be more certain because of this award, since it is a callous affront to the intelligence and history of the Liberian people!!

Editor’s Note: CDC press release. 

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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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