Thursday, March 22, 2012

George Boley won't appeal deportation to Liberia

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Clarkson resident George Boley, linked to war crimes by an immigration judge, is not appealing his deportation to his home country of Liberia.

 "Please expedite my removal to Liberia," Boley wrote in a letter to immigration officials on Feb. 17, more than a week after an immigration judge ruled he should be deported. On March 7 immigration officials contacted Liberia to initiate the process for Boley's deportation, records show.

 The immigration correspondence, typically not public, was included in a recent government response to a civil suit Boley once filed claiming he was being illegally jailed as he awaited a decision on his immigration case.

Those documents also include the government's specific allegations of war crimes against Boley, many that were not aired at his immigration trial.

 As leader of the so-called Liberia Peace Council, or LPC, during the African country's bloody civil war, Boley was responsible for hundreds of killings, immigration officials declared in a January 2010 document. Boley himself "shot two women with infants" in 1995, the allegations claim.

However, the allegations against Boley were clearly culled from interviews with Liberians. Experts in the civil war maintain that the country was so chaotic that many claims of wrongdoing cannot be solidly substantiated.

Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, formed to determine who did commit crimes during the civil war, decided that the LPC committed human rights violations, including massacres and sexual crimes. The commission, which is only advisory, recommended that Boley be prosecuted, though no official action has been taken in Liberia to charge him with crimes.

 In a 2010 interview with the Democrat and Chronicle, Boley denied committing war crimes. He said then that another group also used the LPC name and was likely guilty of atrocities.

 Boley also testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission — lengthy testimony in which he adamantly denied responsibility for violence.

 Jerome Verdier, who chaired the TRC, said he has no doubt Boley committed human rights violations. Boley could not name members of the other supposed LPC, and there was no evidence the group existed, Verdier said in a telephone interview.

The TRC interviewed 20,000 people and visited the areas subjected to violent LPC rampages, Verdier said. Among those interviewed were men who’d been soldiers under Boley’s leadership.

Still, Verdier said, he cannot imagine Boley being prosecuted in Liberia.

“There’s not a political will or moral authoritiy in government to make progress in accountability and justice issues,” said Verdier, who now lives in New York. “Mr. Boley goes home and he will join his colleagues and peers. ... He will enjoy his freedom in Liberia, regrettably.”

In February U.S. Immigration Judge John Reid ruled there was enough evidence of Boley’s responsibility for killings — as well as the recruitment of child soldiers — that he should be deported.

Boley came to the United States almost four decades ago to attend The College at Brockport.

After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees there, he received his doctorate at the University of Akron.

In the years since, Boley traveled to and from Liberia and even once ran for president of Liberia, an election in which he was handily beaten. Through the years, he spent more time with his family here, holding down various jobs, including a stint as a Rochester City School District administrator

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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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