Monday, April 2, 2012

Liberia: Lesson for Warlords - U.S. Finally Dumps Boley

Monday, 02 April 2012 01:00 E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor
Source: The New Dawn Liberia
Fate and time have a way of dealing with every man no matter his past or current roles so it has been with former Liberian rebel leader Dr. George Boley, who has been held at a federal detention facility outside Buffalo since 2010, under a U.S. 'Child Soldiers Accountability Act'. Boley has been finally deported to Liberia after spending two years in federal custody.
He arrived at the Roberts International Airport on Friday onboard a Delta Airlines flight and was immediately handed over to officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).
Boley had been living in upstate New York near Rochester until his arrest two years ago and subsequent deportation. He was brought to Monrovia for a brief appearance at the BIN Headquarters on Broad Street, Monrovia and subsequently handed over to family members.

The 62-year-old leader of the defunct Liberia Peace Council is reported to have presided over authorizing executions, massacres and rapes during counterattacks against Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebels between 1993 and 96.

But appearing before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia in 2009 Boley, like all other Liberian ex-rebel leaders, denied any wrongdoing. Many ordinary Liberians say the Bolry's fate should sound a warning bell to other former warlords still evading justice that one day; they meet their end in whatever form or shape.

"George Boley's [deportation] is a major step in addressing the serious human rights abuses he perpetrated in Liberia in the 1990s," said one of the bystanders, who attended the arrival of Dr. Boley at the headquarters of Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization on Broad Street.

Boley, who has been in U.S. federal custody since 2010, is the first former Liberian warlord to be deported under the Child Soldiers Accountability Act, a four-year-old law that allows for the deportation of people linked to the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

"The United States has always welcomed refugees and those fleeing oppression, and at the same time accept human rights violators and war criminals in their country; but with the deportation of Mr. Boley today for his role in our civil conflict is a warning shout for those who may want to create problems for us here and think that they will run to America for protection," said, Wendell Miller, a student of the University of Liberia.

A State Department report on Human Rights Practices in Liberia documented reports that Boley, as former leader of the Liberian Peace Council, authorized the executions of seven of his soldiers in 1995, according to ICE. The agency said witnesses also testified before the Liberian Truth Commission investigating war crimes that the LPC burned alive dozens of captives in 1994.

Boley first served as Education Minister in the military regime of the late Samuel Doe in the 1980s. Later, as leader of the anti-Charles Taylor rebel group, Liberian Peace Council (LPC), he served as member of the defunct transitional collective presidency, Council of State in 1996. U.S. Immigration and Customs officials accused Boley of leading a rebel faction responsible for human rights abuses, during the Liberian civil war, which ended in 2003.

An immigration judge last month ordered Boley removed under the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008, which added the recruitment and use of child soldiers as grounds for deportation.

Boley's wife and children, who still reside in the United States, have reportedly denied the allegations, arguing that none of the charges against their husband and father were corroborated by credible evidence.

George Boley Jr, claims the government's effort of deporting his father is rooted in his lawsuit against federal agents. The lawsuit charges those agents with "reckless" and "malicious" violations of his civil rights.

In an interview with The News, he said his father came to America to attend college and, while there raised seven children with his wife, Kathryn. He also said his father was a former administrator with the Rochester public school system.

At the time of his arrest in 2010, federal authorities compared his case to the high-profile investigation of Chuckie Taylor, who is currently serving a 97-year imprisonment after he was convicted in connection with beatings, torture and executions in Liberia during his father's rule.

Chuckie's case is believed to be the first prosecution under a federal law that allows U.S. courts to hear cases involving torture in other nations, if the accused is living in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen
The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia, West Africa. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. -Bernard Gbayee Goah 
 Also see: "Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah" at:
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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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