Monday, May 28, 2012

Liberia: Prince Y. Johnson Unveils War Architects

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

Senator Prince Y. Johnson

Former leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), Senator Prince Y. Johnson has unveiled names of individuals less known for their roles in planning the Liberian civil war.
Addressing a news conference recently in Monrovia, Sen. Johnson named human rights activist Ezekiel Pajibo, former Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) Harry Greaves, among others in addition to president Sirleaf as a few of the architects of what he referred to as the ‘senseless Liberian wars’, emphasizing they too and others must answer questions before the war crime court.

Sen. Johnson’s comments followed calls by the National Human Rights Commission (INHCR) for the submission of a list of those who it said committed the most heinous crimes during the country’s civil wars to the International Criminal Court.

Though, Sen. Johnson further described the pronouncement by the INHRC as beyond the constitutional functions of the commission, noting that the commission did not have the power to make such recommendation to the international community, he expressed the belief that it would be a generational hatred among Liberians if those who played active roles in or aided and abetted the civil unrests here were not prosecuted under the law.

He said it would be rewarding to Liberia if such prosecution could bring to justice all those who one way or the other participated in the country’s protracted wars. According to him, such participants include facilitators, lobbyists for finances, as well as individuals who produced the blue print for the execution of the intermittent wars.

Sen. Johnson also noted that individuals, including him and former President Charles G. Taylor did not have the resources to declared war on a certain government (Samuel Doe Administration), but the efforts and influences of prominent Liberians with international connections. He noted that history will be inaccurate if the planners of the wars, including the National Patriotic Front or NPFL were not prosecuted under the law.

He indicated that Liberia’s loss of more than 250,000 lives and millions of dollars worth of properties would not have been possible in the absence of the moral and financial support and international influences of a few well-placed Liberians.

The former INPFL leader has, however, indicated that he will only submit himself to a court that is legally domesticated under the Liberian laws, through legislation.

It could be recalled that former president Taylor during his formal address before judges of the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone said he had stood before the Liberian people and apologized and expressed deep regret and contrition for the loss of lives and limbs, and the overall effects of the civil war.

“I stated that no words no matter how polished and sincere could heal the scars and pains all suffered. I was not alone as a leader of a faction that fought during the civil war when I took it upon myself to express those sentiments while aspiring for the presidency; but I did.", he added.

There were many like me who owed an expression of sympathy and regret for what happened to the Liberian people. Indeed, none other than the current president of Liberia,  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was identified in the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report as somebody from whom such an expression of regret and sympathy for what happened in Liberia should have been forthcoming; since she was one of the three principal leaders of the NPFL along with me.

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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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