Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Liberia: Crackdown On Gbagbo Loyalists in Ivory Coast

Source: The Informer (Monrovia)

A New York based Human Rights organization, Human Rights Watch, has cautioned the security sector of both the Liberian and the Ivorian Governments to avoid abusive crackdown on perceived dissidents, and to ensure that the due process of law takes its course.

According to News agency report, the Liberian government should on the other hand be commended for swiftly undertaking criminal investigations on suspects, with a view to prosecuting or extraditing armed men alleged to be involved in cross-border attacks in the Ivory Coast on June 8, 2012 in which 7 United Nations Peace Keepers and at least 17 people were killed in the western part of that country.

The prompt and robust security measures instituted by Liberia's National; Security Council on Saturday June 9th barely a day after the ambush and killing of seven Niger peace-keepers of the United Nations peacekeeping troops in the Ivory Coast and about seventeen civilians near the border area included the closure of the Liberian side of the border.

It was necessary that the Liberian government do something, at least to give the impression to the international community that they have no hidden hands in the planning and the attack on that country.

Other measures included the suspension of artisan gold mining and cross border trade activities, the re-location of refugee camps away from the border area; except for the transport of humanitarian items such as food and medicines.

The Liberian government made it clear that it will not allow any dissidence activities on Liberian soil, given the experiences of the 14 years rebel conflict that this country had passed through recently.

Human Rights Watch however took exception to the slowness in the Liberian government's investigation of one of the ten wanted Ivoirian dissidents by the name of Chegbo, a pro-Gbagbo loyalist that is said to have been involved in serious criminal activities in the Ivory Coast and hotly wanted by the Ivoirian Government, which may be a cause for them to point accusing fingers on the Liberian government.

But in their defense, Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown has indicated that they are conscious of the rights of suspects and this is why they are treating the investigation in a very professional way to ensure that the rights of the accused are not abused. But once the investigations of the 41 suspects are completed, those found wanting will be prosecuted and extradition proceedings taken to turn them over to the Ivoirian authorities.

The alarm raised by Human Rights Watch concerns suspicions that a lot of those arrested, harassed and detained by the Ivoirian security forces for reasons of rebel activities are perceived Gbagbo loyalists over whom government lacks sufficient proofs to substantiate their claims. The security and human rights situations have been worse in that country since June 12th when the country's Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko announced an abortive coup plot on state television involving pro-Gbagbo political and ex-military loyalists.

According to Human Rights Watch Report, there is mounting concern that the accused coup plotters will not get a speedy and fair trial from the Government of President Alassane Ouattara.

Several of the suspects detained by the Ivoirian government have been complaining of severe harassment and inhumane treatment as the crackdown continues, while declaring their innocence in any attempt to topple the government, or any connection with the rebel activities in the western part of the country.

News Headline

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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