Liberia: Regular Updates on an Irregular Situation

Liberia: Regular Updates on an Irregular Situation

Author: Samuel Duworko II

Posted: Ongoing

Reprieve from Fighting in Monrovia

Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II

Posted: 1 July, 2003

Monrovia, the Liberian capital, is today gradually returning to normal after nearly four days of fighting which left some 500 persons, mostly children and women, dead.

The fighting between government forces and those of the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) began last Tuesday, nearly a week after the govt, LURD and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia signed a peace accord in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

The fighting resumed after forces of LURD launched an attack on the capital in a bid to oust President Charles Taylor from power. This was their second attempt on the capital since the rebels started their rebellion in 1999.

Meanwhile the peace talks in Ghana were suspended since the renewed fighting started. In another development, US President George Bush has called on President Taylor to resign.


Liberia: Catholic Archbishop Says His Security Is in the Hands of Govt….

Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II

Posted: 24 June, 2003

The Most Rev. Michael Kpakala Francis says his life is solely and squarely in the hands of the government of President Charles Taylor. The prelate who is Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia made the statement last night in his regular “Conversation with the Archbishop” which airs on Radio

The Archbishop said that a few days ago when he met with President Charles G. Taylor concerning the current crisis in Liberia, he mentioned the threats which have been made against him by Representative Sando Johnson of Bomi County, who on numerous occasions have accused the Archbishop of connivance with the rebels to toppole the Taylor led government.

According to Archbishop, “the president never commented on the issue.” Therefore, the Archbishop said that his life was now in the hands of the
security of the state.

The Catholic Bishop said that he has written the Pope and other officials of the Vatican about the issue. The outspoken cleric who has consistently denounced violence as a way of assumming power, said however, if God wanted him to die during this period, then he is prepared to go, but that those who will take his life,
“will like, Judas, pay for it.”

Meanwhile today, despite govt.’s call that schools should resume today, schools have still not resumed. At the University of Liberia, the state owned instution, classes did not start today as was anticipated. At the Catholic run Don Bosco
Polytechnic Institute, the faculty resolved to resume classes this Wednesday in order to complete the semester. The administration of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary also resolved to complete their semester this week


Liberia, Chuck Taylor and Those Eeeeeviil Americans

Author: Samuel Duworko II

Posted: 15, June 2003

Liberian President Charles Taylor has said that any settlement of the current situation in his country must take into consideration the security of his person and members of his cabinet.

The President made the statement yesterday at the Executive Mansion in Monrovia when he addressed the nation. He said the political situation in Liberia must be solved by a smooth transition process that will take into consideration the Liberian constitution and the presidency. Making clear that he was not going to leave power until his term expires next January, he said power will then be transferred to his vice president. President Taylor repeated his earlier statement that any attempt to arrest him will be “bloody and disatrous,” adding “it will take years to disarm thousands of fighters that might be lodged throughout the forests in Liberia.”

On the question as to why he was not arrested in Ghana after the UN sponsored Special Criminal Tribunal in Sierra Leone issued an indictment for his arrest,
President Taylor said his arrest would have set a bad precedent in Africa; hence, his colleagues in the African Union did not allow his arrest to take place.

President Taylor said the Special Criminal Tribunal was designed to perpetuate a western hold on Africa. He noted that if it had happened to “Charles Taylor, it could happen to Robert Mugabe, Paul Kigame Yoweri Musveni or Tejan Kabah tomorrow.” The Special Tribunal had issued the indictment on June 4 while President Taylor was in Ghana to attend an ECOWAS peace initiative on Liberia. The Ghanaian government of President John Kuffor did not carry out the Special Tribunal’s mandate; but provided adequate security for President Taylor and his entourage.

Upon his return home, fighting erupted in the suburbs of Monrovia between government troops and the forces of the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (Lurd). The fighting sent some 200,000 persons fleeing for their lives in the city centers. However, at yesterday’s press confab, President
Taylor said government forces had beaten back the rebel advance on Monrovia, the nation’s capital. The Liberian leader said the LURD rebels had been
supported and ferried by Sierra Leone and two big powers, a reference to Britain and the United States of America. Again yesterday, he accused the American
government of failing to assist Liberia since the country gained independence in 1847 as a home of freed and repatriated slaves from the US.

Meanwhile, the wave of antiAmerican sentiments continued to be heard on President Taylor’s KISS FM radio. Since the President’s press confab, the radio
has alleged that residents of the Brewerville area reported seeing a helicopter with American flag dropping green boxes. A few days, Tom Gorgla, a noted
political commentator and writer, aired a two part commentry accusing American President George Bush of masterminding the crisis in Liberia.

Author: Samuel Duworko 2


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