Tuesday March 28 , 2006

The peace and security of Liberia and Sierra Leone plumetted into uncertainty once again yesterday after Liberian warlord Charles Taylor apparently escaped from justice. In Liberia, fear stalks the streets once again as citizens and foreign residents alike were apprehensive about what Taylor would unleash next while at large.

The stunning news that Taylor had escaped from Calabar, Nigeria , where he had been living for the past three years after being granted asylum by Nigeria in a peace deal that  forced him to surrender power in Liberia , has also put Nigeria and the United States and the United Nations , with the U.S.  threatening serious consequences if Taylor was not accounted for by the hosting country.

The U.S  authorities are even planning to cancel a scheduled meeting  between President Obasanjo and U.S.President George W. Bush jr this week .

What most Sierra Leoneans and Liberians now fear is that Taylor might return to the bush and trigger once more deadly insurrections against their governments. They know that Taylor is not a man to be taken for granted and could decide that since he had nothing more to lose but his life he should put up one last ditch stand by restarting the whole rebel war in Liberia. Taylor could also send terror and death squads  to Liberia and Sierra Leone to silence his critics and those advocating that he be punished.

These new state of affairs have plunged both Liberia and Sierra Leone into uncertainty once again, with fears that no investor would like to spend his money in countries where there is no certainty about peace and security. With Taylor’s alleged links to Al-Quida, the situation is even gloomier.

Until Taylor is found and arrrested, not even the newly-elected government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is safe and Liberians understand that fully, going by opinions they have been expressing to newspapermen and radio personnel.


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