Saturday March 25 , 2006

By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu

There is no doubt that Liberia’s former President,  Charles Taylor,  committed despicable and macabre war crimes when he let loose on the  nation of Sierra Leone blood-thirsty and savage rebel fighters , who not only killed over 50, 000 innocent children, women and men,  but completely destroyed a once paradise-like country .

When you add to those crimes  what Taylor did to his own  country by triggering a civil war that left over 200, 000 people dead and the nation in ruins , you would understand why there is no way that the Butcher of Gbarnga should not be brought to justice . If Taylor is let off the hook, a terrible precedent of impunity will be set that will sink the African continent one day. 

It is therefore incumbent on President George W. Bush , the U.S. Congress , the United Nations, ECOWAS  and the international community not to allow the war-mongers in Liberia to have their way in undermining the process that has been set in motion to bring Taylor to justice.

It is an insult to civility and international decorum for  these thugs and killers in Liberia who should , by right, have been cooling their heels in prison, to be crying their heads off that they will resort to terrorism if  Taylor is punished for his crimes. What kind of beasts and animals are they that they have such contempt for justice ?

Even children yet to be born will one day look at the ruins of Liberia and Sierra Leone and view the horrific pictures of the two wars–Of innocent pregnant women being disembowelled for instance–and  be outraged if they learn that those who perpetuated these vile crimes against innocent people walked free.

The international community should stand ready to enter Liberia , as the U.S  did in Panama, to uproot these vandals, rapists and butchers if they try any more funny tricks in the country. Liberia does not only need peace and tranquility ;she needs to be part of a process where the rule of law is seen to be operating internationally. The peace and stability of Liberia depends on the smooth movement of the wheels of justice. Liberia can never actualize the high standards of peace and stability she  wants to set in her new dispensation if she has in her midst lawless people who think that they are untouchable.

If these people are allowed to have their way, isn’t it logical to conclude that one day they will hijack the democratic process and overthrow the just-installed government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in their show of  impunity ?  Will any government, any civilized and democratic process ever be safe  in the hands of these animals ?

The last thing Liberia and Africa need is the implantation and concretization of the spirit of impunity. It was  this spirit that set the stage for the bloody and unnecessary coups and wars that turned Liberia and Sierra Leone into living hells for hard-working people who deserved a better deal. The time has come to uproot this system of impunity.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has started on a wonderful note to bring reconstruction and progress back to Liberia. The international community, including President Bush and the UN should rally around this new , promising Liberian leadership to ensure that it achieves its goals and objectives .–And there is no better way to do this than  by not only providing the economic aid Sirleaf needs to rebuild Liberia but to make Liberia safe and secure.

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Liberia has to be beefed up to meet the challenges of anarchists and terrorists. The UN Security Council should set up contigency plans to have the peace-keeping force in Liberia for the next 5 years to help Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf consolidate peace and rebuild the country.

Cowards fear nothing but the guns of restraint and punishment .It was these same guns that put paid to the animals in Sierra Leone , led by Foday Sankoh.The same guns can crush and put  out of business the animals in Liberia.

Charles Taylor must face justice, notwithstanding the threats of violence from his supporters.



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