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Building the Bridge towards a Peaceful Liberia.
Solomon Myers (October 2003)

In order to build the bridge to a truly peaceful Liberia, it is essential that America plays the leading role in effectively getting all hands on deck.

During the recent uprising in Zimbabwe, the British Government stood by Zimbabweans and the American ambassador was in court standing side-by-side in support of the opposition leader.
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is named after former American President, James Monroe. James Monroe introduced the Monroe doctrine and was one of the founders of Liberia.
In this crisis, America has not been there for Liberia, notwithstanding the historical ties Liberia has with America. Why has America put Liberia in the back burner for all these years? Why has America left Liberia to spiral into such dire straits?

Where is Guinea and Ghana in this crisis? Through the years, both of these countries have had major presence in Liberia.

The former Liberian leaders, in the past, gave the Mandingos and Fantis opportunities to exploit the natural resources in Liberia. Mandingos used the turnover from this money to access larger sectors of the Liberian economy.

During the Tolbert administration, there was an uprising by the University of Liberia Student Union and other political groups and ironically, Tolbert who had instituted the Liberianisation Policy, which was meant to promote jobs for Liberians first. He invited the Guinean armed forces to protect him during the uprising, as opposed to using Liberian armed forces. This was one of the factor that facilitated the military coup.

This Liberianisation Policy barely survived in the Tolbert era, but succeeded in Doe’s era because Doe was a native Liberian.

During the Tubman and Tolbert’s era, the Fantis were given opportunities in the fishing industry and at the same time, they held top bureaucratic positions in the Ministry of Justice. Guinea and Ghana, two former communist countries, had so much influence in Liberia’s internal political affairs.
Liberians, however, were not and are not given the same opportunities in these other countries. There were no welcoming mats for Liberian refugees, when they were in dire need of a neighbour.

In Liberia’s time of crisis, these countries were all missing in action.
America has a moral obligation to immediately assist Liberians in building the bridge towards a new and peaceful Liberia; where governmental and political affairs must be determined by Liberians and Liberians alone.

From where I sit...


Solomon Myers hails from Buchanan, Liberia. He is a Political Scientist/Historian, currently based in Ottawa, Canada.

Other articles by Solomon Myers


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