In order for Liberia to emerge as a problem solving nation, as opposed to being part of the global problem; it is essential that policing and fighting global terror be put on the spotlight in Liberia.
Urban design and national identification cards must be considered; and the integrity of the boarders should be guarded. These simple steps can help law enforcement carry out speedy investigations.
Furthermore, half of the armed forces of Liberia should be reinstated; the infantry battalion should not be located in Monrovia (at the BTC). The infantry should reside in Camp Shuffling and the executive mansion battalion should be in Monrovia to protect the executive Mansion.
The jet planes in possession of Charles Taylor should be repossessed and sold. The money recovered from the sale of the jets should be used to buy helicopters for crime prevention purposes.
Recently reports of suspected Al-Qaida's links in Liberia, via Charles Taylor, have emerged. The economic war being waged against the west by Al Qaida and the increased presence of Lebanese militants and ex-combatants in Liberia is troubling. Close allies of Charles Taylor, like Lebanese businessman, Talal el-Ndine, served as financial lieutenant to Taylor and reportedly acted as paymaster for the Revolutionary United Front.
Another Lebanese "businessman" based in Liberia, Abbas Fawaz, was linked by the Independent Commission on Human Rights, to the massacre in River Gee County, Liberia. Fawaz is also suspected of supplying arms and ammunitions to the Taylor regime to attack neighboring Ivory Coast.
These people helped Taylor in achieving his "personal crusade"; and many of these shady Lebanese "business" people mostly remain sole proprietors in Liberia.
These Lebanese with their "dirty" money and shady deals, have access to capital that the average Liberian business person can not compete with. The national security agency in Liberia, in conjunction with the American justice system must investigate the origins of such monies.
All through history, the struggle for economic dominance has led to devastating consequences for segments of the world population.
As we take a look back in history, it becomes clear that some of the factors that contributed to the rapid rise in the devastating slave trade, between 1703 to 1760, was the trade deficit Portugal had with England. The slave trade grew rapidly to an average of 80,000 Africans (mostly West Africans) being uprooted from their homes to the American shores. At the end of this era Britain emerged as a world banker and imperial power.
Among the resultant effects in West Africa, was the loss of human resources within the age of 15-18, rampant social disorder, continued economic exploitation and human misery.
Liberia has to be part of the solution in the fight for the end to global terrorism. Liberia must not contribute to the bloodline of "human vultures". Mistakes of the past should not be repeated. West Africans must not forget the past mistakes that led to the horrific enslavement of its peoples.
Former Liberian presidents, Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor, never contributed anything positive to Liberia and Liberians.
Doe made attempts to attack Sierra Leone, and Taylor inflicted chaos around the whole region. Doe moved the Liberian armed forces towards the boarder of Liberia and Sierra Leone, in spite of the close relationship between Sierra Leone and Liberia. Years later, Taylor launched an assault on Sierra Leone.
Historically, strong ties have existed between Liberia and Sierra Leone. When the British moved the borders, 80% of the Mendes and original Liberian Mandingoes moved to Sierra Leone. Further, Liberia and Sierra Leone both share a common history, as children of enslaved West Africans. Reports of the atrocities launched on Sierra Leone under the Taylor regime, is therefore especially troubling.
Recent reports stated that the Guinean Ambassador to Liberia warned that Liberians were attempting to destabilize his country. He added that this attempt would be suicidal. His statements regarding such an attempt being suicidal carries some credibility, because in the past, the British and French could not penetrate Guinea until the French made a shady deal with Samori Toure of the Samori Empire. This led to his capture while he had attempted to run to Liberia for sanctuary. He was later sent to Gabon where he died.
All through history, Liberia has served as a positive sanctuary for Africans, and at one point, Guineans escaped from the brutal regime of Sekou Toure to take refuge in Liberia.
Liberia, once founded under the banner of "liberty and justice for all" stood for peace and tranquility; and Liberia participated in building bridges amongst African states. A perfect illustration of this was Liberia's instrumental role in several organizations in the region. Liberia was a pioneer of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, the Economic Community of West African State, and the Mano River Union.
All the positive qualities that Liberia once represented have been tarnished by Master Sergeant Doe, and the rebel leader Charles Taylor.
Liberia has now gained notoriety as a destabilizer of the West African region, a renegade nation and a failed state, which harbors terrorists.
Liberia must rise from its decay and become part of the global solution, as opposed to being part of the global problem.
Liberia must not add to the problems in West Africa. Liberia should stand as a nation of liberty and justice for all Africans.
From where I sit...
Solomon Myers hails from Buchanan, Liberia. He is a Political Scientist/Historian, currently based in Ottawa, Canada.
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