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10 Years Later: Remembering the horrors of 'Operation April 6'

Emmanuel H. Payne jr ~ (April 6 2006)  

Liberia during the war

What I saw  as the tragic paradox of the Liberian civil war occurred on the morning of April 6 , 1996 , when an unholy matrimony between two foes - Alhaji kromah and Charles Taylor - was formed and sought to eliminate one of the main variables in the Liberian political equation , Mr. Roosevelt Johnson.

On this day , panic-stricken residents were awakened by loud reports of

machine gun fire and the 'kpa--kpa- gbo-- gbos ' of AK47 Riffles as the drugged libertines and urchins and armed bandits , some of them wearing masks and synthetic hair,  commandeered private and business vehicles to the scene of contention in the Sinkor district of eastern Monrovia. Within days Monrovia and it suburbs were infested with thousands of  'killing machines' and looters from the bushes of rural Liberia.

For several weeks to come this evil marriage, acting  under the pretense of enforcing justice, was to rain havoc on the city of Monrovia and its inhabitants while the peace keepers and a detachment of US MARINES protecting the American diplomatic mission near Monrovia , stood aloof and served as mere spectators of this bloody military drama. Monrovia became a Mogadishu on the West coast and out of the desperation , hundreds could prefer the risk of sailing in rotten vessels than to be killed for no apparent reason by blood-thirsty and trigger-happy criminals on both sides.

Exactly a decade afterwards ,  I remember the horrors of April 6 and pay tribute to those who were fallen by the bandits swords and arms.

But I must confess the degree of relief I also feel on this tenth year memorial, that the senior architect and partner in the evil marriage that unleashed terrors on us , DAHKPANA , is facing the weight of justice abroad. I am reminded of a parable " a child who refuses quiet advice at home will get harsh correction outside."

I  hope that Kromah , Gen. Butt-Naked(who is currently disguised as an evangelist , though  evangelism does not provide escape from the wrath of justice)  and others , will realize that they owe  sincere apology to the Liberian people for their roles in the ATROCITIES of  April 1996 in particular and the civil war as a whole.

About the author:

Emmanuel H. Payne jr. is a Liberian writer and advocate.

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