ASPECTO

Siguiendo a la líder

Un retrato fílmico de la presidenta liberiana Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

El 16 de enero de 2006, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf prestó juramento como la primera jefa de estado electa en África. Un equipo de cineastas la siguió a lo largo de su primer año en el cargo y el resultado es el documental Iron Ladies of Liberia.
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En una escena inolvidable, vemos con asombro cómo resuelve pacíficamente una protesta potencialmente explosiva. Los soldados amenazaron con un golpe si no se satisfacían sus demandas. La presidenta pone a un beligerante ex combatiente -no ajeno a la violencia y la atrocidad- de rodillas, y lo invita a decirle, respetuosamente, "ma".
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Henry Ansbacher / ITVS
Un artista anónimo ilustra a Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf como una moderna Mona Lisa africana. Ella predomina, su retrato abarca toda la pared de un edificio. Exuda poder, seguridad, autoridad y su arma secreta: sentido del humor. Ver más grande >
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Eric Kanalstein / ITVS
La presidenta Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf el día de su histórica inauguración en Monrovia, capital de Liberia. Aunque vivió en Occidente durante muchos años, elige usar ropa africana tradicional. Ver más grande >
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Eric Kanalstein / ITVS
La dama de hierro Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf es la primera mujer africana en comandar un ejército nacional. Aquí se la ve pasando revista a un grupo de soldados liberianas. Como Presidenta, asignó mujeres en los ministerios de Finanzas, Salud, Defensa, Deportes y Juventud, Comercio y Justicia, así como también en la jefatura de la policía. Ver más grande >
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James Garrison / ITVS
Llamada "ma" tanto por admiradores como por rivales, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf tiene cuatro hijos y seis nietos. No es raro verla rodeada de niños que cantan "ma Ellen, ma Ellen". Ver más grande >
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Micah Schaffer / ITVS
Los directores de Iron Ladies of Liberia, Siatta Scott-Johnson y Daniel Junge, siguieron y filmaron a Johnson-Sirleaf durante su primer año en el cargo. Tuvieron acceso a reuniones del poder ejecutivo, así como también a su vida familiar y hogareña. Ver más grande >
La presidenta Sirleaf recibe bien el sobrenombre de "dama de hierro" y los realizadores se lo otorgan a muchas de las mujeres que ella designó en posiciones de liderazgo. Se necesitará un equipo de damas de hierro para reconstruir Libera, un país aturdido por el legado de una guerra civil de 14 años, una corrupción ampliamente extendida, una deuda abultada y el desempleo generalizado del 90% de su población.

Pero la nueva presidenta es más que solo "hierro". Los liberianos--jóvenes, viejos, amigos y enemigos--le dicen "ma" o "madre". La película revela esta combinación de cuidado y firmeza que es la clave del liderazgo de Sirleaf.

En una escena inolvidable, vemos con asombro cómo resuelve pacíficamente una protesta potencialmente explosiva. Los soldados amenazaron con un golpe si no se satisfacían sus demandas. La presidenta pone a un beligerante ex combatiente -no ajeno a la violencia y la atrocidad- de rodillas, y lo invita a decirle, respetuosamente, "ma".

I.M.O.W. habló con la periodista liberiana Siatta Scott-Johnson, quien, junto al realizador estadounidense Daniel Junge, creó Iron Ladies of Liberia. Le preguntamos sobre su experiencia al realizar la crónica del primer año del mandato de la presidenta Sirleaf.


Mucha gente en el mundo ve a la presidenta Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf como un ejemplo de lo que una líder puede hacer. ¿Tenía esto en mente? ¿Fue difícil ser objetiva?

Como liberiana, y conociendo desde qué lugar madame Sirleaf entró en relación con el escenario político del país, no había dudas de que era una líder fuerte. Así que no fue difícil ser objetiva.

Por lo general, son periodistas hombres los que informan sobre mujeres líderes. ¿Fue especial para usted como mujer poder documentar a la Presidenta?

Me sentí privilegiada al documentar la vida de mi Presidenta. Hacer este documental fue como un trampolín en una etapa inicial de mi carrera. Me brindó la oportunidad de interactuar con gente a la que nunca habría conocido. Esto me dio pasión por mi carrera.

¿Cómo fue tener ese tipo de acceso hacia la Presidenta de su país?

Fue realmente maravilloso tener semejante acceso exclusivo a la Presidenta. Al principio, nos dieron poco acceso; entonces, lo aprovechamos. Hubiera sido muy difícil sin la ayuda de mis compañeros "blancos". Su presencia servía como una especie de escudo para mí.

¿Enfrentó alguna decisión difícil respecto a cómo retratarla?

Sí, fue un poco difícil retratar a una mujer tan grande. ¡Parecía que había demasiado para capturar de esta mujer! Hay mucho para captar más allá de la simple superficie.

¿Qué cree que es lo más notable de su estilo de liderazgo?

Admiro mucho el liderazgo participativo que posee. En solo un año, unió a un país devastado por 14 años de un brutal conflicto civil.

¿Cree que hace una diferencia para su país el hecho de tener a un grupo de mujeres en el poder (es decir, la Presidenta y parte de su gabinete)?

Una buena diferencia es que alienta a más mujeres a abrazar la educación y a alejarse de la mentalidad africana de no educar a las niñas.

¿Cree usted que las mujeres lideran de manera diferente a los hombres?

Hablando desde mi posición como mujer, creo que las mujeres son mejores líderes, pero en el contexto real. Creo que es momento de que los hombres les den a las mujeres el manto de autoridad. Las mujeres son buenas tomando decisiones. Aunque a veces emocionales, empiezan tomando decisiones que afectan la familia en los hogares. Las mujeres en posiciones de toma de decisión primero toman en consideración su integridad y quieren servir como modelos.

¿Cómo fue trabajar con un cineasta estadounidense (Daniel Junge)? ¿Se encontró en la situación de tener que explicarle mucho sobre el contexto mientras filmaban?

Estaba entusiasmada de trabajar con un realizador estadounidense. Tendría que explicar el contexto liberiano de las cosas y cómo operan. ¡Había tanto que explicar!

¿Cuál fue su momento más memorable de la realización del film?

Mis momentos más memorables fueron las incontables horas que pasé alrededor de la Presidenta con mi cámara mientras ella hacía su rutina normal. Me sentí muy privilegiada.





Comentarios

The portrait of Johnson-Sirleaf on the building is magnificent. I would add it also depicts her mother, "Ma" side. And, as Dee-Dee Myers said in her recent book "Why Women Should Rule," promoting ones maternal side is one aspect of seeking a place at the political table that women should not ignore!

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Usuario borrado

In the film “Iron Ladies” Ellen Johnson-Sileaf admits that she needs to pretend to be compassionate, understanding and lenient. Nodding her head, smiling kindly and gesturing with empathy—being motherly—are definitely weapons in her presidential arsenal. Her unbelievable sense of humor is another quite important reason for her success.

It is inspiring and wonderful to see a woman of color in a position of power. Through her personal lens and life experience that is unique to the white-dominant patriarchy that has ruled people of color all over the world. Changing the face of leadership means changing what power and leadership means to a community by redefining boundaries.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her political leadership, will make a big change in Africa, and will sets examples to the whole world.

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Dear International Museum of Women.
Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should not be seated at the same table as women of substance. As a Liberian woman, I am traumatized about the damage Madame Sirleaf caused to women and children in Libeira which is NEVER reported in the western media. She sponsored the brutal 14yrs of civil war which led to the death of more than 250,000 innocent Liberians, mainly women and children, for her selfish ambition to be president. Please learn to do your research thoroughly before celebrating this woman in organization so that the wrong message is not send to young girls around world. Your organization has done the greatest injustice to the women of Liberia to hold Madame Sirleaf in such a high esteem. Read more: http://www.frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4336:coalition-protests-sirleafs-visit-to-harlem-church&catid=48:letter&Itemid=121

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Coalition for Justice protests Madame Sirleaf visit to Harlem Church: Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts
Bishop of the Abyssinian Baptist Church 132 Odell Clark Place
New York, NY 10030
Dear Reverend Butts:

As an American-based nonviolent human rights advocacy organization, the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL), advocates for justice for the victims of Liberia's 14-year brutal civil conflict. CJL is also committed to informing and educating the American public regarding the continued fragile conditions for sustainable peace in Liberia. Given your longstanding track record as an iconic American institution known for its enviable civil rights' record, CJL finds itself compelled to draw your attention to what may well be an unintentional misstep by your decision to provide a platform of your Sunday services to the president of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to speak to your congregation. We are greatly disturbed by this decision to use your pulpit, the most sacred place to preach the words of God, contaminated. We would like to use this medium to register our concerns as well as offer our perspective on the skewed, uninformed, and distorted narrative frequently presented to the American public by the western media on the Liberia civil war and the role of President Sirleaf.

First and foremost, you are aware that for nearly two decades, Liberia was ravaged by a brutal civil war that destroyed every fabric of its society. Not only were the infrastructural foundations completely wiped out, the negative consequences of the civil war produced one of the worst death tolls in human history. More than 250,000 of the country's able-bodied citizens, including innocent women, children, youth and the elderly, who are the most vulnerable in society, lost their lives in this senseless and savage war. Included in the death tolls are five American Nuns who had provided their invaluable services to the suffering people of Liberia, but were brutally murdered by the faction sponsored by President Sirleaf, and the July 29, 1990 massacre of 600 civilians who sought refuge in a Holy Sanctuary- the Liberian Lutheran Church. What is more, the gruesome nature of this war defied human imagination: individuals were mutilated, tortured alive; children ages seven to eight years old, were abducted and drugged with illicit drugs to carry out indiscriminate killing of their neighbors; whole villages and communities were burned down and their inhabitants, including elders, children and women, were brutally killed and were buried in mass graves; pregnant women were raped and their unborn child decapitated; families were forced to witness the killing of their loved ones and engaged in forced sexual acts with their kin, and more, including near ethnic cleansing. The perpetrators of these gruesome acts of war who aided, abetted, and executed Liberia’s brutal civil war, now walk the corridors of power and have eluded justice today in Liberia, including the current president of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf.

Not surprisingly, one of the untold and underreported stories of this war, which most western media narratives have overlooked or purposely ignored is that the war was primarily conceived, planned, financed, and executed by many of the key principal actors, including Madam Sirleaf, who, ironically, today comprise the political ruling class. There exists no shortage of facts on Madam Sirleaf’s crucial involvement in the civil war, some of which have been provided by her close associates, including Mr. Charles Taylor, former President and leader of the National Patriotic Front (NPFL), recently found guilty by the World Crimes Court for his role in the Sierra Leone civil war. Furthermore, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report (TRC), provides substantial evidence on her role and involvement in the war. In addition, when she appeared on the BBC World News service in January 1990, during the early days of the rebel insurgency, she was famously quoted instructing NPFL rebels “to level down Monrovia [the capital city], we will rebuild it in 3 days”. Undeniably, this statement emboldened the rebels to carry out indiscriminate and ruthless killing of innocent civilians. Again, when she appeared before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Africa on June 19, 1990, Madam Sirleaf pitched an appeal on behalf of Charles Taylor- a fugitive wanted by the U.S. government- justifying the war as necessary, in spite of the killing, to remove Samuel Doe, the military dictator. Showing no sense of remorse for the rising death toll and prepared to sacrifice the children of Liberia to achieve her ultimate ambition, Madam Sirleaf rationalize the war in these words: “ This revolt symbolizes a civil war which encompasses regions of the country where more than two-thirds of the Liberian people live and the greatest resources are located. The people, many of them children, have joined the struggle for freedom with little more than courage and hope for the future. It is within the context that the uprising represents an opportunity for creative transformation of the Liberian landscape” (Hathi Trust Library). Clearly, the only thing “creative” about this war is the legacy of death and suffering that the Liberian people are still struggling to cope with as their murderers go unpunished for their crimes while holding offices of trust to refurbish their criminal images in America and the international community. No doubt, President Sirleaf has been skillful in manipulating the world in concealing the truth about her role in the Liberian conflict to be issued a prestigious award such as the Nobel Peace Prize and now to enter your Holy Sanctuary with innocent blood of God’s children stained on her hands. Most recently, President Sirleaf was accompanied by the ex- wife of former President Charles Taylor, Ms. Jewell Howard-Taylor, and now Senator for Liberia, to attend the United Nations General Assembly Conference. We wonder about the message this sends to young girls and women around the world!

On the contrary, having experienced the scourge of war, the Liberian people are determined and have resolved to establish a stable, peaceful society that places a high premium on the values of human rights. However, many of the prevailing, pernicious conditions that contributed to the war in the first place continue to persist. For example, the culture of impunity, which underlies the root cause of our problem, has been allowed to blossom and go unchecked. There continues to be many instances of human rights violations against already powerless and helpless war victims, including assault, imprisonment without the right of due process, and police brutality. Moreover, there is a growing economic and social malaise that pervades the country as manifested in the widening income gap between a tiny minority and a vast majority, and as manifested in the social conditions of young people who comprise the majority of the population. The United Nations, for example, has reported an upsurge in the rate of prostitution among young girls in Liberia. The rise of prostitution among young girls, as young as eight years old, mainly those whose parents were killed as a result of this senseless war, have no opportunity to improve their lives; therefore, these young girls prostitute themselves just to find food to eat in a nation plagued by extreme poverty. In addition, there is a lack of decent education including a high dropout rate among the youth and a growing lack of basic human services for war victims such as clean drinking water, despite the enormous aid from the international community and donors. These conditions not only reflect a culture of injustice, but are not favorable for lasting and permanent peace in a society so badly in need of it.

We recognize and applaud the significant role the Abyssinian Church has played in the civil rights struggle of African Americans in the 60s, and the anti-Apartheid struggles of the people of South Africa in the 70s and 80s. Like the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreamed to end injustices in America, we, as sons and daughters in CJL, dream to end injustices in Liberia. Considering the historic role your church has always played in supporting those who are marginalized and disadvantaged, we, members of CJL, whose lives were spared by the grace of the Almighty God, bowed down before your anointed altar, to ask that you and your congregation stand with us in solidarity in our struggle to ensure that sustainable peace gains a foothold in Liberia, and that the victims of the Liberian civil war have justice so that they too can experience a closure in their lives.


Though the country has made minimal strides towards peace supported by the international community- with the holding of two consecutive elections in the last six years, 2005 and 2011, both considered controversial, there still remains a structural challenge to achieving lasting peace in Liberia without reining in the entrenched culture of impunity. In the Book of Proverbs 29:7, God said, “The righteous care about justice for the poor”. The poor victims of the Liberian civil war need justice!

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos










Click the Link for official document:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?view=image;size=100;id=pst.000017170666;page=root;seq=1





























Testimony of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf



Executive Committee, Liberia Action Party



Before the Africa Subcommittee



On the



Current Crisis in Liberia



June 19, 1990

Chairman Wolpe, I thank you and members of the African Subcommittee, for the opportunity to give testimony concerning the current crisis in Liberia. My name is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a member of the Executive Committee of the Liberia Action Party. I was twice jailed between 1985 and 1986, charged respectively with sedition and treason as a result of my activity with the party. Thanks to you and to several human rights monitoring organizations, I am free.



Currently, I serve a Vice President and Washington Representative of Equator Bank.



My testimony will be very brief, touching upon the legacy of the Doe regime, the reality of the ongoing insurgency of the National Patriotic Front and what I believe to be the vision which the Liberian people have for the future of their country.




By overwhelming endorsement, the Liberia people gave legitimacy in the Samuel Doe regime when it came to power through a violent military coup April, 1980. We did so because we believe that the first indigenous son, as leader would represent and seek to achieve the aspiration of the majority of the Liberia people-a society characterized by equality and equity, responsibility and responsiveness, resourcefulness and honesty.

Today the Liberia State is exhausted and virtually near collapse.


Economic resources have been plundered and misused by public officials whose greed and conspicuous consumption are unparalleled in the nation’s history. Citizens and country alike have been reduced to begging for survival while substantial wealth accumulates in the hands of a few privileged few. A once lowly master sergeant who came to power to redress the improprieties and inequalities in the society now rides in jewelry and three-piece suits, in a Rolls Royce with some fifteen other luxury cars in waiting. He speaks of love for a people, but a people who are feeling the brunt of a steady economic decline which has left them impoverished.Unemployment, spiraling cost of living, the lack of medical facilities, inadequately equipped schools, little means of transportation and a depleted national capital stock are common conditions which they face. Even their culture and traditional ways of life are being threatened by wanton environmental degradation.


Attempts to address these grave economic shortcomings have been consistently spurned over the years by a Government lacking the political will to reform. As a result, financial institutions have withdrawn their support. The country is bankrupt; civil servants have not been paid for months and are unable to receive the social services such as power and water which enhance the quality of life.


This economic tragedy is mirrored by a political system which is maintained through state terrorism.


Arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture, secret and public executions, together with willful destruction and dispossession of private properties have been a consistent pattern. Unfortunately, this has been helped by repeated external sympathy for the regime, as each new atrocity ignored has served as a license for even more gruesome activities.



We are sure that when the record of Doe regime is finally assessed, we will find a human rights record so profound in its tally of death and destruction as to astound the world.


Liberia does not represent an example of social harmony, given the dichotomy which has characterized our society. But in the past ten years we have seen the development of ethnic strife, divisions and hostility unknown to us before. The oligarchy which now exists thus perpetuates itself on the divide and rule principle.


This is the legacy of the present regime and its chief architect, Samuel Doe-a legacy of economic mismanagement and decline, lawlessness, violence, political repression and social discord.


The post December 24 events developed out of these conditions and out of a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, humiliation and rage.Ideally, Liberians should be prepared to exercise patience until 1991 and then seek to oust the Doe regime by the ballot box. But given the experience of the fraudulent election of 1985 to which I can give personal witness, and in the absence of any evidence since that time of a change in his policy and practices, not one single Liberian can honestly attest to confidence that with Samuel Doe in power the 1991 elections or any other scheduled before that time would be more than a repeat of 1985.


Additional, the current uprisings should not be seen as a repeat of the 1980 coup or the 1985 invasion involving the participation of a small number of armed dissents who seek to overthrow a Government and proclaim for themselves a new one.

This revolt symbolism a civil war which encompasses regions of the country where more than two thirds of the Liberian people live and the greatest resources are located. Thepeople, many of them children, have joined this struggles for freedom with little more than courage and hope for the future. It is within this context that the uprising represents an opportunity for creative transformation of the Liberia political landscape.

To use the words of noted Liberian academic and professional, Elwood Dunn, “In 1990 Charles Taylor is as much the principal instrument of history as Samuel Doe was in 1980.”
This is the reality and one to which the Liberian people must give adequate response to ensure that the future for which we hope- a member society is based upon participation, consensus and compassion and one which seeks to promote the creative talents of all its citizens under conditions of equity and equal opportunity-can come to pass.


For, it is these ideals which for the foundation for sustainable growth and economic prosperity.


In pursuit of these goals; the Samuel Doe regime must go-the mandate must pass to Charles Taylor who must in turn commence the process toward democracy.


There is another reality.Whether we like it or not, Liberia is perceived as the closest one can come to an America colony in Africa. A share history, a long standing friendship, andto a certain extent a common culture, makes Liberia in the eyes of the international community an example of the commitment or lack of commitment, the effectiveness or ineffectiveness, or United States, must get off the fence and assist the process of political transaction. In practical terms, this means concerted action to pressure political stability perhaps with the help of an acceptable international peacekeeping force; it means continued leaning on Taylor to announce a fixed timetable for free and fair elections monitored and observed by international agencies.




We will need more, Liberian is an economic disaster despite the more than half a billion dollars provided by the United States since 1980 and almost like amount provided by other bilateral and multilateral donors. However, I believe that with good government(and we will settle for no less) and with your assistance, the task of economic recovery and reconstruction can politically transformed Liberia can break the tradition shackles of dependency.







Members of the Committee, on Saturday in Alexanddria where I live I will bury my mother. She had hoped that she would have been able to return home to the warmth of additional family and friends before being called to the great beyond.For her time ran out.The more than 12 percent of the Liberian population, some 200,000 people which are in neighboring countries, and 70,000 in this country, and the countless number of citizens who are internally displaced, pray daily for what my mother dreamed a chance to return home and lead normal lives.







A hundred years of friendship with America deserves your support to the current struggle which seeks to help these people achieve this simple goal




I thank you.


Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos










Click the Link for official document:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?view=image;size=100;id=pst.000017170666;page=root;seq=1





























Testimony of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf



Executive Committee, Liberia Action Party



Before the Africa Subcommittee



On the



Current Crisis in Liberia



June 19, 1990

Chairman Wolpe, I thank you and members of the African Subcommittee, for the opportunity to give testimony concerning the current crisis in Liberia. My name is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a member of the Executive Committee of the Liberia Action Party. I was twice jailed between 1985 and 1986, charged respectively with sedition and treason as a result of my activity with the party. Thanks to you and to several human rights monitoring organizations, I am free.



Currently, I serve a Vice President and Washington Representative of Equator Bank.



My testimony will be very brief, touching upon the legacy of the Doe regime, the reality of the ongoing insurgency of the National Patriotic Front and what I believe to be the vision which the Liberian people have for the future of their country.




By overwhelming endorsement, the Liberia people gave legitimacy in the Samuel Doe regime when it came to power through a violent military coup April, 1980. We did so because we believe that the first indigenous son, as leader would represent and seek to achieve the aspiration of the majority of the Liberia people-a society characterized by equality and equity, responsibility and responsiveness, resourcefulness and honesty.

Today the Liberia State is exhausted and virtually near collapse.


Economic resources have been plundered and misused by public officials whose greed and conspicuous consumption are unparalleled in the nation’s history. Citizens and country alike have been reduced to begging for survival while substantial wealth accumulates in the hands of a few privileged few. A once lowly master sergeant who came to power to redress the improprieties and inequalities in the society now rides in jewelry and three-piece suits, in a Rolls Royce with some fifteen other luxury cars in waiting. He speaks of love for a people, but a people who are feeling the brunt of a steady economic decline which has left them impoverished.Unemployment, spiraling cost of living, the lack of medical facilities, inadequately equipped schools, little means of transportation and a depleted national capital stock are common conditions which they face. Even their culture and traditional ways of life are being threatened by wanton environmental degradation.


Attempts to address these grave economic shortcomings have been consistently spurned over the years by a Government lacking the political will to reform. As a result, financial institutions have withdrawn their support. The country is bankrupt; civil servants have not been paid for months and are unable to receive the social services such as power and water which enhance the quality of life.


This economic tragedy is mirrored by a political system which is maintained through state terrorism.


Arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture, secret and public executions, together with willful destruction and dispossession of private properties have been a consistent pattern. Unfortunately, this has been helped by repeated external sympathy for the regime, as each new atrocity ignored has served as a license for even more gruesome activities.



We are sure that when the record of Doe regime is finally assessed, we will find a human rights record so profound in its tally of death and destruction as to astound the world.


Liberia does not represent an example of social harmony, given the dichotomy which has characterized our society. But in the past ten years we have seen the development of ethnic strife, divisions and hostility unknown to us before. The oligarchy which now exists thus perpetuates itself on the divide and rule principle.


This is the legacy of the present regime and its chief architect, Samuel Doe-a legacy of economic mismanagement and decline, lawlessness, violence, political repression and social discord.


The post December 24 events developed out of these conditions and out of a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, humiliation and rage.Ideally, Liberians should be prepared to exercise patience until 1991 and then seek to oust the Doe regime by the ballot box. But given the experience of the fraudulent election of 1985 to which I can give personal witness, and in the absence of any evidence since that time of a change in his policy and practices, not one single Liberian can honestly attest to confidence that with Samuel Doe in power the 1991 elections or any other scheduled before that time would be more than a repeat of 1985.


Additional, the current uprisings should not be seen as a repeat of the 1980 coup or the 1985 invasion involving the participation of a small number of armed dissents who seek to overthrow a Government and proclaim for themselves a new one.

This revolt symbolism a civil war which encompasses regions of the country where more than two thirds of the Liberian people live and the greatest resources are located. Thepeople, many of them children, have joined this struggles for freedom with little more than courage and hope for the future. It is within this context that the uprising represents an opportunity for creative transformation of the Liberia political landscape.

To use the words of noted Liberian academic and professional, Elwood Dunn, “In 1990 Charles Taylor is as much the principal instrument of history as Samuel Doe was in 1980.”
This is the reality and one to which the Liberian people must give adequate response to ensure that the future for which we hope- a member society is based upon participation, consensus and compassion and one which seeks to promote the creative talents of all its citizens under conditions of equity and equal opportunity-can come to pass.


For, it is these ideals which for the foundation for sustainable growth and economic prosperity.


In pursuit of these goals; the Samuel Doe regime must go-the mandate must pass to Charles Taylor who must in turn commence the process toward democracy.


There is another reality.Whether we like it or not, Liberia is perceived as the closest one can come to an America colony in Africa. A share history, a long standing friendship, andto a certain extent a common culture, makes Liberia in the eyes of the international community an example of the commitment or lack of commitment, the effectiveness or ineffectiveness, or United States, must get off the fence and assist the process of political transaction. In practical terms, this means concerted action to pressure political stability perhaps with the help of an acceptable international peacekeeping force; it means continued leaning on Taylor to announce a fixed timetable for free and fair elections monitored and observed by international agencies.




We will need more, Liberian is an economic disaster despite the more than half a billion dollars provided by the United States since 1980 and almost like amount provided by other bilateral and multilateral donors. However, I believe that with good government(and we will settle for no less) and with your assistance, the task of economic recovery and reconstruction can politically transformed Liberia can break the tradition shackles of dependency.







Members of the Committee, on Saturday in Alexanddria where I live I will bury my mother. She had hoped that she would have been able to return home to the warmth of additional family and friends before being called to the great beyond.For her time ran out.The more than 12 percent of the Liberian population, some 200,000 people which are in neighboring countries, and 70,000 in this country, and the countless number of citizens who are internally displaced, pray daily for what my mother dreamed a chance to return home and lead normal lives.







A hundred years of friendship with America deserves your support to the current struggle which seeks to help these people achieve this simple goal




I thank you.


Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Realities and Contradictions: The Nobel Peace Prize: Who Deserves it the Most?

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia or Mohatma K. Ghandi of India?



The Swedish Industrialist, Alfred Nobel wrote in his will that the Nobel Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. However, between 1937 and 1948 the Nobel Committee rejected the Indian liberation leader of nonviolence resistance, Mohatma Ghandi, on five different occasions. But the Committee has awarded Liberian self-admitted war sponsor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as “Queen of Peace”. The question is: Ghandi and Sirleaf, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize the Most? Is the award based on merit or lobby? If they had stronger international lobbyists, could other nominees like Adlof Hitler, Benito Musolini and Joseph Stanley also win the Nobel Peace Prize? Off course Yasir Afarat did win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Recently, the Nobel Committee in Olso, Norway awarded Liberian President Ellen Johnson with the Nobel Peace Prize as one of three candidates. National and international reaction to Pres. Sirleaf’s preferment is mixed. Media reports including CNN, BBC, New York Times and Aljazeera seem the whole world is divided over Sirleaf’sinclusion. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: A true advocate of peace, nonviolence and the promoter of women’s right Or an unrepented war sponsor and advocate of violence protected by international indifference to justice and feminist sympathy?

An October 7, 2011 press release issued by the Nobel Committee, reads:“President Sirleaf has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, to promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position of women”. Well, in my earlier press statement I opined and I still think that President Sirleaf deserves the recognition because she has promoted economic and social development. Why because it is under her administration that international donors are constructing roads and health facilities; even though the odds against these strides are threatening (such as high employment, high illiteracy, a hungry population, dark country and massive corruption). Two because, Ellen has appointed more women in government than any other Liberian leader, even though her critics think she has not addressed rape, FGM, domestic violence and exploitation against women in most spheres of Liberian life. Some even claim Ellen’s concentration is strengthening elite and few educated women based in Monrovia over the multi of women in urban slums and rural communities. I still think Ellen deserves a pat on the back, hence the recognition.

But what seems to be far from reality is whether or not has, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, throughout her political career - before and during her presidency-, promoted peace and or reconciliation anywhere or in Liberia? Is Ellen the mother of violent rebellions in Liberia or she is a peace promoter? Can a Judas Iscariot, no matter how well decorated, ever resemble Jesus Christ?

On reflection, before her election, Ellen is said to have organized and supported the 1985 rebel invasion by Gen. Thomas Quiwonkpa against the ‘elected’ government of Samuel Doe in which innocent people including women and Gen. Quiwonkpa got killed and heavily affected. Ellen has never denied her involvement with the Quiwonkpa’s invasion. Secondly, even though Ellen admitted to contributing only $10,000.00 to the war efforts and rebel incursion of Mr. Charles Taylor, both the TRCand inside sources of the Ellen-Taylor marriage believe that Ellen’s role in the destructive violence is more than what she public admitted, thereby earning her a 30 year ban from public office.

One of the men who planned and executed the war and later became Defense spokesman for the rebels, Mr. Thomas Jucontee Worwiyou, claimed that Ellen raised and contributed more than US$500,000.00 to the war efforts that later killed over 300,000 people and displaced about 700,000 more. In fact, Mr. Worwiyou claimed that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s public statement on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ordering the rebels to burn down the Mansion (Monrovia) and she would rebuild it” was an order from their Commander-In-Chief. President Sirleaf earlier denied this statement but later admitted with an apology.

This statement was made at a time when the late President Samuel Doe was trapped in the mansion with thousands of ethnic khrans and other tribes including women and children; and West Point, Clara Town, Logan, New Kru Town were populated with hundreds of thousands civilians. During this period, rebel shelling of the city heavily increased to get Doe out.

For the past six years of her presidency, there is no public record of Ellen’s contribution to peace and reconciliation. The TRCreport is shelved; there is no national program/action for reconciliation. The fact of the matter is the guns have been silent in Liberia for the past six years under Ellen’s presidency because United Nations army under UNMIL provide security and keep the peace. It is not because Ellen’s leadership and domestic policies are welcome by Liberians. I bet, if UNMIL were to leave Liberia today, there would be violence the next day. So the credit is for UNMIL rather than Ellen. In fact the vindictive leadership style, series of plausible deniability schemes including on corruption, divisive politicking and comfortably presiding over a paradise of thieves by Ellen are uncharacteristic of genuine visionary leaders like Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton, Barak Obama and Nelson Mandela.

So why would the Nobel Peace Committee award a woman who has only 10% positives and 90% negatives of the very reasons for which the Nobel Prize was envisioned? Well, I believe the only reason the award is appropriate is to direct attention to the role of women in reconstruction and peace building in post conflict societies. But was this the intention of Mr. Alfred Nobel?

Mr Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist, established the Nobel Prizes upon his death in 1895 for service to humanity in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. But since 1901 when the first award was given, the award proceedings, nominations, and exclusions have been mired by criticism of irregularities. Of late, selection of awardees for this “once used to be” prestigious aware is based not on merit but on high level international lobby, sometimes defined by corporate interests, peer alliances, feminism and the desire to control world events. And in the case of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,billionaire Abigail Disney, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Steve Cashian, Lawyer Larry Gibson are said to have influenced Desmond Tutu to join the lobby campaign for Ellen.

But is this a strange happening and action by the Nobel Committee? I say no. It is possible that the committee sometimes serves political and other interests. For instance, even the entire world would vote for Mohatma Ghandi for the world presidency for peace, but Mohatma Ghandi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize and rejected five times by the Nobel Committee between 1937 and 1948. Does Ellen deserve the Prize more than Ghandhi? I say no. But Ghandi was campaigning against the interest of the British Empire and may not had found favor with the Nobel Committee, and Ellen is promoting neo liberal corporate interests and agenda without any economic and social benefits to her people, so maybe the committee found her suitable.

“We must understand that this award nowadays is “politically motivated, sometimes premature, and guided by a faulty definition of what constitutes work for peace”, says a critic. For instance:

1.The 1994 prize went to Yasser Arafat and others for “his courage "to honour a political act… which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East." However, Arafat's was considered an "unrepentant terrorist with a long legacy of promoting violence” and the PLO was declared a terrorist organization by the United States.

2.The 1978 prize went to Menachem Begin and others for the Camp David Agreement during the 1973 Yom Kippur War against Israel, But Begin was involved in a failed plot to assassinate German chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

3.The 1973 prize went to others and United States Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger for the Paris Peace Accord of 1973 intended to bring about cease-fire in the Vietnam War. However, “Kissinger's history included the secret 1969–1975 campaign of bombing against infiltrating North Vietnamese Army troops in Cambodia, the alleged U.S. involvement in Operation Condor—a mid-1970s campaign of kidnapping and murder coordinated among the intelligence and security services of Argentina”.

4.The 1945 prize was awarded to former US Secretary of State to Franklin D. Roosevelt during the SS St. Louis crisis. Cordell Hull. St. Lewis, a ship carrying over 950 Jewish refugees seeking asylum from Nazi persecution in 1939 from Hamburg, Germany sought to enter the US. President Roosevelt initially showed willingness to accept the ship which was waiting in the Carribbearn Sea between Florida and Cuba, and take in some on board, but Hull and other Southerners “voiced vehement opposition” thereby refusing the ship entry in the US. “Forced to return to Europe, over a quarter of its passengers subsequently died in the Holocaust”

Even though the Nobel Prize has been awarded to well suitable individuals but the fact is, like in the case of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, anybody can be nominated and depending on how well you are connected and how strong your lobbyists are, you can win the prize. Remember the dictators Benito Mussolini of Italy was nominated in 1935, Adolf Hitler of Germany was nominated in 1939 and Joseph Stalin of Russia was nominated in1945 and 1948 for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is possible they could have won, if the had found favor with the trend of global opinion, albeit wrong.
by Aloysius Toe

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Liberia: No-bel for President, No-water for residents



by Thomas C. Mountain

October 12, 2011

The most likely ex-President of Liberia has been given a share of one of the western world’s most prestigious awards, the Nobel Peace Prize; yet the residents of the capital of Monrovia have not had running water for the full 6 years of her term in office.

Think about it; if after six years and hundreds of millions of western aid the residents of the capital have no running water, how desperate must it be in the rest of Liberia?

Access to clean drinking water is the first of the fundamental human rights—including food, shelter and medical care—that make up the most primary of all human rights, the right to life itself.

Lack of clean drinking water has killed more people in Liberia, as a part of the world as a whole, than all the violence and wars combined.

The UN may only have recognized clean drinking water as a right last year, but for so many in the third world, it is the most pressing daily need.

While the western human rights corporations may preach oh so vociferously about human rights being elections and freedom of the press, they somehow neglect to rate the world’s leaders by how well they are making sure all their people have the first of the basic human rights to life, clean drinking water.

Is it any wonder why the Liberian President is so unpopular in Liberia? She has been an utter failure in the human rights department as far as her citizens are concerned, no matter how many Nobel prizes she may receive from her overlords in the west.

Again, think about it; how is a modern city supposed to function without running water? And this utter failure of an African leader got the most prestigious award the west bestows on its vassals?

As for the Liberian Presidents peace building credentials, it was just this year that Liberian-based paramilitary death squads, armed and supported by the French, helped invade the Ivory Coast to overthrow the Gbagbo government, and in the process murdered untold thousands of Ivorians, with 800 massacred in just one town.

One hell of a peace builder wasn’t she? But, then, it is maybe unfair to blame her for everything gone wrong in Liberia, for many claim that she is little more than Mayor of Monrovia and its environs, and that warlords, paramilitary militias, and bandits actually control most of the country.

Crisis Management is the USA’s preferred policy in Africa—as in create a crisis and then manage the subsequent chaos, the better to loot and pillage west Africa’s resources. Liberia has long been a poster child for murder and mayhem, though much hope had been placed in Africa’s first “democratically elected woman President”.

But after 6 years, beau coup millions of dollars and still no running water in the capital of the country, one should expect a Nobel Prize, at least? For a job well done as far as the western banksters, Firestone Rubber, and their minions in the media are concerned.

So remember, its a No-bel Prize for Liberia’s President and No-water for Liberia’s residents, all thanks to an unhealthy dose of western style “democracy”.

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Leymah Gbowee said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had not done enough to ease poverty
Liberia's president has not done enough to tackle corruption, says her fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee.Ms Gbowee, a peace activist, shared last year's prize with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen's Tawakul Karman. She asked why Mrs Sirleaf's sons had been given lucrative jobs and said she was resigning from the reconciliation commission.
"I feel I have been a disappointment to myself and Liberia. Not speaking is as bad as being part of the system. Some may say I am a coward but the opportunity to speak out has come here," she said. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19876111

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

The former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Cllr. Jerome Verdier has condemned President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's administration of being corrupt, alleging that under the current regime, "corruption is rampant and capital flight is high" beyond her control.

Verdier said as a consequence, inflation is high, prices of basic commodities are prohibitively expensive with corresponding decline in disposable income and falling standards of living, landing Liberia the "the third poorest nation in the world standing".

He said Ellen regime understands the language of the international community. All she has to do to protect this vested interest is to pretend not to know what is going on and make empty commitments to fighting corruption at the same time be lukewarm about enacting strong anti-corruption laws and undermine the effective operation of institutions fighting corruption so they exist in name only.

However, the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism (MICAT) debunked Verdier's assertion as "false and a lousy accusation that has absolutely no evidence in truth."

Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Isaac Jackson, said Verdier is trying to seek political asylum in the United States at the expense of the Liberian government.

Speaking to this paper Sunday to debunk assertion made Verdier last week, Minister Jackson said the government has ample evidence to fighting corruption in the country by the creations of a number of anti-corruption institutions such as the Anti Corruption Commission.

Regarding allegation by Verdier that the President family members are rooted in government, Minister Jackson said the President can't get engaged what he called "reversal discrimination" with her family members, adding that the President's family people, including her children are qualified.

Verdier: "To date, no one can say for sure how much Liberia is worth in terms of national accounts-- receipts (revenue) and outlay (expenditure). This is a valuable public information (and asset) that measures the level of accountability, transparency, stewardship of the government and a good governance indicator that the Ellen Regime has failed and neglected to report on since 2006 and this is an impeachable offence amounting to fraud and corruption. For seven years the people of Liberia do not know (and the Ellen Regime has failed to tell the people of Liberia) how much revenue was generated and how much her corrupt government has spent over the years from 2006 to 2012. This is a constitutional duty she has reneged on with the consent and acquiescence of the National Legislature because they too are selfish and greedy beneficiaries and co-conspirators in the wholesale looting of the nation's coffers and resources--RAMPANT CORRUPTION!!

He pointed out that in the absence of a report from the government for the last seven years, one can rely on conservative estimates of GOL earnings over the period.

"The Ellen Regime's estimated income has ranged anywhere from US$350 million to US$500 million deriving an average per annum receipts (or revenue) of US$425 million (four hundred twenty-five million united states dollars) for the last seven years aggregating an income of US$2.9 billion (two billion nine hundred seventy-five million united states dollars). This estimate is very conservative not only because it represents the lowest estimates possible but also because it includes domestic revenue generation (primarily taxes) only excluding over US$20 million from oil revenues and advances procured by the national oil company (NOCAL), grants, bilateral and multilateral assistance, budgetary support, loans, and other diverse sources of income including indirect tax revenues, royalties, technical assistance, etc.

The Former TRC Chairman claimed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is no longer in control of government. "Ellen Sirleaf, it is clear, is no longer in control of government in Liberia. In control is an invisible cartel of family members and relatives, special interest persons, friends and affiliates running the country from behind the scenes as a family affair without accountability to the international community that is resourcing the government and the people of Liberia whose resources they plundered.

The former TRC boss claimed that "the head of state lives on stimulants and is only sober half of the 24 hour day period or less many times. She condones corruption (and is perhaps a part of the syndicate) to protect and shield from public scrutiny and probity this class of special interest vested in pillaging the nation in the most sophisticated of ways indicated," he said in a press statement.

He accused the President of threading the same path that of Presidents Samuel K. Doe and Charles Taylor that which led to the military coup of April 12, 1980 an military coup of April 12, 1980 and subsequent brutal civil wars.

Ellen's" leadership style and policies run deep: flamboyant and imperial as Taylor; brutal and election rigging as Doe; nepotistic as Tolbert and manipulative, autocratic and an astute adherent to ingrained political culture of patronage like Tubman."

Verdier alleged further that "When Ellen took over in 2006, the cost of living was better than it is today not because things were better but because the economy was smaller and there were not as many thieves as there are today and today's thieves are more sophisticated and anxious for gains. Taylor projected a life time tenure ending 2027 while Ellen and her people are more conservative in their projections."

"They believe she will not last as long and with massive international support and acclaim, and the lifting of sanctions on trading in Liberia's natural resources, coupled with massive international budgetary, technical and financial assistance, there is more cash to steal without accountability and transparency, Verdier alleged.

So emboldened they are that the huge presence of the international community doesn't count - it's a race against time! Members of the inner circle and the huge patronage networks are either cronies and stooges, relatives, children, god children, cousins, and privileged associates who either lived in the USA prior to Ellen's ascendency, or have substantial interests or holdings in the USA as citizens, permanent residents or mortgaged property owners in the USA and, by all means, are domiciled in the USA.

"All her tenure she has busy herself protecting and entrenching this colony of thieves to maintain their stranglehold on the economy of Liberia and exploit it to political advantage when she is no longer on the scene. Also exploited in the master plan is her vast international connections by, in substance, doing nothing effective but loudly speaking the language of the international community: loosely use words like "accountability", "transparency", and lately empty terms like "...much needed economic transformation" and establish more commissions: General Auditing Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Law Reform Commission, Judicial Reform Commission, Human Rights Commission, Reconciliation Commission, the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) etc".

Ellen's response to these creations is to compromise their independence and where she fails to do so, she ignores their findings and unleashes her surrogates and protégés to, without merit, attack the credibility of these institutions or their leadership to cast doubts on their integrity of and work.

In the same vein, she will create more of such institutions which become leakages in the economy when they are dormant and useless to the advancement of the public good. One advantage she is glad to promote is the opportunity to create jobs for her friends, relatives (and their associates) and thereby extend her already extensive patronage network.

Our leaders today are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them are lovers of bribes, who demands payoffs; they refuse to defend the cause of the poor or the rights of indigent members of our society or advocate for justice which we all very much know will restore the country and revive it. They are blood-thirsty, having no fear of GOD and indulging barbaric practices of occultism, human sacrifice and idol worship. They are surrendering the country to the devil. Isaiah 1:23."

On the issue of the budget, Verdier said "Every year the public gets to hear of a budget signed by 'ma Ellen', a signing ceremony is public and a flimsy budget statement is issued just as it has been since 2006 till today. Of what use is the budget to the public when it is shrouded in secrecy without any relationship to previous year budget; there is no budget performance or execution report; no measure of performance or a national evaluation of the budget to indicate which area(s) of the budget program are poorly structured, ineffective (or effective) or duplicitous and a waste of resources as far as achieving the desired program objective is concerned. The only justification for such deliberate lack of proper accounting and transparency is corruption.

Since the last seven years (2005 -2012) this regime has failed to provide financial experts or the National Legislature or the now dead GAC with a certified copy of its bank reconciliation statements. The regime has flatly refused to reconcile its own bank accounts. The reason is simple: bank reconciliation will reveal fraud, theft, corruption on a grandeur scale with wire transfers of millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts not associated with the business of the Government of Liberia (GOL). This is an effective tool for detecting fraud and unauthorized and illegal transactions depleting the accounts (treasury) of GOL, without which government's estimates in the national budget are unreliable and unverifiable.

Former President Samuel K. Doe in 1987 refused to release bank reconciliation statements of GOL accounts to the IMF when conducting a country assessment at the time. Under pressure for greater accountability, it should come as no surprise if the Ministry of Finance is set on fire as it occurred during Doe's regime to destroy financial records and shield thievery as now nationalized under the regime of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Without doubt, a credible and independent audit of the financial accounts of the GOL over the last seven (7) years (including 2011) will reveal highly questionable and illegal transactions or trading in the financial resources of government by the family members of Ellen, her cronies and special interests in complicity with, knowledge and acquiescence of the Head of State Ellen Johnson Sirleaf herself. Without bank reconciliation, a financial report from the government is unreliable, if not impossible and this regime knowing this as a fact has, on purpose, flatly refused to make any financial report to the people of Liberia since 1996.

All business people, banks, the IMF, WORLD Bank, international and national partners of the GOL are aware that without bank reconciliation the financial reporting of any entity is unreliable and incomplete or fraudulently stated for selfish reasons unrelated to the business goals. Liberia is perhaps the only country in the world without a record or history of bank reconciliation of all its accounts. Most governments (including the US Government as large as it is) as standard best practice of transparency, accountability and good governance that require reconciliation of government bank accounts daily.

According to the Liberian lawyer, "For seven years the people of Liberia do not know (and the Ellen Regime has failed to tell the people of Liberia) how much revenue was generated and how much her corrupt government has spent over the years from 2006 to 2012. This is a constitutional duty she has reneged on with the consent and acquiescence of the National Legislature because they too are selfish and greedy beneficiaries and co-conspirators in the wholesale looting of the nation's coffers and resources."

He added "In the absence of a report from the government for the last seven years, one can rely on conservative estimates of GOL earnings over the period. The Ellen Regime's estimated income has ranged anywhere from US$350 million to US$500 million deriving an average per annum receipts (or revenue) of US$425 million (four hundred twenty-five million united states dollars) for the last seven years aggregating an income of US$2.9 billion (two billion nine hundred seventy-five million united states dollars). This estimate is very conservative not only because it represents the lowest estimates possible but also because it includes domestic revenue generation (primarily taxes) only excluding over US$20 million from oil revenues and advances procured by the national oil company (NOCAL), grants, bilateral and multilateral assistance, budgetary support, loans, and other diverse sources of income including indirect tax revenues, royalties, technical assistance, etc. For example:

a) The regime boast of US$16 billion in foreign direct investment over the period and a per capita income upturn of 1/3 or 33.3 percent; what is the gain to government in real terms; b) United States Government US$1 billion in bilateral assistance since 2003 and US$220 million in 2011 alone; c) Forestry revenues from 2008 to 2012 of US$20 Million; d) Foreign assistance of US$425 million in 2010 of which US$230 million is from the US Government; e) Foreign assistance of US$23 million during the 2009/2010 budget cycle and budgetary support for the same period amounting to US$449 million excluding assistance from UNMIL, China, private foundations, UN Agencies, bilateral grants and technical assistance.

He explained that since the incumbency of President Sirleaf's regime, her government has accumulated in excess of US$2.9 billion including massive international assistance and goodwill which he further alleged has been misspent and not utilized to build on formidable institutions that engender meaningful human and economic development; accountability and justice initiatives to undermine the culture impunity and foster national reconciliation, integrity, transparency and accountability in public sector. Budget Fundamentals

The Ellen Regime recently announced a 2012/2013 budget of US$672 million United States dollars on the same guiding principles as all other previous budgets -secrecy and lacking in transparency and full disclosure. The budget statement of the Head of State, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf however stated that the budget is designed to avoid "business as usual spending" and announced the budget is also designed to boost "much needed economic transformation the country needs"--mere words no deeds!

The 2012/2013 budget is released without any financial report or budget performance report for the previous 2011/2012 budget period or bank statement reconciliation, which makes one to wonder on what basis the National Legislature enacted this budget without these and many other budget fundamentals unknown. Also, the budget statement announced US$672 expenditure budget without a say on what the supply side or revenue side of the budget is; or what it was for 2011 and the last seven years. This is a financial crime. A budget statement has to be comprehensive and clear. To the contrary, and at its best, this 2012/2013 statement is marginal in information, cloudy, ambiguous and empty in substance of economic planning and management.

Hence, there is no fundamental and accurate basis for this budget when it is not founded on transparency and accountability and lacking in basic national accounting information. A budget is a fundamental tool for development which must account for gross national income or public accounts, and afford a verifiable basis for determining how effective the budget is in implementing the programs needed to redress Liberia's economic, human and social development challenges. The budget, combined with the budget statement of the Head of State Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is wanting in these fundamentals and represents no change or significant departure from the past characterized by corruption, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, lack of full disclosure, etc. which therefore renders the budget process irresponsible and (its product) unreliable.

For emphasis, the budget is a detailed statement of anticipated revenues (inputs) and expenditure (output) during the fiscal or accounting period that layout the policy and program direction of the nation for the period that must include revenues. The revenue base of the country is a public asset and not the private domain of Ellen and her company. By announcing just the expenditure side of the budget, the message out is to her cronies, stooge, protégé and partners in corruption that "this is how we are going to distribute the spoils, know where you stand and prepare for another year of looting." A budget statement need not be detailed but must comprehensive and clear.

Instead of announcing basic budget fundamentals the Head of State announced that there will be no "business as usual" and spending is designed to engender "economic transformation". That what we have is business as usual since 1960 is without doubt. But just what is "economic transformation". Prior to the budget announcement, this is the first time that this beautiful but empty term -economic transformation - is used just to play to the gallery and impress the international community that never gets weary of hearing Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's overly glorified statements on reforms and institution building.

What is "economic transformation"? What is the program for "economic transformation" and how does it find expression in the budget. Economic transformation is so elaborate a term giving Liberia's socio-economic and political history that we are attracted to it. But judging from that history and that of this regime (Poverty Reduction Strategy, Lift Liberia Up, From Mat to Mattress, Green Revolution, Vision 2027, etc.) it is nothing but empty rhetoric. There is (and has never been) any paradigm shift in the fundamentals of the Liberian economy since over four decades ago, nor is there any plan the public is aware off to support her assertions that the unqualified budget will engender "economic transformation". The economy is still fundamentally founded on the colonial "plantation and concession economic model" which created and sustains the elitism, cronyism, nepotism, patronage and corruption of the privileged (hegemony) class of the past Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is so desperate to reinvent and entrench. What the budget statement is not saying:

There are several fundamental of the budget presented below that the regime of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is keeping secret and has not disclose:

1. Unqualified budget - the budget was left unqualified because the regime is evading the significant disclosure of whether this 2012/2013 but get is balanced, deficit or surplus. This is the very reason no revenue projection is announced because it becomes easy to compare expenditure with revenue and the results will qualify the budget and this is important for several reasons that project both the fiscal, monetary and social economic plan of the government in the sound management of the economy. Sound economic management is not, but corruption is, the goal of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's regime.

• A surplus budget means that the revenues is more than the expenditure which leaves the government with the duty and burden of explaining and planning how it intends to use the surplus. To invest in high social impact programs, create savings for the future, or distributing it among the Ellen clan and host of cronies and thieves; this the regime is not interested in because they believe Liberia is their private property and we are all fools who do not deserve this information. Why should the regime make such declaration now when for the last six years Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has not made any report and no one dares to ask her to do so. BUT THEY ARE WRONG THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE ARE TOLERANT AND SUPPORTIVE BUT NOT FOOLS.

• A deficit budget means that the expenditure is more than the revenue and the government is under obligation to explain how it intends to spend more than it generates or earns in revenues. So where will the money come from to finance the budget for the amount that is in excess of the revenues. Again the regime wants this to remain secret but with such information it means the government will be borrowing and putting the country back into the debt burden trap the country, under the leadership of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has just recovered from. In situation like this, it means also that the government is hiding revenue sources that are not used for the public good but for corrupt purpose like NOCAL and all the money it is secretly getting and spending. Where is it coming from? Is it revenue they are taking in advance when one drop of oil has not been drilled or exported? Secret, secret, secret...secret!

• Balanced Budget means that the revenue is equal to the amount spent and that the government will discipline itself and not spend more than what it earns. The implications are that the government will observe very stringent and austere measures that highlight probity and financial integrity in the management of the economy. Each of the three standards of budgeting has economic policy implications that go beyond this document but are important economic management policy information we all should know.

2. Current Debt Portfolio - the flurry budget statement did not disclose the current debt portfolio, international and domestic, of the government; it did not say how much the government is holding in reserve, how much was brought forward to the new fiscal period as surplus from the previous fiscal year or how much in liability or public debt the government holds. Or whether the government was in red or deficit coming into the new fiscal 2012/13 period. The impact of national debt on the economy, deficit financing or surplus spending, fiscal discipline and the overall performance of the economy cannot be over-emphasized. The Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Regime takes glory in making empty growth rate pronouncements (projected by Minister Amara Konneh to be 8.8% this year) which raise more questions as above than answers. For international partners anxious to report Liberia as a "success story" under "Ma Ellen" as their darling, it means a lot to them; but to the 4 million Liberians mired in incremental corruption and abject poverty since the her incumbency, it is bluff of marginal significance. How strong are the fundamental of the economy's rising debt burden and substantial leakages through corruption? What are the indicators of growth? Are they measurable, verifiable? How? What are the economic standards or yard stick measuring growth? Is it the yard stick of the 60's or the advanced standards of the 90's and 2000's? Are these economic figures quoted in real terms or are we living utopia or are we repeating history with the same elite (economic hyenas) in power - growth without development? Is the consumer price index considered; or are there allowances for inflation and currency fluctuation which have, in real terms, diminished in value in recent years.

The debt portfolio is yet another valuable information and economic variable that is missing from the public or the budget statement. Its impact on the performance of the budget is undeniably huge. When do we pay the debt, from what source, reasons for incurring the debt, accruing interest, etc. inform national policies on sound economic management, fiscal discipline and "economic transformation". If keeping the public blind to this information this intentional then it is fraud. If it is not intentional then our accounting standards are questionable and commitment to transparency, integrity, fighting corruption and honesty are bogus. I believe it is both!

The fundamentals of the Liberian economy are weakened by unassailing corruption, lack of integrity and probity in the awarding of contracts and concessions overladen with fraud, graft and self-interest in a natural-resource-exporting economy whose handlers are rent seekers and not worthy stewards of the public trust. They seek their own interest without any concerns for the economic and social wellbeing of the vast majority of the population lingering in abject poverty in the abundance of wealth. At this age of our national experience, setting priorities right will mean maximizing social economic development, building local capacity and increasing wealth over short-term, short-sighted and selfish rent seeking and profit-taking by a few which eventually threatens stability and peace. In the same vein, "economic transformation" must essentially mean transforming the economy from a raw material-natural resource exporting venture to an export oriented manufacturing economy that builds on domestic capacity to manage the economy with a concrete ten year program to significantly reduce illiteracy. 3. New Debts - Valuable information the budget statement failed to mention is the new or future debt portfolio. The Regime intends to borrow this awesome sum of US$80 million this 2012/2013 fiscal period and a record US$701.9 million by 2015 and by the time elections are held for a new government in 2017 Liberia would have inherited a debt burden of US$2.0 billion considering the advances against future revenues contracted by NOCAL and accrued interests. This means the Ellen Regime would have reinstated 50% of the debt burden previously waived by Liberia's development partners under her rule. We should remember that the "iron lady" was finance minister in the 70's when over 80% of the debt she got waived in 2000's was incurred. Liberia is repeating history. How the international financial system and collaborating partners will loan this corrupt regime that sum of money remains a point of bewilderment. Warning, Caution and Appeal

Poor management of the economy, lack of economic opportunities for the growing and vibrant youth population; repeating corruption of the past on a grandeur scale; lack of inclusion and the incendiary isolationist, and elitist policies of the regime that marginalizes the participation and benefits of the vast majority of the people of Liberia in the economic wealth of the country; nepotism and cronyism; and the lack of any sincere, meaningful and inclusive national reconciliation drive, blueprint or program, undermines national healing, genuine and sustainable national reconciliation, is threatening the peace and stability of the country and driving the country to the brinks of serious conflicts. Peace gains and conflict shock absorbers are gradually eroded by the unpopular and poverty-driven policies of the Ellen Regime which has no legitimate mandate to govern.

Other conflict drivers including poor and improper management of the country's natural and financial resources and the wholesale disposal of traditional and arable lands for non-agriculture purposes are conflict drivers also threatening the peace and security of Liberia in both medium to long term considerations.

We appeal to the International Community to unburden future generation of Liberians by refusing to extend any new loans to this regime which lacks legitimacy and is saddled in rampant corruption and has demonstrated that the resources of the nation are not benefiting the people of Liberia. Any new loans will further impoverish the people of Liberia.

We further appeal to the United Nations Security Council to reconsider its plans to withdraw the (UN) Peace Keeping Mission (UNMIL) from Liberia at the probable end of Ellen's tenure to a future date beyond 2017 until the fundamental of sustainable peace and security are established in Liberia. Obviously, the building blocks and foundation for a peaceful, stable and reconciled society, rather than been established, has been undermined by the failure of the Ellen Regime to address the root causes of the conflict as contained in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC).

Instead of redressing these root causes of war and conflicts, the Regime is actuating them; instead of building institutions and instituting policies of good governance and respect for human rights, the regime is undermining them. Without these vital and very fundamental institutions functioning and pursuing reconciliation and building peace the country is more divided than at any other time in our recent history which has not transformed or changed the conflict mentality of Liberians. Liberia, in reality, is an empty shell or cocoon waiting to cave in or breakdown at UNMIL's departure.

This is an honest appeal to increase and beef up support for comprehensive peace building activities and programs that will enhance reconciliation and strengthen good governance and democratic institutions beyond the mantra of the Ellen Regime for the Liberian people have reached the dead end of her misrule. There is nothing more she can do and nothing more is expected of her.

Dr. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is aged and tired; seriously compromised and lost the fight against entrenched-interest corruption, while entrenching practices and failed policies of the old defunct True Whig Party (TWP) of patronage, cronyism, nepotism and elitism to which her umbilical cord is inextricably linked. Whether her misrule is accidental or a historical lesson for Liberians, the UN cannot afford to abandon Liberia at this critical juncture in time. Liberia is a bubble waiting to burst in the premature departure of UNMIL. Dr. Sirleaf by compromising herself lacks the moral and political authority to institute much needed institutional and policy reforms tackle walloping corruption, promote justice and the rule of law.

She is suffering the people of Liberia who are poorer and paying more for basic commodities and the country's staple (rice) for the lowest quality ever in the history of Liberia. This industry is monopolized by Dr. Ellen Sirleaf's cronies and surrogates. People have lost hope and are at a dead end with Ellen and the corruption and insensitivity of government to corruption and the wellbeing of her people.

We urge the United Nations to please reconsider your time line and stimulate vigorous peace building programs to have Liberians talking and dialoguing on all aspects of peace building and reconciliation including establishing guarantees of non-repetition of war and violent conflicts and addressing the implementation of the recommendations of the TRC which without doubt is a long and necessarily imperative process

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Press Statement by
Jerome J. Verdier, Counselor at Law & Chairman of the Erstwhile TRC of Liberia

ELLEN’S 2013 BUDGET- A CRONY CAPITALIST’S PLAN TO FURTHER WRECK LIBERIA
Frightening Background
At first glance a US$672 million budget for the poorest nation on earth seems an aggressive plan to move the country forward but at closer look the diabolical plan to wreck the nation’s economy further is revealed. Like her popularity and global standing, Liberia has been on a dive since the first year of Ellen’s ascendency and the regime has got no new, better plans than “business as usual” to politically stranglehold the country by economically empowering her Sirleaf clan, family members and close relatives, the Sirleaf political inner circle and cronies to reinstate the True Whig Party (TWP) and settlers’ hegemony, overthrown after 133 years of absolutism, tyranny, patronage, corruption, elitism, nepotism and patronage that divided the country in the middle and stymied national development, reconciliation and integration for the entire period of the TWP over a century rule.
After a brutal civil war orchestrated by Ellen and company, her regime is reigniting the polarizing divide (native v. settlers) by repeating the poor governance and conflict drivers policies of the past that led to the military coup of April 12, 1980 and subsequent civil wars. Her leadership style and policies run deep: flamboyant and imperial as Taylor; brutal and election rigging as Doe; nepotistic as Tolbert and manipulative, autocratic and an astute adherent to ingrained political culture of patronage like Tubman.
High Cost of Living-why?
When Ellen took over in 2006, the cost of living was better than it is today not because things were better but because the economy was smaller and there were not as many thieves as there are today and today’s thieves are more sophisticated and anxious for gains. Taylor projected a life time tenure ending 2027 while Ellen and her people are more conservative in their projections.
They believe she will not last as long and with massive international support and acclaim, and the lifting of sanctions on trading in Liberia’s natural resources, coupled with massive international budgetary, technical and financial assistance, there is more cash to steal without accountability and transparency. So emboldened they are that the huge presence of the international community doesn’t count – it’s a race against time! Members of the inner circle and the huge patronage networks are either cronies and stooges, relatives, children, god children, cousins, and privileged associates who either lived in the USA prior to Ellen’s ascendency, or have substantial interests or holdings in the USA as citizens, permanent residents or mortgaged property owners in the USA and, by all means, are domiciled in the USA. Under this regime, capital flight is high, corruption is rampantly beyond Ellen’s control (and with her acquiescence) is tolerable and understandable. As a consequence, inflation is high, prices of basic commodities are prohibitively expensive with corresponding decline in disposable income and falling standards of living, landing Liberia the “the third poorest nation in the world standing”.
Colony of Thieves
Ellen regime understands the language of the international community. All she has to do to protect this vested interest is to pretend not to know what is going on and make empty commitments to fighting corruption at the same time be lukewarm about enacting strong anti-corruption laws and undermine the effective operation of institutions fighting corruption so they exist in name only.
All her tenure she has busy herself protecting and entrenching this colony of thieves to maintain their stranglehold on the economy of Liberia and exploit it to political advantage when she is no longer on the scene. Also exploited in the master plan is her vast international connections by, in substance, doing nothing effective but loudly speaking the language of the international community: loosely use words like “accountability”, “transparency”, and lately empty terms like “…much needed economic transformation” and establish more commissions: General Auditing Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Law Reform Commission, Judicial Reform Commission, Human Rights Commission, Reconciliation Commission, the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) etc.
Ellen’s response to these creations is to compromise their independence and where she fails to do so, she ignores their findings and unleashes her surrogates and protégés to, without merit, attack the credibility of these institutions or their leadership to cast doubts on their integrity of and work. In the same vein, she will create more of such institutions which become leakages in the economy when they are dormant and useless to the advancement of the public good. One advantage she is glad to promote is the opportunity to create jobs for her friends, relatives (and their associates) and thereby extend her already extensive patronage network.
With all respect to well-meaning and self-respecting, honorable and dignified members of this regime, our leaders today are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them are lovers of bribes, who demands payoffs; they refuse to defend the cause of the poor or the rights of indigent members of our society or advocate for justice which we all very much know will restore the country and revive it. They are blood-thirsty, having no fear of GOD and indulging barbaric practices of occultism, human sacrifice and idol worship. They are surrendering the country to the devil. Isaiah 1:23.
From 2006 to 2012 No Financial Report
Every year the public gets to hear of a budget signed by ‘ma Ellen’, a signing ceremony is public and a flimsy budget statement is issued just as it has been since 2006 till today. Of what use is the budget to the public when it is shrouded in secrecy without any relationship to previous year budget; there is no budget performance or execution report; no measure of performance or a national evaluation of the budget to indicate which area(s) of the budget program are poorly structured, ineffective (or effective) or duplicitous and a waste of resources as far as achieving the desired program objective is concerned. The only justification for such deliberate lack of proper accounting and transparency is corruption.
Since the last seven years (2005 -2012) this regime has failed to provide financial experts or the National Legislature or the now dead GAC with a certified copy of its bank reconciliation statements. The regime has flatly refused to reconcile its own bank accounts. The reason is simple: bank reconciliation will reveal fraud, theft, corruption on a grandeur scale with wire transfers of millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts not associated with the business of the Government of Liberia (GOL). This is an effective tool for detecting fraud and unauthorized and illegal transactions depleting the accounts (treasury) of GOL, without which government’s estimates in the national budget are unreliable and unverifiable.
Former President Samuel K. Doe in 1987 refused to release bank reconciliation statements of GOL accounts to the IMF when conducting a country assessment at the time. Under pressure for greater accountability, it should come as no surprise if the Ministry of Finance is set on fire as it occurred during Doe’s regime to destroy financial records and shield thievery as now nationalized under the regime of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Without doubt, a credible and independent audit of the financial accounts of the GOL over the last seven (7) years (including 2011) will reveal highly questionable and illegal transactions or trading in the financial resources of government by the family members of Ellen, her cronies and special interests in complicity with, knowledge and acquiescence of the Head of State Ellen Johnson Sirleaf herself. Without bank reconciliation, a financial report from the government is unreliable, if not impossible and this regime knowing this as a fact has, on purpose, flatly refused to make any financial report to the people of Liberia since 1996.
All business people, banks, the IMF, WORLD Bank, international and national partners of the GOL are aware that without bank reconciliation the financial reporting of any entity is unreliable and incomplete or fraudulently stated for selfish reasons unrelated to the business goals. Liberia is perhaps the only country in the world without a record or history of bank reconciliation of all its accounts. Most governments (including the US Government as large as it is) as standard best practice of transparency, accountability and good governance that require reconciliation of government bank accounts daily.
How much is Liberia worth—one dollar?
To date, no one can say for sure how much Liberia is worth in terms of national accounts-- receipts (revenue) and outlay (expenditure). This is a valuable public information (and asset) that measures the level of accountability, transparency, stewardship of the government and a good governance indicator that the Ellen Regime has failed and neglected to report on since 2006 and this is an impeachable offence amounting to fraud and corruption. For seven years the people of Liberia do not know (and the Ellen Regime has failed to tell the people of Liberia) how much revenue was generated and how much her corrupt government has spent over the years from 2006 to 2012. This is a constitutional duty she has reneged on with the consent and acquiescence of the National Legislature because they too are selfish and greedy beneficiaries and co-conspirators in the wholesale looting of the nation’s coffers and resources—RAMPANT CORRUPTION!!
The 1986 Constitution of Liberia, it is worth noting, provides in Article 58 that:
“THE PRESIDENT SHALL, ON THE FOURTH WORKING MONDAY IN JANUARY OF EACH YEAR, PRESENT THE
ADMINISTRATION’S LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM FOR THE ENSUING SESSION, AND SHALL ONCE A YEAR REPORT TO
THE LEGISLATURE ON THE STATE OF THE REPUBLIC. IN PRESENTING THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE
REPUBLIC THE REPORT SHALL COVER EXPENDITURE AS WELL AS INCOME.” (EMPHASIS MINE)

Conservative estimates
In the absence of a report from the government for the last seven years, one can rely on conservative estimates of GOL earnings over the period. The Ellen Regime’s estimated income has ranged anywhere from US$350 million to US$500 million deriving an average per annum receipts (or revenue) of US$425 million (four hundred twenty-five million united states dollars) for the last seven years aggregating an income of US$2.9 billion (two billion nine hundred seventy-five million united states dollars). This estimate is very conservative not only because it represents the lowest estimates possible but also because it includes domestic revenue generation (primarily taxes) only excluding over US$20 million from oil revenues and advances procured by the national oil company (NOCAL), grants, bilateral and multilateral assistance, budgetary support, loans, and other diverse sources of income including indirect tax revenues, royalties, technical assistance, etc. For example:
a) The regime boast of US$16 billion in foreign direct investment over the period and a per capita income upturn of 1/3 or 33.3 percent; what is the gain to government in real terms;
b) United States Government US$1 billion in bilateral assistance since 2003 and US$220 million in 2011 alone;
c) Forestry revenues from 2008 to 2012 of US$20 Million;
d) Foreign assistance of US$425 million in 2010 of which US$230 million is from the US Government;
e) Foreign assistance of US$23 million during the 2009/2010 budget cycle and budgetary support for the same period amounting to US$449 million excluding assistance from UNMIL, China, private foundations, UN Agencies, bilateral grants and technical assistance.
Since the incumbency of the Ellen Regime as President (2006 – 2011) and illegitimate head of state (2011- present) her government has accumulate in excess of US$2.9 billion including massive international assistance and goodwill which has been misspent and not utilized to build on formidable institutions that engender meaningful human and economic development; accountability and justice initiatives to undermine the culture impunity and foster national reconciliation, integrity, transparency and accountability in public sector.
Budget Fundamentals
The Ellen Regime recently announced a 2012/2013 budget of US$672 million United States dollars on the same guiding principles as all other previous budgets –secrecy and lacking in transparency and full disclosure. The budget statement of the Head of State, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf however stated that the budget is designed to avoid “business as usual spending” and announced the budget is also designed to boost “much needed economic transformation the country needs”—mere words no deeds!
The 2012/2013 budget is released without any financial report or budget performance report for the previous 2011/2012 budget period or bank statement reconciliation, which makes one to wonder on what basis the National Legislature enacted this budget without these and many other budget fundamentals unknown. Also, the budget statement announced US$672 expenditure budget without a say on what the supply side or revenue side of the budget is; or what it was for 2011 and the last seven years. This is a financial crime. A budget statement has to be comprehensive and clear. To the contrary, and at its best, this 2012/2013 statement is marginal in information, cloudy, ambiguous and empty in substance of economic planning and management.
Hence, there is no fundamental and accurate basis for this budget when it is not founded on transparency and accountability and lacking in basic national accounting information. A budget is a fundamental tool for development which must account for gross national income or public accounts, and afford a verifiable basis for determining how effective the budget is in implementing the programs needed to redress Liberia’s economic, human and social development challenges. The budget, combined with the budget statement of the Head of State Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is wanting in these fundamentals and represents no change or significant departure from the past characterized by corruption, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, lack of full disclosure, etc. which therefore renders the budget process irresponsible and (its product) unreliable.
For emphasis, the budget is a detailed statement of anticipated revenues (inputs) and expenditure (output) during the fiscal or accounting period that layout the policy and program direction of the nation for the period that must include revenues. The revenue base of the country is a public asset and not the private domain of Ellen and her company. By announcing just the expenditure side of the budget, the message out is to her cronies, stooge, protégé and partners in corruption that “this is how we are going to distribute the spoils, know where you stand and prepare for another year of looting.” A budget statement need not be detailed but must comprehensive and clear.
Instead of announcing basic budget fundamentals the Head of State announced that there will be no “business as usual” and spending is designed to engender “economic transformation”. That what we have is business as usual since 1960 is without doubt. But just what is “economic transformation”. Prior to the budget announcement, this is the first time that this beautiful but empty term –economic transformation – is used just to play to the gallery and impress the international community that never gets weary of hearing Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s overly glorified statements on reforms and institution building.
What is “economic transformation”? What is the program for “economic transformation” and how does it find expression in the budget. Economic transformation is so elaborate a term giving Liberia’s socio-economic and political history that we are attracted to it. But judging from that history and that of this regime (Poverty Reduction Strategy, Lift Liberia Up, From Mat to Mattress, Green Revolution, Vision 2027, etc.) it is nothing but empty rhetoric. There is (and has never been) any paradigm shift in the fundamentals of the Liberian economy since over four decades ago, nor is there any plan the public is aware off to support her assertions that the unqualified budget will engender “economic transformation”. The economy is still fundamentally founded on the colonial “plantation and concession economic model” which created and sustains the elitism, cronyism, nepotism, patronage and corruption of the privileged (hegemony) class of the past Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is so desperate to reinvent and entrench.
What the budget statement is not saying:
There are several fundamental of the budget presented below that the regime of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is keeping secret and has not disclose:
1. Unqualified budget – the budget was left unqualified because the regime is evading the significant disclosure of whether this 2012/2013 but get is balanced, deficit or surplus. This is the very reason no revenue projection is announced because it becomes easy to compare expenditure with revenue and the results will qualify the budget and this is important for several reasons that project both the fiscal, monetary and social economic plan of the government in the sound management of the economy. Sound economic management is not, but corruption is, the goal of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime.
• A surplus budget means that the revenues is more than the expenditure which leaves the government with the duty and burden of explaining and planning how it intends to use the surplus. To invest in high social impact programs, create savings for the future, or distributing it among the Ellen clan and host of cronies and thieves; this the regime is not interested in because they believe Liberia is their private property and we are all fools who do not deserve this information. Why should the regime make such declaration now when for the last six years Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has not made any report and no one dares to ask her to do so. BUT THEY ARE WRONG THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE ARE TOLERANT AND SUPPORTIVE BUT NOT FOOLS.
• A deficit budget means that the expenditure is more than the revenue and the government is under obligation to explain how it intends to spend more than it generates or earns in revenues. So where will the money come from to finance the budget for the amount that is in excess of the revenues. Again the regime wants this to remain secret but with such information it means the government will be borrowing and putting the country back into the debt burden trap the country, under the leadership of Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has just recovered from. In situation like this, it means also that the government is hiding revenue sources that are not used for the public good but for corrupt purpose like NOCAL and all the money it is secretly getting and spending. Where is it coming from? Is it revenue they are taking in advance when one drop of oil has not been drilled or exported? Secret, secret, secret…secret!
• Balanced Budget means that the revenue is equal to the amount spent and that the government will discipline itself and not spend more than what it earns. The implications are that the government will observe very stringent and austere measures that highlight probity and financial integrity in the management of the economy. Each of the three standards of budgeting has economic policy implications that go beyond this document but are important economic management policy information we all should know.

2. Current Debt Portfolio - the flurry budget statement did not disclose the current debt portfolio, international and domestic, of the government; it did not say how much the government is holding in reserve, how much was brought forward to the new fiscal period as surplus from the previous fiscal year or how much in liability or public debt the government holds. Or whether the government was in red or deficit coming into the new fiscal 2012/13 period. The impact of national debt on the economy, deficit financing or surplus spending, fiscal discipline and the overall performance of the economy cannot be over-emphasized. The Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Regime takes glory in making empty growth rate pronouncements (projected by Minister Amara Konneh to be 8.8% this year) which raise more questions as above than answers. For international partners anxious to report Liberia as a “success story” under “Ma Ellen” as their darling, it means a lot to them; but to the 4 million Liberians mired in incremental corruption and abject poverty since the her incumbency, it is bluff of marginal significance. How strong are the fundamental of the economy’s rising debt burden and substantial leakages through corruption? What are the indicators of growth? Are they measurable, verifiable? How? What are the economic standards or yard stick measuring growth? Is it the yard stick of the 60’s or the advanced standards of the 90’s and 2000’s? Are these economic figures quoted in real terms or are we living utopia or are we repeating history with the same elite (economic hyenas) in power – growth without development? Is the consumer price index considered; or are there allowances for inflation and currency fluctuation which have, in real terms, diminished in value in recent years.

The debt portfolio is yet another valuable information and economic variable that is missing from the public or the budget statement. Its impact on the performance of the budget is undeniably huge. When do we pay the debt, from what source, reasons for incurring the debt, accruing interest, etc. inform national policies on sound economic management, fiscal discipline and “economic transformation”. If keeping the public blind to this information this intentional then it is fraud. If it is not intentional then our accounting standards are questionable and commitment to transparency, integrity, fighting corruption and honesty are bogus. I believe it is both!

The fundamentals of the Liberian economy are weakened by unassailing corruption, lack of integrity and probity in the awarding of contracts and concessions overladen with fraud, graft and self-interest in a natural-resource-exporting economy whose handlers are rent seekers and not worthy stewards of the public trust. They seek their own interest without any concerns for the economic and social wellbeing of the vast majority of the population lingering in abject poverty in the abundance of wealth. At this age of our national experience, setting priorities right will mean maximizing social economic development, building local capacity and increasing wealth over short-term, short-sighted and selfish rent seeking and profit-taking by a few which eventually threatens stability and peace. In the same vein, “economic transformation” must essentially mean transforming the economy from a raw material-natural resource exporting venture to an export oriented manufacturing economy that builds on domestic capacity to manage the economy with a concrete ten year program to significantly reduce illiteracy.

3. New Debts – Valuable information the budget statement failed to mention is the new or future debt portfolio. The Regime intends to borrow this awesome sum of US$80 million this 2012/2013 fiscal period and a record US$701.9 million by 2015 and by the time elections are held for a new government in 2017 Liberia would have inherited a debt burden of US$2.0 billion considering the advances against future revenues contracted by NOCAL and accrued interests. This means the Ellen Regime would have reinstated 50% of the debt burden previously waived by Liberia’s development partners under her rule. We should remember that the “iron lady” was finance minister in the 70’s when over 80% of the debt she got waived in 2000’s was incurred. Liberia is repeating history. How the international financial system and collaborating partners will loan this corrupt regime that sum of money remains a point of bewilderment.



Warning, Caution and Appeal
Poor management of the economy, lack of economic opportunities for the growing and vibrant youth population; repeating corruption of the past on a grandeur scale; lack of inclusion and the incendiary isolationist, and elitist policies of the regime that marginalizes the participation and benefits of the vast majority of the people of Liberia in the economic wealth of the country; nepotism and cronyism; and the lack of any sincere, meaningful and inclusive national reconciliation drive, blueprint or program, undermines national healing, genuine and sustainable national reconciliation, is threatening the peace and stability of the country and driving the country to the brinks of serious conflicts. Peace gains and conflict shock absorbers are gradually eroded by the unpopular and poverty-driven policies of the Ellen Regime which has no legitimate mandate to govern.
Other conflict drivers including poor and improper management of the country’s natural and financial resources and the wholesale disposal of traditional and arable lands for non-agriculture purposes are conflict drivers also threatening the peace and security of Liberia in both medium to long term considerations.
We appeal to the International Community to unburden future generation of Liberians by refusing to extend any new loans to this regime which lacks legitimacy and is saddled in rampant corruption and has demonstrated that the resources of the nation are not benefiting the people of Liberia. Any new loans will further impoverish the people of Liberia.
We further appeal to the United Nations Security Council to reconsider its plans to withdraw the (UN) Peace Keeping Mission (UNMIL) from Liberia at the probable end of Ellen’s tenure to a future date beyond 2017 until the fundamental of sustainable peace and security are established in Liberia. Obviously, the building blocks and foundation for a peaceful, stable and reconciled society, rather than been established, has been undermined by the failure of the Ellen Regime to address the root causes of the conflict as contained in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC).
Instead of redressing these root causes of war and conflicts, the Regime is actuating them; instead of building institutions and instituting policies of good governance and respect for human rights, the regime is undermining them. Without these vital and very fundamental institutions functioning and pursuing reconciliation and building peace the country is more divided than at any other time in our recent history which has not transformed or changed the conflict mentality of Liberians. Liberia, in reality, is an empty shell or cocoon waiting to cave in or breakdown at UNMIL’s departure.
This is an honest appeal to increase and beef up support for comprehensive peace building activities and programs that will enhance reconciliation and strengthen good governance and democratic institutions beyond the mantra of the Ellen Regime for the Liberian people have reached the dead end of her misrule. There is nothing more she can do and nothing more is expected of her.
Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is aged and tired; seriously compromised and lost the fight against entrenched-interest corruption, while entrenching practices and failed policies of the old defunct True Whig Party (TWP) of patronage, cronyism, nepotism and elitism to which her umbilical cord is inextricably linked. Whether her misrule is accidental or a historical lesson for Liberians, the UN cannot afford to abandon Liberia at this critical juncture in time. Liberia is a bubble waiting to burst in the premature departure of UNMIL. Dr. Sirleaf by compromising herself lacks the moral and political authority to institute much needed institutional and policy reforms tackle walloping corruption, promote justice and the rule of law.
She is suffering the people of Liberia who are poorer and paying more for basic commodities and the country’s staple (rice) for the lowest quality ever in the history of Liberia. This industry is monopolized by Dr. Ellen Sirleaf’s cronies and surrogates. People have lost hope and are at a dead end with Ellen and the corruption and insensitivity of government to corruption and the wellbeing of her people.
We urge the United Nations to please reconsider your time line and stimulate vigorous peace building programs to have Liberians talking and dialoguing on all aspects of peace building and reconciliation including establishing guarantees of non-repetition of war and violent conflicts and addressing the implementation of the recommendations of the TRC which without doubt is a long and necessarily imperative process.
Ellen Sirleaf, it is clear, is no longer in control of government in Liberia. In control is an invisible cartel of family members and relatives, special interest persons, friends and affiliates running the country from behind the scenes as a family affair without accountability to the international community that is resourcing the government and the people of Liberia whose resources they plunder. The head of state lives on stimulants and is only sober half of the 24 hour day period or less many times. She condones corruption (and is perhaps a part of the syndicate) to protect and shield from public scrutiny and probity this class of special interest vested in pillaging the nation in the most sophisticated of ways indicated in this press statement.
CONFLICT PREVENTION IS MORE PREFERABLE AND LESS COSTLY THAN CONFLICT RESOLUTION; CORRESPONDINGLY, PEACE BUILDING IS MORE PREFERABLE AND LESS COSTLY THAN PEACE KEEPING.
-END-

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Advocate Calls for Revocation of Liberia’s President Sirleaf Nobel Prize Award



Monday, 01 October 2012 20:24 Gibson W. Jerue





The Chairman
Nobel Peace Committee
Henrik Ibsens gate 51
NO-0255 Oslo, Norway
Attn: Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman

Dear Mr. Chairman:

My name is Gibson W. Jerue, a Liberian journalist of 24-year experience, an author and advocate. I presently reside in Fargo, North Dakota, United States of America.

Firstly, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and the five members of your committee, to include, Madam Kaci Kullmann Five, Deputy Chairperson; Madams Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Berit Reiss-Andersen, and Mr. Gunnar Stålsett, all members. I must honestly say that your recognition of personalities around the world for the tireless effort they have made to make the world a better place has helped to transform the outlook of humanity. The Nobel Peace Prize is indeed a model laurel that every good man or woman craves to win. Certainly, every nation and people would be proud to see their son or daughter winning such a prestigious award, but in President Sirleaf’s case, the Liberian people are ashamed to even identify with the award given her. They do not know how to explain how she qualified for the award as there is no single evidence of criteria that qualifies one for a Nobel that Madam Sirleaf has achieved at any time of her life.

However, sir, I am petitioning your noble committee to revoke the award given to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia. She does not deserve it because she has done nothing peaceful all her life, but organizing rebellions to wreck a nation that she claimed to love. She is the tormentor-in-chief of the Liberian people, financing and directing armed groups, and paying for the drugging of child soldiers with her lifesavings. She has confessed that she lavished $10,000 on the NPFL rebel organization; although her rebel partners claimed it was $20,000. This money went to guns, ammunition and drugs for child soldiers to fight her proxy war.

By awarding her the Nobel Prize, you have knowingly or unknowingly put a slap in the faces of Liberians, both living and those whose bones were crushed by Madam Sirleaf’s paid murderers. The reasons to revoke her prize are hereto attached for your consideration.

Counting your understanding of the plight of the Liberian people, I pray you relieve the people of Liberia by striping Madam Sirleaf of that prestigious prize. Nobel belongs to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Leymah Gbowee, and other noble personalities of the world.

Yours Truly,


Gibson W. Jerue







REASONS FOR THE REVOCATION OF MADAM SIRLEAF’S AWARD


1. She is the “Iron Lady” of Liberia. As truly defined by her nickname, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the singular most symbol of everything called “evil” and “plagues” that have devastated the small West African country—Liberia. She has not only masterminded almost of all the uprisings, coup d’états, dissidents’ invasion, raids and civil wars that have negatively changed the socio-economic and political outlook of a nation that once was the beckon of hope for many African nations and prodemocracy campaigners and freedom fighters, but also she has actually spearheaded a cartel of politicians bent on destroying the country, preying on and killing the masses of our people to enthroning themselves.

2. After living more than 65 years Sirleaf finally penned her memoir that totally spoke in different tone from the true colors of the woman whose tongue is a lethal weapon, and whose imagination was nothing less than anarchy. She projected herself as a darling of the people in her memoirs, but her popularity in the country is decimal. And as if nobody knows her deeds, Madam Sirleaf distorted most damning stories that should have served as clearly indictable pieces of information. She cleaned herself up and set up herself on top of the hill as the brightest star that Liberians should reverent and to clap for her as the progenitor of a new dawn.

3. Madam Sirleaf does not deserve even a thank you, lest to talk about the acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize. How could anyone say thanks to her for ruining the lives of women and children who were the main victims of the vicious campaign to take state power through the barrel of the gun? It is a travesty of morality and justice that should be someone displaying the coveted Nobel Prize in her living room after masterminding the spilling of blood of innocent people. As indicated by its name and nomenclature, those who receive a Nobel are noble people, people without the stain of blood on their hands, people whose compassion for humanity is a testament of love and care for the people and commitment to peace and tranquility. Madam Sirleaf is the direct opposite of it all. Those who deserve a Nobel must have first shown glaring efforts to create and/or maintain peace in their home countries. It is said that internal policy cements international policy. If she could not give her brothers and sisters bread to eat at home, how could she boast of giving outsiders wheat to party and survive?

4. The TRC was charged with multiple responsibilities: The mandate off the TRC was to document Liberia’s past nightmares, including civil uprisings, economic crimes, political disobedience, military interventions in the political governance process, wreckage of the rule of law, flagrant abuses of human rights, disrespect for and disingenuous pursuit of democratic governance, outright corruption and graft by public officials and successive regimes, deceitful assignments of concessions to bogus companies, and other vices that have devoured out people for more than 160 years, between 1979 and 2003. It was also charged with the task to engender reparation, prosecution and make other recommendations as deemed fit for peace and transitional justice. But what did Madam Sirleaf do to it? She killed it! As per the TRC Final Report, and far before you awarded her the prize, she was an official fugitive, refusing to obey the 30 years ban from holding public office in the Republic of Liberia. And although she killed TRC, Nobel Peace Committee buried the TRC Final Report. Your action has emboldened evil-incarnates that no matter how many precious souls one send to their early graves, Nobel could praise you as good person.

5. Fourteen years of wars, miseries, catastrophes, mayhem and break down of rule of law was completely the making of one Liberian woman—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf! If Madam Sirleaf can receive a Nobel, why not give one to ruthless and tyrannical ruler Charles Taylor? Could the Nobel Committee have awarded Adolf Hitler this prestigious prize? Why not award a Nobel to President Omar Bashir of Sunday? The implications of your action have far-reaching impact in the forming of opinion about Nobel among Liberians, and it raises question as to whether the Nobel Peace Committee respect the sanctity of life at all. No doubt I believe you do, and that is why I am confident that you will do the right thing to preserve the principle and ideals that have guided this process for years. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf should e striped of the Nobel Peace Prize that she was cheaply awarded, Her name will corrupt it and it would mean nothing to the people of Liberia.

6. Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was one of many Liberian politicians and mischief makers who planned, strategized and executed the Nimba Raid that led to the death of tens of people, especially in Nimba County. She induced her godson, the late Gen. Thomas G. Quiwonkpa to stage a revote against the Samuel Doe regime in 1983. That plan did not go well, and in the process Liberia did not only lose one of its finest military general, Robert Saye, but also scores of innocent civilians died.

7. Sir, I should remind you of what your committee published on the Nobel Foundation website, which states, “The Peace Prize is one of five prizes that have been awarded annually since 1901 under the auspices of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm for outstanding contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. Whereas the other prizes are awarded by specialist committees based in Sweden, the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian Storting. According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize must to go to whoever "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

8. The peace prize is awarded to a person who has done the “most or the best work” for “…fraternity between nations.” Can Nobel Peace Committee convince the people of Liberia and the world how did Madam Sirleaf work for fraternity, and between which nations? This is a mockery to say the least! This “Iron Lady has never even worked for fraternity between Liberian tribes, how anyone could think she has worked for fraternity between nations. The Liberian people are interested in knowing what specific work she did to build friendship between and among nations? Can the Nobel Committee give us just two countries on earth that Madam Sirleaf worked and brought together in peace?

9. As if that was not enough a slap in the faces of the Liberian people, the Nobel Peace Committee says Madam Sirleaf worked for the “abolition or reduction of standing armies. Where? Which Country? This defies truth. Madam Sirleaf was busy forming rebel groups and financing them to come and kill her own people. The Liberian people are so disappointed that such an acclaimed international prize could go to someone who helped to kill nearly 250,000 of her fellow compatriots.

10. That Madam Sirleaf was awarded the peace prize because she worked “for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” is humiliating, to say the least. Which peace congresses or conferences can be attributed to Madam Sirleaf, for God’s sake? We, Liberians, need to know how did this president actually promote peace congresses, and where? Before she became president, she held meetings and only discussed rebel formation, or appeared at the U.S Congress to ask that august body to strangulate her own people, begging the U.S to impose sanction on the entire nation because she did not like the sitting president. When she attended Liberian peace conferences, she only went there for the Liberian people to make her head of government. Which international conference does the Nobel Committee know about that Madam Spearheaded, like Kofi Annan is doing now, that we don’t know about? It is a complete slap in our faces by awarding peace prize to someone who made hell of our lives.

11. As we speak, the blood of those she helped rushed to their early graves are crying to God for justice. And it is just a matter of time that God would grant their supplications. And for those of us who are alive, we only want justice and that justice will come no matter whether she was very old, walking with cane, blind, and/or can’t hear, and hardly walking. The Liberian people will do anything, even to sit her in the wheel chair and wheel her into the court house to face her accusers, the Liberian people. All the Nobel Peace Prize can do is to work in the interest of the Liberian people and stripe Madam Sirleaf of that prestigious prize.

12. A person who instigates political turmoil, strife, rebellions, arm struggle and anarchy is not qualified to get the Nobel Peace Prize. During the Nimba Raid, several Nimbaians were arrested, detained and later released. Those were Kaloungo Luo, Moses Duopu and others. While in detention at the National Security Agency (NSA) Kaloungo Luo admitted that they “put Quiwonkpa into this thing,” and confessed that “it was Madam Sirleaf’s idea”, but nobody bought his accusation then.

13. Lest we forget Madam Sirleaf’s brainchild, the abortive Invasion of November 1985. At this time, the failure of Nimba Raid had emboldened Sirleaf, Quiwonkpa, Prince Johnson, and the late Isaac Musah. This was time when blood flow in the streets of Monrovia, all due to Madam Sirleaf machinations.

14. Please be reminded also, sir, of Nobel’s objectives on peace award: “The Peace Prize is one of five prizes that have been awarded annually since 1901 under the auspices of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm for outstanding contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. Whereas the other prizes are awarded by specialist committees based in Sweden, the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian Storting. According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize is to go to whoever "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

Madam Sirleaf does not fit any of the conditions that qualify one to merit the Nobel Peace Prize. If she should merit anything, it should be handcuffs and a spot behind iron bars because that is how justice will be served. If you revoke Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s prize, you will have done justice in the first instance for and on behalf of the three-and-half million Liberians craving for justice everyday of their lives. My Grandmother could not live enough to see Madam Sirleaf facing the claws of the law, but before God called her at 100 plus years, she said to me: “My son, Chehlee (Sirleaf) must pay for everything she has done…” With a Nobel Prize in her corner, my grandmother spirit remains restless, as thousands of babies who were prematurely delivered with the piecing of their mother’s belly, so as the thousands of young girls, as young as 5 years, who were raped by rebels Madam Sirleaf paid to do her dirty works.

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos



Liberian War Victim Expresses Frustration

-Threatens To Join Arm Robbers

By Zeze Evans Ballah, Monrovia-Liberia



Since the end of the decade long civil war in 2003 that took away about three hundred thousand lives, the Unity Party (UP) Government of Africa first female President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf continue to receive numerous supports from the International Community than any other Government in Liberia.

But the biggest question that continues to linger on the minds of many ordinary Liberians is why these massive supports being given to the UP Government are not triggering down to the poor, underprivileged and war victims who risk their lives to have these war mongers where they are today.

Corruption is at its peak of the UP Government as President Johnson has failed to prosecute those of her government officials that continue to squander public funds with the vast majority of Liberians living in abject poverty with less than USD1 per day. Nepotism which President Johnson-Sirleaf once spoke about against past regimes is also visible with three of her children working in her government.

A vast majority of Liberians live without electricity and pipe bone drinking water. Most Liberian use candles at night in their home which if not taking care of cause some threat in their lives.

Officials of the UP Government are always holding their heads up high saying that the current government is love by the International Community and this while they continue to receive such huge supports.

But one would wonder why these boastful UP Government officials continue to take the airwaves misleading both the International Community and Liberia public that these massive supports are being felt by the ordinary Liberians.

Amara Kelleh a Liberian and father of two children who fled this country several years ago to seek refuge in Senegambia recently returned as has been explaining his ordeal to our Monrovia Correspondent about the dismount performance of the UP Government after being told it that has created lots of jobs opportunities for its citizens.

Amara is a 28yr old Liberian who hails from Voinjama, Lofa County in Northern Country fled Liberia due to the civil upheaval and found himself among several other Liberian refugees in Senegambia.

This frustrated Liberian war victim recently returned home after being told by both officials of the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) and Liberia Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration Commission (LRRRC) that Liberia was peaceful following years of civil strife and that there are lots of job opportunities being offer by the current government.

Amara said upon their returned to Liberia on August 1, 2012, they were housed by the LRRRC on 12th Street in Sinkor and up to date nothing has been done in their interest, adding that “they were given USD375 each as resettlement package by the UNHCR”.

Amara: “Some of us did not had any plan of returning home but after being persuaded by these officials, six of us decided to return from Senegambia via the Roberts International Airport.

He explained that his life was threatened due to the senseless war brought upon the Liberian people by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Charles Taylor and others which forced me into exile for several years.

Amara said after being told by the UNHCR, LRRRC and other government officials that all was well in Liberia, he now find himself on Broad Street polishing shoes to make ends meet.

“Life has become very unbearable for me and others as we used potion of the money given to us to find ourselves accommodations and for me in particular I also used some of the money to travel to Lofa Country to visit some family members whom I have not seen for years.

We are not seen any tangible happening on the ground concerning war victims from the UP Government that has got lots of support from the International Community”, asserted Amara.

With just two cups of Lude Polish, two cups of Kiwi liquid Polish, three brushes, a cup of glue and a bottle of soap water and two sowing needles, Amara said he now finds himself sitting in the hot sun everyday to earn him and his family a living, stressing that “his friends are also on the streets of Monrovia looking for means to survive”.

Amara: “I earned about LD150 which is equivalent to USD2 per day and buy a bowl of rice for myself at LD75 and take the balance LD75 home to my children and ailing wife”.

He added that while in Senegambia as a high school, he acquired some knowledge in agriculture and Agro Forestry and has written a lot of applications since his arrival to some government ministries and agencies but to no avail.

Amara: “Some of us do not want to be a liability on others and am therefore asking the LRRRC to put me into driving school and after learning how to drive, I expect them to employ me because I do not want to be like others on the streets”.

He expressed frustration that he cannot continue with such an unbearable life and do not want to engage himself into arm robbery, pointing out that “but with such a situation it will encourage him to join those arm robbers out there one day because he do not want to face any difficulty again.

The frustrating Liberian war victim said life was far better in Senegambia as compare to Liberia now.

However, the Government of Liberia has brushed aside all criticisms that it is not doing much to address the prevailing youth unemployment, a potential source of the violent conflict in the country.

Very often, the Government of President Johnson-Sirleaf has said that efforts are being made to address the plight of many young Liberians like Amara.

But despite the government’s boast that it is alleviating poverty through its much heralded Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the economic situation still remains woefully hopeless for young people particularly and Liberians in generally.

Despite the outpouring of more than US$2billion into the Liberian economy by its International partners for development, Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 182nd out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).

These multilateral institutions say Liberia has an estimated gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$265 and 64% of the population lives on less than a dollar per day, thus indicating that the government’s PRS is a mockery.

The PRS actually is the same as the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) of both the Bretton Woods Institution, the World Bank and IMF. The program was heavily criticized in the 1970s and 1980s of making the poor poorer and the rich richer.




Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos



December 18, 2012

An Open Letter to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: “When will Justice Come?”

Madam President:

Season’s Greetings!


The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration for Christians and non-Christians alike who find hope and comfort in the birth of our lord Jesus Christ, who was born and died so that all of us can be free from the original sins of commission and omission. The season is also a period of reflection. This is a time when people engage in deep reflection on their experiences, their trials and tribulations, and explore new meanings in their lives that would give them a springboard and usher them in to a new and promising year. Madam President, as you are aware, this year coincides with the twenty-third anniversary of the Liberian civil war, and we in the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL) believe it represents a critical time to reflect on the much-neglected issue of justice that has bedeviled the survival of our nation since its birth. Sadly, there are thousands of Liberians who will not experience the joy of this season because of the bad memories they still have of how their lives were uprooted and destroyed by an armed rebellion launched on December 24, 1989 whose consequence wrecked havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Liberians, mainly vulnerable women and children.

In fact Madam President, as much as we have tried to ignore, pretend, and camouflage that the lack of justice for the victims of the Liberian civil war is no longer a priority because of the peaceful strides that have been made since the cessation of the war in 2003, and since the prosecution of Mr. Charles Taylor by the International Crimes Court (ICC), the fact still remains that the issue of justice is still fundamental to having sustained peace and strengthening the foundations for national unity in our country.

Moreover, on this twenty-third anniversary of the Liberian civil war, we in the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL), wish to call your attention to the fact that there is an overriding concern for justice for the victims of the civil war. This is the unvarnished truth that your leadership must confront now to demand a high standard of justice to end the culture of impunity in Liberia. The hard truth is that due to the greed, selfishness, and power-obsession of a few men and women, our country was plunged into national chaos that brought untold death and suffering to nearly 250,000 thousand of our able-bodied citizens and their families who are still experiencing the after effects of this senseless war that was waged to satisfy their raw political ambitions.

When will justice come? What justice has been brought against those who perpetrated this war in order to restore the humanity and wholeness of our people and bring national healing? How long will those who have suffered going to wait before justice takes its course? Where should our people turn for justice? When will justice reign on the souls of innocent victims of massacre in Sinje Grand Cape Mount County, massacre at Lutheran Church in Sinkor Monrovia, massacre at Barclay Training Center (BTC) Beach, Montserrado County, massacre in Bopolu Gbarpolu County, massacre in Bawon Town, massacre in Nikagabozu Lofa County, massacre in Tappita Nimba County, massacre at Phebe Bong County, massacre at the Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road Monrovia, massacre in Firestone Margibi County, massacre at LAC Grand Bassa County, massacre in Greenville Sinoe County, massacre in Neeswen Town Rivercess County, massacre at Bakedu Lofa County, Massacre in Grand Kru County ,massacre of American Nuns, massacre of Senegalese ECOMOG soldiers and countless gruesome killing in various parts of the country? Madam President, it is now twenty-three years and our people are still seeking answers in order to bring closure to their lives.

Especially today, many of our people who are victims of this war continue to suffer in silence. Some have endured mental anguish for years often expressed through depression, anger, and violence. Others, including women, who were raped and victimized, continue to experience problems in their family relationships. Yet still, there are those who continue to experience all kinds of physical, emotional, and psychological pain for which they have no answers. How long will these citizens of ours continue to wait for the bells of justice to ring so that some form of healing can begin? Madam President, When will Justice Come?


We in the Coalition for justice in Liberia recognize that the implementation of justice is a very vital part of any national development initiative. We want to remind you that since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), completed and submitted its report more than two years ago, there has been no action taken on its recommendations. The report has been set aside and continues to languish, giving credence to the prevailing perception that this was a meaningless exercise, and that those who experienced years of hurt and abuse by warlords and their marauding gangs, have not been heard. In our view, this report represents the last best chance and hope for bringing justice, peace, and reconciliation to our country. Madam President, as we remember this twenty-third anniversary and look towards entering a new year, we call upon you to implement this report so that you can set into motion the true process of genuine peace and reconciliation.


Finally, Madam President, we in the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL), believes that our country stands at a crossroads for justice: there is an opportunity to create a memorable legacy for justice that this generation and those yet unborn will always remember; or leave unattended the legacy of injustice that embroiled us in an ugly past that continues to undermine the potential and promise of a better nation. Madam President, we urge you to do the right thing for justice as we enter a new year so that when this season rolls around again, the victims of the Liberian civil war can truly celebrate with joy and happiness. We leave you with these parting words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who too is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, who said that" Peace is impossible without JUSTICE.".



Sincerely,



Lovetta Tugbeh

Interim Director, Coalition for Justice in Liberia








Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos


Violent Tragedy May Befall Liberia If..….







-Aloysius Toe Accuses Int’l Press, Western Diplomats Of Blowing Fake Trumpet

















While most Liberians regard the 2011 general and presidential elections as crucial to the nation’s continuous stability and progress, a Liberian human rights activist is warning of an impending danger for Liberia, if national reconciliation and unification are not prioritized by the current administration. As Samuka V. Konneh of Our Staff Reports, the rights activist, Aloysius Toe, raised several issues in his speech at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC, USA.
Respected human rights activist, J. Aloysius Toe, of the Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy, has warned against confusing the silence of the guns with the true consolidation of peace. He described such confusion as distorted notion of peace that does not represent true realities.
Cllr. Toe, over the weekend, told a forum organized by the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC, USA, that current realities in Liberia suggest that the country is sitting on a time bomb of social unrest, and may soon explode with volcanic fury, “if the current regime of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf continues on its current path of divisive and vindictive politics, impunity, exclusion and marginalization, massive corruption, systematic distribution of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment.”
Though the human rights man admitted that peace had improved since the last 7 years, he said it is everyone’s guess that a violent tragedy might certainly befall Liberia tomorrow were UNMIL to depart Liberia today.







With massive international support, Toe believes President Sirleaf is in a better position to reform and transform Liberia for the better; build and leave behind a legacy of strong, transparent and democratically reformed institutions that will promote democratic culture in the country. He said such reform and transformation will make it practically difficult for any future leader of Liberia to break or ignore those systems so as to regress to bad governance.
Unfortunately, Toe said the “president is busy and pre-occupied with building financial empire for cliques and inner-circle members while her leadership style is a borrowed collection of Tubman’s imperial presidency, Tolbert’s personal and family enrichment games and cronyism, Doe’s exclusionary and vindictive politics and Taylor’s legitimized corruption and pillage.”




Speaking on the theme: “Liberia: Elections, Justice, Corruption and the Role of the International Community,” Mr. Toe said there is enough evidence to prove that the fragile peace being enjoyed in the country today is because of the presence of UNMIL and not because of the “goodness” of the domestic policies and reform agenda of the Sirleaf’s administration, as is being promoted in the international press and by western diplomats.
“No, the reality is different in Liberia! Go to Liberia and see the reality for yourself. Don’t ask former rights activists in the government and former student activists at the finance ministry – for they will all tell you it is all well – “we are making progress”. But go and ask the petty traders in the streets of Monrovia; go and ask the women, youths and elders in urban poor communities in West Point, Logan Town, Duala, New Kru Town, Oldroad, Paynesville, Gardnersville…..” he told the gathering.
Meanwhile, FOHRD boss has lambasted that though the Liberian economy is experiencing exponential growth, living standards experience exponential decay each day and social service delivery is limited or in many places, non-existent. Mr. Toe said such economy can only be described as dead growth.
On the pending elections, Aloysius Toe reminded the National Endowment for Democracy forum in Washington DC that civil society actors, as well as independent and party candidates have criticized the NEC for conducting voters’ registration without first demarcating electoral constituencies.
“The ‘irregularity’ has the potential to disenfranchise voters and candidates in cases where subsequent constituency demarcation may put them in areas where they did not register. The Constitution and Elections law mandate the NEC to demarcate constituencies after population census, but this was stalled by marathon bickering over a threshold bill.”
In his speech to the forum, Toe commended the international community for being a committed partner of Liberia but says its silence on corruption, justice and impunity in Liberia is harmful than helpful.




Unlike America, the human rights man hinted that the European partners of Liberia are clear and unequivocal on corruption in Liberia, whereas the US is in a flux of diplomatic ambivalence on corruption in Liberia. He implored the United States to play a leadership role in calling on the Liberian administration to address justice and impunity within the framework of the TRC report. “A sincerely demonstrated effort at fighting corruption should be the basis of cooperation with the Sirleaf’s government. These are not issues you can leave with Liberians alone to decide.”


Though he didn’t accuse the US bluntly of “protecting and tacitly shielding President Sirleaf from being held accountable for her participation in the destruction of Liberia,” he said doing so is unacceptable. He alluded that if Ellen, whom he continuously referred to in his speech as a ‘product of the international system’ were not named in the TRC report, the United States would have pressured the Liberian government to act on the Commission’s recommendation.
“I am sure if Ellen Johnson Sirleaf were not named in the TRC report by now, the United States, with pressure from international human rights advocacy organizations, would have strongly urged the Liberian government to implement the TRC report. But ‘too bad’ that Ellen is named in the report. But again, many Liberians would not have taken the TRC report seriously if Ellen Johnson Sirleaf were not mentioned. The world must act to demand justice in Liberia, an end to impunity and minimize corruption.”

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

Liberia: The question now is not if, but when will Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf face the wrath of the Liberian people?

Written by Bernard Gbayee Goah

Even, with her Controversy win at the polls, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf could not and has not revive Liberia as president because like other Liberian warlords, this "Nobel price winner" is in large part responsible for the cold-blooded murders of tens of thousands of defenseless civilians. Considering this fact, it is unlikely that justice would be served in Liberia on Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's watch.

Reflecting on past presidential elections in Liberia, seared in our memory are these haunting words: "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, I'll vote for him."

Gripped with fear and grasping for straws, the Liberian people allowed Charles Taylor to become president. As everyone well knows, this only prolonged the misery. And regardless of the level of Ellen's contribution to the mayhem, her association with Charles Taylor has never been in doubt. That said; didn't Liberians again grasp for straws by electing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as the president? Why would anyone believe that a person so closely associated with Charles Taylor would be right to heal this nation?

The people of Liberia know full well Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are directly responsible for the rapes, torture, maiming and murders of more than 200,000 of our friends and loved ones. Yet Ellen has shown no contrition, compunction or remorse for her contribution, often downplaying the severity of this awful tragedy. Therefore, both these individuals are unacceptable as leaders or role models and must not be rewarded for their crimes.

The people of Liberia rejected Charles Taylor primarily because he murdered our fellow compatriots and wrecked the country's entire infrastructure. This explains why in the fourth year of his presidency, he finally faced the people's wrath, barely escaping alive.

The Liberian people must also bring Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to justice because she financed the brutal war that destroyed a generation, impoverished the entire population, decimated families, and turned Liberians into refugees and beggars. Ordering the NPFL rebels to bomb the residents of Monrovia when thousands of civilians comprising of dominantly women and children is unpardonable. The question now is not if, but when will Ellen face the wrath of the Liberian people? Though the date may be unknown, the emotions are certain.

Bernard Gbayee Goah

Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

An opposition Liberian Politician, Mr. T.Q Harris has predicted that “from all indications Liberia is slouching closer towards the outbreak of violence and that reasons are obvious.”

Mr. Harris said, “Liberians generally do not support violence; however, violence may be unavoidable if calls for change are consistently ignored.”

Mr. Harris, who ran as a vice Presidential candidate in the 1997 presidential elections stressed, “The vast majority of the citizens believe justice is the best path towards lasting peace and security, but the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration refuses to listen.”

Harris noted, “After eight years of President Johnson-Sirleaf’s leadership, the population is terrorized by armed robbers” adding, “when the sun sets, Monrovia becomes the darkest capital in the world and so is the rest of the country.”

The one time Presidential Candidate on the ticket of the Freedom Alliance Party (FAP), in the 2011 presidential race, also cited to lack of clean drinking water and the loss of lives of Liberians by what he says are preventable diseases across the country.

Mr. Harris also listed what he referred to as the alarming rate of female teenage dropouts of school and their turn to prostitution, as an apparent alternative means for their livelihood.

“If the current level of discontent amongst Liberians is anything to judge by, then there is a strong likelihood Liberia may experience severe turbulence in the months ahead.” He further predicted.

“President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s second term may not be as quiet as the first. The signs are everywhere. At the root of the problem is a weak, disorganized and very disconnected leadership.” He opined.

“The Government seems to be operating on autopilot where no one is in charge, so everyone does whatever seems right in their own eyes and chaos, becoming the order of business, has produced a fertile ground for runaway corruption.” He observed.

“Things are fast falling apart because President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party have made a complete mess of Liberia’s post-war reconstruction.” Mr. Harris emphasized.

He then called for unification amongst what he termed; “loyal opposition in preparation for any eventuality.
There are several reasons why the loyal opposition must assert itself now; most compelling of which is the fact that the governing Unity Party is in total disarray.”

Mr. Harris noted that “instead of rallying around the President, top officials of the ruling Unity Party are clamouring to succeed her, while others are calling for her resignation and even threatening to use force if necessary.”

The erstwhile Presidential hopeful stressed, “it has been ten years since the cessation of hostilities, yet thousands of displaced citizens are afraid to return to their homes because of security concerns.”

“Regrettably,” he further observed, “a large percentage of the population often goes to bed hungry due to the country’s high (85%) unemployment.”

Mr. Harris pointed out that, “The greatest danger of all is the large population of idle youths, which includes thousands of former child soldiers.”

He also observed that “In spite of the gloomy statistics, the Unity Party under President Sirleaf’s leadership has mortgaged more than 64% of Liberia’s land mass to private companies for billions of dollars that have yet to be accounted for.”

Harris further cited Global Witness and other reputable organizations which according to him, confirmed that these companies are carrying out mass destruction of Liberia’s virgin rain forest under the watchful eyes of Africa’s first female president.

Mr. Harris indicated, “President Johnson-Sirleaf’s greatest failure to date has been her unwillingness to prioritize national reconciliation and this, more than anything else, may be the likely cause of renewed violence.”

He stated, “The people are anxious. Mistrust, suspicion and fear have hindered progress. Tension is rising and pressure is building across the land. To ignore this fact as President Johnson-Sirleaf has done is a clear indication of a disconnected leader.”

Harris opined that the President seems to be in denial when it comes to the myriad of issues threatening the peace; but thankfully, the international community has recognized the impending danger and is responding accordingly.

The governments of several leading nations such as Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States are strongly advising their citizens not to travel to Liberia for safety reasons. And the U.N. Secretary General has said repeatedly that “peace in Liberia is fragile.” Harris stressed.

“Unless the principal culprits of the 14 years bloodletting are held accountable and emphasis is placed on reconciliation, it will not only be difficult to rid Liberia of its violent image, but also impossible to begin meaningful post-war reconstruction.” He opined.

Mr. Harris also pointed out, “as long as international investors take their cue from host nations, the economic hardship for Liberians will persist, eventually resulting in the breakdown of law and order.”

“Therefore,” he went on, “we call on the loyal opposition to begin constructive engagement in order to better position itself to provide effective leadership in the event of another national crisis.” He urged.

He concluded by reminding his fellow compatriots that “the loyal opposition is not restricted to only politicians; rather, it includes all peace-loving, patriotic Liberians who must come together.”

The former presidential hopeful then stated that, “While there is still a semblance of stability, Liberians should not again neglect themselves by placing our future in the hands of the very people who got us into the mess we now find ourselves.”

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Justice in Liberia
Estados Unidos

EDITORIAL: Heartless!
by Liberian Observer Online (Notes) on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 2:15pm

This administration is heartless! Where the heck is this government while its people suffer in abject poverty? We declare and decree that history will judge this administration so harshly that it will not be able to bear up under the scrutiny.

Wednesday’s eye-opening report, “Prisoners of Poverty”, by a team of Observer reporters was heart-breaking. The suffering that is going on in this country is outrageous!

Go on, Madam President. Tell us reconciliation is what we need. Tell us how you inherited this mess – that you did not create it. Tell us that Slip Way and Buzzy Quarters have been as they are for decades before you arrived on the scene.

Let us be very frank here, Madam Sirleaf. Not you. Not you, Madam Sirleaf. Doe, yes. He was uneducated in more ways than one. Taylor, sure. He was an opportunist and a monster. But you, ma? Not you! “To whom much is given, much is expected.” That is just biblical. You applied for this job as a Harvard-trained economist. You have been educated by and have worked for all of the institutions that are supposed to know how to fix these problems. You are one of the most highly qualified presidents on the continent of Africa or anywhere in the developed world. Your peers look up to you. The world powers look up to you as a beacon of hope in Africa. You are often called to mediate conflicts and to sit on high-level panels convened to decide how to fix the underdeveloped world’s problems. But if you cannot fix the problems in your own country, then what hope is there for the less qualified heads of state on the continent? How could you have sat by these past seven years and done nothing to improve the day-to-day living conditions of your people? Then when we expose the issues, you say we are trying to ignite a coup! No, that would be you!

This corporation would like to commend its team of reporters, Gloria Tamba, Conscience Tequah, and Judoemue Kollie, for a job well done. We have long impressed upon our reporters that news coverage is not just about the Central Bank, the World Bank and the presidency. News is about the ordinary people.


Why is this administration traipsing around the world receiving accolades upon accolades while its people are suffering?

The majority of the people our team interviewed were working people. Official unemployment figures published by authoritative sources typically do not take into account the informal economy – market women, shoeshine boys, scratch card and newspaper vendors, yanna boys/girls, pehn-pehn drivers, and certainly not the children selling cold water and other wares on the streets. Official figures typically only measure the formally employed -- office workers, formally established businesses and the like. As such, unless unemployment is being misdefined, unemployment across Africa and what is known as the third world is probably not as high as official figures report, as most people are self-employed in petty trading and other small business endeavours.

Government’s job, it is often said, is not to provide for everyone, but to create and foster an enabling environment for its people to thrive. So what does this mean for what we are dealing with here? It means that when working people (to include, this time, the informal sector of the economy) cannot make ends meet, it is a governance issue.

This administration does not know how to govern hands-on – staying in touch with the people’s needs and collaborating with them on what is being done to alleviate their poverty and meet those needs. Instead, this administration is very far removed from the needs of its people.

Madam President, you have got to do better. We demand that you do better. We are a civilized people. We are not going to destroy our own country over this. But with four more years to go, we cannot have more of the same. You have to change course. Tell those parasites in your inner circle to back off so you can do your job! We did not elect them president. We elected you, and we expect nothing less. It is not their legacy that is on the line. Theirs is already shot. Electricity and running water are a must. That is why doing business in this country is so expensive, even for foreign investors.

And this whole rhetoric about foundation building, we’ve got to move on from that. We want to see results now. You enjoyed tremendous support from us at the beginning; but we are running out of patience.


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