>Written by Jackson Zleh Towah
Washington Must Considered Reign Change in Burkina Faso and Liberia for Stability in West Africa.
It may not be the greatest explosive revelations or the best of scenario for the current political problem in West Africa; and may most likely even sounds so bizarre to say that until Washington can reconsider, review it foreign policy, and support a reign change in Burkina Faso and Liberia, the West African sub-region remains vulnerable to instability, illegal arms dealers, and a clear-eyed epic centre for a new breeds of rising Islamic terrorists.
Sadly, this insinuation is the unbendable truth and reality of our time we must confront with total intellectual and political honesty.
I don’t write to antagonize Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso respectively; but how can two key actors to destabilizing West Africa, leaders who used and maintain power by disabling their citizens through poor livelihood, and both leaders who have turned from the West to the East blamed Washington and its allies for their international images as a “failed states.” But as I ploughed through enormous reasons and lay down my evident; the current problem in West Africa is much more than controls for state power only, but it a situation in which political supremacy is also fuelled by ethnic tension and religious feud.
Burkina Faso: is a landlocked country in sub-Sahara Africa with a population little over sixteen million folks. Formerly Upper Volta, it was renamed Burkina Faso by President Thomas Sankara which is translated as the “Land of honest men” but is Burkina Faso actually “land of honest men?” Even by African standards, it ranks third on the United Nation chart as one of the world poorest countries. As predominant Muslim nation, many Burkinabes have turned from the mainstream economic cotton farming and trading gold to mercenary activities across the sub-region since the late 20thcentury as a means to empower its economics and strengthen its political supremacy in West Africa. Since former President Thomas Sankara was overthrown in a bloody coup by President Blaise Compaore in 1987, this tiny nation off the coast of West Africa remains under the political microscope by neighboring countries in the region.
In the 90s, the presence of Burkinabes in Liberia and Sierra Leone civil wars could be seeing at all level of our society. So, what is the West doing to stop this nightmare and the spread of what seems to be Islamic fundamentalist jihad. Not only does the accession of President Blaise Compaore to power in 1987 gave birth to the spread of modern Islamic radical ideology in that part (West Africa) of the continent. Speaking much from experiences, until Washington and its allies can shift their policies and reconsidered the modern method of doing political business; West Africa remains a breeding ground for rising Islamic terrorists and the world most notorious arms dealers even and if the United Nations sanctions and arms embargo is placed and enforced in the region.
Liberia: a nation founded by free American slaves and indigenous (natives) Liberians in the 1800s and has been over the decades called an iconic image of Washington on the continent of Africa. It has a population of less than three millions folks. It is a nation where a long standing tension between the Americo-Liberians and the indigenous remain unresolved, and ploughed the country into fourteen year of civil war. When Washington failed to intervene to stop the war which many Liberians believed they masterminded, Liberians turned to the international community for help. But the turning-point came in 2003 when Washington consistently refused to put Americans GIs on the ground to stop the fighting. It seems relation between Liberia and Washington is at the blink of fading. So, communist China, the rising world power moved behind Washington backyard to engage “America-Step-Child” (Liberia).
When American trained Harvard economist and former World Bank chief executive President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power in 2005, many in Washington and Liberia thought that she would be the best candidate to restore the fading relationship between the two nations; but she first provoked Washington when she appointed Charles Taylor former finances boss (Nathaniel Barnes) to Washington as Ambassador. Taylor, an escape-convict from the commonwealth state of Massachusetts is wanted in the United States on federal charges ranging from racketeering, extradition, & breaking federal detention facility. He is currently held at “The Hague,” in the Netherlands on war crimes charges.
President Sirleaf further turned from the West to the East by bring Chinese and sending young Liberians to China to studies. Washington and China have gone head to head during the cold-war and the spirit of returnable bitterness remains all so real. At the United Nation, the Americans and the Chinese never agreed on a single global agenda. The question unfolding is, Have President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf outsmart Washington insiders or just another con-artist?
Unlike Liberia’s counterpart (Burkina Faso——–“the land of honest men”), the gateway to empowering Liberia’s economics is the Freeport of Liberia. Freeport pours in millions in revenues but that money is pocketed by few corrupt government officials. Liberia has several others means of improving its livelihood of its citizens but corruption has huddled every part of Liberia’s public & private sectors. Critics have questioned Washington now and then about the underdevelopment of Liberia. A question Washington continuously shifts to blame past reigns in Liberia; but the most critical issue unfolding is….. why have Liberians turned to mercenary activities?
Mistakes of the west
Former United States Attorney General (the late Robert Kennedy) asserted: “the challenge of politics and public service is to discover what is interfering with justice and dignity (and I added……the freedom of liberty to exist as a Free State or continent), and then to decide swiftly upon the appropriate remedies.” The mistakes of the West could be seeing as the remedies we must also confront. Although, we are part of the global village, but the United Nations and the West must allow Africa problems be handled by Africans leaders. This is the essence of being independent; which is accompanied by freedom and justice. Secondly, on the continent of Africa, we must not confront the growing terrorist’s threats that are emerging in the sub-region particularly (Liberia & Burkina Faso which have turned into an epic centre and remain vulnerable for Al Qaeda recruitment) by constructing new prisons and building a strong task force to end the war on terrorism by military aggression, but we must create an opportunity for this generation of young men on the continent of Africa in the areas of education & employment.
When we explore the past, not only are we uncovering methods that work to help advance the future, but we are also uncovering errors of the past that have not work for the better. A classic example: If problems affecting a group of villagers in northern Nigeria is decided by the governor of New Jersey or a congressman from Utah who has no firsthand understanding or know the grassroots cause about what happening in that part of the world; the outcome only creates more problems than the initial crisis. Africa can do better if the West doesn’t interfere with our day to day freedom.
Elsewhere, I believe the United Nations and the West have overreacted to the current problem in the Ivory Coast between two opposition leaders Alassane Ouattara and President Laurent Gbagbo. The post election leadership must be decided through Ivory Coast legal institution (The Supreme Court). Washington and its allies must stay off the internal problem in the Ivory Coast. Like the rest of the world kept out of the Florida disputed ballots which was decided by the United States Supreme Court.
Zimbabwe, Kenya, Guinea, Ivory Coast are few of several countries on the continent of Africa in recent time that have saw and felt the interference of the West and the United Nations. The UN continues to pursue the path which led to disrespect for the League of Nations and its fall. African leaders must speak with one voice now to maintain their respect or I can sense in the foreseeable future that a lot of African countries going to withdraw their membership from the United Nations.
Terrorists Who Hide Behind State-Power
Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso are both master-terrorists who hiding behind state-power to terrorize the West African sub-region. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stepson (Fomba Sirleaf) a graduate of United States Elite military academy (West Point) who is the head of the intelligence service in Liberia and President Blaise Compaore’s secret service chief have been working together behind close doors to remove President Laurent Gbagbo who is supported by the Krahn on either sides of the border between Liberia and south of the Ivory Coast.
The Krahn people remain President Sirleaf worst enemy since the end of the civil war in Liberia. She fears if the United Nations pour out of Liberia, President Laurent Gbagbo maintains power in the Ivory Coast, Guinea remains stable; the chance of her second enemy (the Mandingoes) who she referred to during the civil war as “the ally of Samuel Doe” many of whom have roots in Guinea will join forces and force her out of power.
Momo Mason: a former Special Security Service guard heading Liberians fighting alongside Alassane Ouattara & Guillaume Soro’s rebel forces stationed outside Boakou was a former NPFL fighter and special aide to imprison Liberian President Charles Taylor. I’ve attended Voinjama Multilateral with Momo Mason in the late 80s, although he was couple of classes ahead of me, we remain close. When I saw him in Monrovia with former President Charles Taylor, we exchanged information and I left for Winnipeg, Canada. Five years later, he contacted me in Washington, DC but I promised to call back but never did. Now, the same gentleman has contacted me lately from Boakou; and wants to wire some cash into my account here in the United Status. Mr. Mason said he was to meet Fomba Sirleaf in KaKata, Liberia and receive the cash for the Special Forces in Boakou, Ivory Coast. My advice to Mr. Mason was, he should receive the money from the Liberian intelligence chief and escape to a neighboring country, but I’m not prepared to use my account for any such transaction. It sounds like a corrupt advice, but the Liberians government (GOL) under the watchful eye of the United Nations should not be sponsoring mercenaries in the first into neighboring countries. Now, the Liberian president says that the mercenaries fighting in Ivory Coast currently are LURD & MODEL disbanded rebels groups; insinuating the Krahn and Mandingoes ethnic groups. One message that is cleared …….all the Liberians fighting in the Ivory Coast are “LIBERIANS MERCERNARIES.”
Amos Chayee: A former ULIMO, LPC, and MODEL chief of staffs has been in Ghana where he took refuge since the war ended in Liberia in 2003. Quite lately, he hasn’t been seeing since the fighting started in neighboring Ivory Coast. He is believed to be in the Guigolo area in the predominant krahn south of Ivory Coast, the stronghold for incumbent President Laurent Gbarbo. Although General Amos Chayee hails from Gbarzon District, in Grand Gedeh County, he remains accused of David Zeon murder and is wanted by the people of Zleh Town; his human right record on the outside remains pure and cleaned. In 2003, he contacted me in Washington from the Ghanaians capital Accra when he was on a peace mission in Ghana. My only advised to the rebel general was that he should turned all the prisoners of war over to the International Red Cross. The MODEL military chief did as was requested. Couple of weeks later I read in the Liberian no-line news portal that a number of POW have been turnover to the Liberian Red Cross in the city of Zwedru, Liberia. Nevertheless, he remains one of Liberia most dangerous mercenaries.
Again, in recent time, the Liberian president mentioned that the Liberian mercenaries current fighting in the Ivory Coast were fighters of the disbanded rebel groups LURD and MODEL. The West must not be hoodwinked by Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf political dishonesty, in other words, that she is not aware of arms flow and is also not knowledgeable about the Liberians fighting in neighboring countries (Guinea & Ivory Coast). The same weapons used in the Ivory Coast will made their way back to Liberia and even be used against the United Nations forces if Washington fail to act now. The only solution to the current problem in the region is to make an example of 70-year-old master terrorist Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Burkina Faso Islamic radical Blaise Compaore.
As regards the president for Burkina Faso, the name Blaise Compaore sounds in the West African sub-region as a master-terrorist who hides behind the canopy of state-power to strengthen his supremacy in the region, and pours in millions from Burkinabes’ mercenaries fighting across Africa as Special Forces.
Conclusively, according to Robert Kennedy, whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes. If Washington and the West failed to act now to stop the growing threats emerging in the West African sub-region, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Al Shaba and others radical Islamic terrorists may soon be well rooted in the region.