So what does this mean for Liberians abroad, for Liberians still languishing in Refugee camps, for Liberians who are afraid of the looming threat of deportation on March 30, 2009, when the current Temporary Protective Status (TPS) ends, and the US government refuses to let them remain here in this country? The President’s admission should not stop right here with her apology. Should Ellen lead Liberia into confiscating all the resources that Charles Taylor stole from our country during his bloody take over of our country, during the fourteen year carnage he waged? Those who are perpetrators should be brought to justice for sending so many to their graves and for sending hundreds of thousands into exile. She needs to join forces with thoes who are campaigning to grant permanent resident status to each Liberian on TPS here in the US. I have had mixed emotions about the news not because I did not know all of this news before the TRC session with our President. I will wait to hear what my readers think, and what they hope we Liberians can achieve. I am sure others will politicize this to the limit, but this is a moment for everyone of us to reflect on. History is interesting when it unfolds before our eyes. To know that the war that many supported with their money continues to haunt us today is amazing. This is another moment for thinking Liberians to reflect on. Reflect with me, will you?
Read the news article from the BBC below.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has apologised at a truth and reconciliation commission over her backing for ex-rebel Charles Taylor.
She said she had initially supported the rebel chief’s war effort and even raised funds for him, but denied ever having been a member of his group.
She said she had been fooled about the real intentions of Mr Taylor.
He led rebels who toppled President Samuel Doe in a 14-year civil war that left the West African nation shattered.
Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf was imprisoned in the 1980s for criticising the military regime of President Doe and then backed Charles Taylor’s rebellion before falling out with him and being charged with treason after he became president.
She took an oath on Thursday in the capital Monrovia from truth commission chairman Jerome Verdier and then sat before the flag of Liberia.
The 70-year-old Liberian leader faced the seven-member commission as she narrated her own involvement in the Liberian crisis that began on the eve of Christmas in 1989.
“If there is anything that I need to apologise for to this nation is to apologise for being fooled by Mr Taylor in giving any kind of support to him,” she said.
“I feel it in my conscience. I feel it every day,” she said, regretting her support to Mr Taylor.
The Liberian leader said she had paid him a visit in May 1990 at his base in the north-eastern Liberian town of Gborplay, on the border with Ivory Coast.
“I will admit to you that I was one of those who did agree that the rebellion was necessary,” she told the commission. “But I was never a member of the NPFL (National Patriotic Front of Liberia).”
In a separate case, Mr Taylor became the first African ex-head of state to face an international war crimes court last year.
He is accused of responsibility for the actions of Revolutionary United Front rebels during the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone, which included unlawful killings, sexual slavery, use of child soldiers and looting.
Read two of my poems written during the Liberian Civil War.
Monrovia, Revisited (copyright-Taken from The River is Rising, Autumn House Press, 2007)
——Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
No grass along street corners—
in search of themselves.
This is the city where I first learned
The city of salty winds, salty tears,
All Dirges Have Ceased (Copyright: Taken from The River is Rising, Autumn House Press, 2007)
—- Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
All dirges shall cease at the striking of the clock,
A snail shell, half burnt, a rattlesnake, coiled,
for the executioner, who is our warlord?
Today when the sun comes into the kitchen