New beginnings

While former Liberian President Charles Taylor faces allegations of war crimes, a Liberian expat reflects on his disastrous legacy:

Today, the architect of mayhem, Mr. Taylor, sits in a prison cell in Freetown. In the spirit of democracy and justice, he will have his “day in court’ where he will be represented by the best legal minds his ill-gotten wealth can buy. Not one to mince words let me say this: I hope he will be found guilty beyond the reasonable doubt. As we struggle to put these awful times in the history of our country behind us, there could be nothing more pleasing than having Mr. Taylor live a long and agonizing life in prison where he will perish a lonely man, a forgotten man, a tragic footnote in the annals of Liberian history.

After all that we have been through, am I proud to be a Liberian? You bet! Never will I want to be anything else. Liberians are a resilient people and it warms my heart to be a part of that tradition. We survived Charles Taylor and his evil designs. Now, we are looking forward to better days, days aglow with unity, peace, and development. The achievement of these longed-for virtues, however, requires our collective effort. As a people, we must turn our backs once and for all on greed, selfishness, primitive sentiments, prejudices, and so on. These vices must be replaced by the showing of a sense of belonging to Liberia. We must redirect our thoughts and actions at supporting our government in whatever way each of us can, in forming a consensus basis for a sustained national political, economic, social, and cultural program.… 

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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