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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Liberia: Is it on the brink?
The LURD rebel group is creeping ever closer to the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
Key towns have been attacked, including President Charles Taylor's former headquarters of Gbarnga and his home town of Artington, just 25 kilometres from the capital city.
Thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting.
How would you advise President Taylor to deal with the rebel threat? Should he try to smash LURD militarily? Should he try to negotiate with them?
The best thing Taylor can do now is to give up the ghost and let the Liberian people decide the future of the country. Taylor had the chance to lead but he miserably failed the Liberian people. He has run out of ideas about running a government and his failed policies have led to the suffering of the Liberian people.
Under the Taylor Presidency, Liberians abroad have seen the significant erosion of the dignity of their people in Liberia. This is why thousands of Liberians in the USA will be rallying on July 26th, in Washington, DC, to demand that Taylor and his regime step down. The only negotiation necessary right now is to negotiate Taylor's surrender and arrest. Taylor has undermined the credibility of international-backed negotiations to end conflicts. To restore this credibility Taylor should not be a part of any negotiation backed by the international community to end the trouble in Liberia. Taylor is the trouble, get him out, and the trouble will end.
Akin, Nigerian-Canadian, Japan
Charles Taylor, of all people, should know that he cannot smash LURD militarily. This is a guerrilla warfare, and there are no clear-cut frontlines. All the more reason why he should listen to the collective wisdom of the Liberian people who are asking him to dialogue with the rebels. There are many well meaning people, Liberians and friends of Liberia, who are willing to help him in this regard.
I'm neither a fan of Taylor nor his administration, but I hold the utmost degree of hatred for all those responsible for bring this horrific tragedy on the Liberian people.
Liberia is not a trophy. Liberia belongs to Liberians and it not a prize for the strongest. There should be no negotiation with rebel forces. It is time for us Liberians to rise up and resist any attempt by any group to force itself in power by the barrel of the gun. The democratic process must be given a chance.
C.W. Jallah Sr., Liberian in the USA
There is universal agreement that Charles Taylor is the main problem for Liberia and that he should quit one way or another. The question is, where will he go after he resigns? I can't think of many people who would want him living next door as a neighbour lest the cancer of death and destruction he brought upon Liberia spreads.
I think it has been made quite clear by Taylor and his cronies in Monrovia that the only thing they are interested in is power and how to enrich themselves at the expense of the Liberian people. If you take a careful look at the present situation in Liberia, it is exactly a replay of the war that Taylor started in late 1989. And what happened during that war? Untold suffering and destruction of lives and properties.
Any attempt to negotiate with Taylor will be a new lease on his regime. He already has a history of not abiding by any peace agreement.
Liberians must now demand nothing less from Taylor than his resignation and possible trial along with his key officials and supporters.
I believe the Liberian government should negotiate with LURD, before this MESS gets worse then it already is. I am not a fan of Taylor's administration but I sure don't want another rebel incursion. The Liberian people have suffered so much and for too long.
Eze Ekuma Ibe, Nigeria
I honestly think he should leave office. Let him hand over power to an interim administration instead of the rebels. There should be no negotiation between him and the rebels. Taylor is a failure and he has devastated this country. He brought more suffering to the people of Liberia than any of his predecessors. The Liberian people deserve better. I don't think the rebels will make any more difference than Charles Taylor.
It is a shame that the UN is allowing an armed group to ravage our country and kill the innocent with impunity, while at the same time imposing a ban on weapons on the standing government. Shame on the hypocrisy of the UN and Kofi Annan.
From the way I look at things and the way things are going, I think the best thing for President Taylor to do right now is resign. He should resign and go into exile.
H. Momo Fahnbulleh, USA
Negotiations would be the right way to handle this situation and avoid further bloodshed. However, one has to be very careful with what and who you are negotiating with. Taylor has never proved to be an earnest person.
As a Liberian residing in the United States, it makes our lives very excruciating to hear daily about bad news of our beloved country...Liberia. We all have family members back home, and feel very attached to home. We want Taylor to resign and for there to be a transitional government to lead the country forward.
Taylor should negotiate now if he actually loves the Liberian people. This will save many, many lives.
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