The Liberian newspaper(NewDwnLiberia, February 25, 2016 )reports that the ousted “Burkina Faso ex-leader, Mr. Blaise Compoare, becomes Ivorian (citizen)”. This article isnot intendedto question the Right and Authority of the Republic of La Cote d’Ivoire to grant/award citizenships.
Under international Conventions, recognized, sovereign states have the right and authorityto grant/award citizenships. The Republic of La Cote d’Ivoire is a recognized, sovereign State; therefore, it is within that State’s right/authority to grant/award citizenship to whomever it pleases. As simple citizens of a neighboring country, we lack the right/authority to question the Republic La Cote d’Ivoire forgranting/awarding citizenship to Mr. Blaise Compoare, the ousted President of Burkina Faso.
Our concerns, however, are addressed to our government regarding its responsibility to secure, protect and preserve the vital interests of Liberia and its people, including the impact of the recent civil war – of historic plunder, destruction, population displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent Liberians into refugee camps worldwide; of human suffering and death brought upon Liberian villages, towns and cities; and the profound, specific target of Grand Gedeh County, our home county, for wipe-out or annihilation.
Mr. Blaise Compoare (then President of Burkina Faso) and Excellency Alassane Ouattara (then Prime Minister, now President of La Cote d’Ivoire) featured prominently in the deadly actions committed against the vital interests of the Liberian Nation and Liberians, during the tragedy of the civil war, as articulated in the following pages.
The Association of Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) According to Mr. Woewiyu’s now famous Open Letter (tell-it-all confessions) to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,August 30, 2005 (www.grandgedeh.com/gg-news.htm),it all began in the United States of America,when theACDL, the premier, political organization that planed, organized and facilitated the armed overthrow of the-then government of Liberia.
Firstly, the ACDL recruited General Thomas Quiwonkpa to lead, and he led, the failed coup d’etat of November 12, 1985 against the Liberian Nation and people, during which hundreds of thousands of innocent Liberians lost their lives, including the General, with numerous properties looted and destroyed in the City of Monrovia.
Secondly, upon failure of the Quiwonkpa attempt, according to Mr. Woewiyu’s detailed confessions (Open Letterto Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf) and other online communications that, indeed, the Association of Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (the ACDL), of which he (Mr. Woewiyu) was a prominent, executive and founding member,influenced the release of Mr. Charles Taylor from a maximum security prison in Massachusetts, USA;recruited him (Mr. Taylor) to plan, organize and overthrow the government of Liberia by force of arms andprovided travel documents and transport for Mr. Taylor from the USA to Africa, first to Ghana, thence to Burkina Faso.
Here, the ACDL, Taylor and company sought a coup-staging point in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a request which the-then President of Burkina Faso, Mr. Thomas Sankara, refused to grant or permit – the destabilization of a sister, African state, Liberia. TheACDL/Taylor group, reportedly, turned to General Blaise Compoare, thenthe powerful commander of Sankara’s Presidential Guards. With Mr. Charles Taylor’s Special Forces,General Compoare,allegedly,engineered the assassination/killing of Thomas Sankara to become President of Burkina Faso. The rest is history.
The December 24, 1989 Invasion of Liberia From Burkina Faso, Mr. Charles Taylor& Associates, agents of the ACDL, went to Abidjan and environs, La Cote d’Ivoire, and there set up shop, planned, organized and launched the military-type invasion of Liberia on December 24, 1989, through the Ivorian/Liberian border town of Logatuo, Nimba County, Liberia, made possible with the knowledge, approval of and permission by the government of theRepublic of La Cote d’Ivoirefor Ivorian/Liberian border-crossing into Liberia.In other words, the governments of the-then Burkina Faso andLa Cote d’Ivoire“Aided and Abetted” this act of aggression against a sister Republic, Liberia.During this period (1989), the Head of State and Government of La Cote d’Ivoire was the late Houphet Boigny, withAlasanne Ouattaraas Prime Minister, shortly, in 1990 and Blaise Compoare of Burkina Faso.
Raised deeply troubling Questions As citizens of Grand Gedeh County, Republic of Liberia, we raised concerns, persistently, consistently, reasonably and truthfully, regarding the on-going, strange“Love Affairs”,during and after the devastating nightmare of the civil war, between our government, the government of La Cote d’Ivoire(Alassane Ouattara) and ex- or ousted-President of Burkina Faso(Blaise Compoare).
Some examples, During the War:
• Mr. Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu (an NPFL Ideologue and prominent member of the ACDL) was not only defense spokesperson (“Defense Minister”) and head of the NPFL fighting forces, but also the No. 2 person (Taylor being No.1) in the NPFL hierarchy – policy, planning, organization, management, operations, etc. – command & control, military style). The name “Tom Woewiyu” was, indeed, “NPFL” and a national/international household-word during the heyday of the conflict. Mr. Woewiyu, in this very important, ACDL-NPFL policy position, announced publicly that the “best Krahn man is a dead Krahn man”.
• When the ACDL’s“Taylor’s Bloody War” (in Mr. Taylor’s own words & designation) finally reached the City of Monrovia, it gained momentum with new (non-Krahn, non-Mandingo) “converts”who, with ACDL-NPFL “freedom killers/murderers” marched the streets of Monrovia to the cadence of the famous or infamous refrain:“Charlie come, Charlie come To eliminate the Krahn/Mandingo PeopleFrom the face of the Liberian Nation”.
• Upon the capture and military occupation of Grand Gedeh County in July 1990, theACDL- NPFLannounced a policy decision to annex the County, the ancestral land and home of the Krahn and Mandingo Peoples, to Nimba County, the county’s northeast neighbor.Therefore, it was, and is, reasonable to conclude thathad the ACDL’s “Taylor’s Bloody War” succeeded as planned, Grand Gedeh County, indeed, the Krahn& Mandingo Tribal Peoples, would have been wiped off oreliminated completely from the face of the Liberian Nation, ceased to exist as a political sub-division and a separate, distinct socio-cultural and political entity, as we know it today.
• Because of the gruesome atrocities viciously committed against Krahn and Mandingo men, women and children by the ACDL-NPFLcaptors,including occupation of their home County with threat of annexation to Nimba County, thousands of Krahn and Mandingo families fled, as early as February and March 1990, to and took refuge in neighboring Republics of Guinea and Sierra Leone. Thereupon, theACDL-NPFL forces pursued the fleeing, Liberian refugees into eastern Sierra Leone and southern Guinea, ferociously and viciously inflicted wanton destruction, human suffering and death upon them. This development created one of the most critical, turning points in the history of theACDL-NPFL insurgency and the resulting civil conflict.Thus, Krahn and Mandingo men and women, refugees from the deadly war, met in small town in eastern Republic of Sierra Leon decided “we have had enough of Charles Taylor& the ACDL-NPFL; we will run no more”. Accordingly, theUnited Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) and later, the Liberia Peace Council (LPC),were formed toRESIST andresisted the rebellious, illegal armed insurgency by the ACDL-NPFL, directed against the Government and people of the Republic of Liberia, particularly, victimizing Krahn/Mandingo peoples.
After the War: • Of recent, after the civil war, today, our government of Liberia has a strange, on-going Love Affairs with the very same, neighboring country(La Cote d’Ivoire)& ousted, ex-president Blaise Compoare (of Burkina Faso)whoAided and Abetted the near, total destruction of Liberia. Failing this attempt, the two nations, wealthier than Liberia and now undistinguishable, in real termsof citizenship, reportedly invaded, illegally, the neighboring territory of Liberia in Grand Gedeh County. This situation was, and is, apparently, unmindful of and contravenes international conventions and principles of cooperation, protection and preservation of international peace and security.
• Furthermore, our Government of Liberia arrested and returned to La Cote d’Ivoire, citizens/refugees of La Cote d’Ivoire of Grand Gedean/Liberian descent, who fled from ethnic/tribal civil war in that country. This action, on the part of our, Liberian Government, was, and is, a flagrant violation UNCHR, a UN treaty/convention to which Liberia is a signatory and committed, benefits of which Liberia enjoys today, with refugees from our civil war, worldwide.
• Our, Liberian Government, also, arrested 18 Grand Gedean/Liberian citizens, subjected them to several, endless trials on several, revised indictments for several, one-size-fits all charges – rape, economic sabotage, mercenarism, etc., etc. – and finally “convicted” 13, acquitted 5 on the same set of “evidence”, characterized by charges and counter-charges of jury-tempering, offers and acceptances of bribes for guilty verdict.Apparently, the case against the Grand Gedeans was, and is, a political case that must be won at all costs and by all and any means, in order to reward and please the Ivorian Government and Mr. Blaise Compoare, the ousted President of Burkina Faso, forAiding & Abetting the ACDL-NPFL in its military-type, illegal invasion and near-total destruction of Liberia, during which an estimated more than a quarter of a million, innocent Liberians lost their lives, with hundreds of millions of refugees displaced in distant, foreign countries.
Our Conclusions: The foregoing analysis speaks for itself – the facts of our recent past and recent history. Earlier, we stated that we do not have the right/authority nor are we interested in questioning the right/authority of the Republic of La Cote d’Ivoire for granting/awarding of citizenships, a recognized, sovereign state, in so doing. However, in terms of the vital interests and the very survival of Liberia and Liberians (we are Liberians), critical issues diligently, evidently compromised, deadly, by this pair of Excellences– Alassane Ouattara & Blaise Compoare – it is lawful, reasonable grounds for us to question our government’s on-going chummy, chummy relationship with the excellences and, in passing, reflect on the reported granting of citizenship to Mr. Blaise Compoare, one of the Excellences.
According to reports, Mr. Compoare engineered, allegedly, the murder/assassination of Mr. Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso, in the effort to facilitate the overthrow of the-then Government of Liberia.Now, it is, also, reported that that Mr. Compoare has been ousted, indicted and wanted in Burkina Faso and that he is fugitive from justice, living in La Cote d’Ivoire in exile. Citizenship, we have been informed, is designed to prevent extradition to Burkina Faso or anywhere else, for trial.
In an article elsewhere, based on research and reported results of the elections that brought Mr. Alassane Ouattara to power as President of La Cote d’Ivoire (Analyst Liberia, March 4, 2014), we wrote that:
a) “His Excellency, Alassane Ouattara is widely believed, or perceived, not to be Ivorian citizen, but a Burkinabe` who, it is also reported and widely believed, with Burkinabe` President, Blaise Compoare, to be responsible for the deadly, failed 2002 rebellion, and that with his (Ouattara’s) accession to power under these controversial conditions, would, inevitably, result in the take-over of Cote d’Ivoire by Burkinabe` foreigners”.
b) “The seemingly endless, domestic conflict, with its resulting, deep-seated, cumulative discontent, compounded by the results of the controversial elections, is clearly a proven, home-grown phenomenon that requires specialized, political will-ability, enlightened and committed leadership for rational, peaceful resolution. Ignored or permitted to obtain, over time, the impact is likely to spill over to neighboring or distant countries, as it is now, invites or attracts romantic ‘soldiers of fortune’ for purely financial gain without personal and/or ideological considerations in these days of ‘conspicuous consumption’, instant travel of carefree, adventurous counter-culture”.
“According to the UN Panel of Experts, ‘cross-border, ethno-linguistic ties remain strong . . . between Ivorian Yacouba and Liberian Gio . . . in Nimba County, and Ivorian Guere and Liberian Krahn in Grand Gede County. There were others from the border regions along the Cavalla River, all the way through River Gee County to Maryland County’”.
d. “Our research/investigation shows that Ivorian citizens, resident in western Cote d’Ivoire – Duekoue`, Guiglo and several towns/villages bordering Grand Gedeh County – fled the onslaught of armed Burkinabes who took over their cocoa, coffee and other farms. All counties, from Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland, bordering La Cote d’Ivoire share socio-cultural, ethnic/tribal identity with many Ivorian citizens, including family and friendly relationships. Indeed, history shows that Kwa-speaking peoples of Liberia migrated from the East, the ‘Ivory Coast’ region”.
These are the underlying, critical factors that triggered the endless conflict in our neighboring, sisterly Republic of La Cote d’Ivoire. There is critical need for the two nations to cooperate and coordinate to find lasting, peaceful resolution in the light of the binding, historic ties between the two peoples, before some trigger-happy, “security” official plunge us all in the nightmare of another, deadly conflict.