And Arms Trafficking Commendable, But… Recently on the sidelines of the just-ended African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Capital, and Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attributed Africa’s unrests to drugs and arms trade.
Reports, including the BBC’s monitored in Monrovia quoted President Sirleaf as acknowledging that growing drug trafficking and unchecked arms trade wee fuelling insurgencies across the continent, assuring that Liberia would lead a campaign to try to contain the menace. In the wake of the rise of militant groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, the Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine militants in Mali described as very disturbing, President Sirleaf promised that she would now be urging countries which manufactured weapons to sign a treaty to stop arms proliferation.
As we vehemently condemn the Islamic Fundamentalists in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia, it must also be noted that these heartless war criminals may just be copying after their counterparts heavily supported by the West as evidenced by the civil wars in our very country, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, as well as Angola, Libya, among others.
While the position of the President of Liberia on arms proliferation is one that deserves the highest commendation, it is also important to remind her about the interests of the West in Africa for which most of the arms are present. In pursuance of such worthy international initiative on behalf of the people of Africa, Madam President must not allow her relationship to sour with “the big brothers” of the world by interfering with such interests.
Even though the Liberian Leader may adequately understand the story of the “elephant feaces”, she must be urged to exercise the highest degree of care and diplomacy in her campaign and engagements with arms-producing countries in her bid to deal with the situation. As she also campaign against drug trafficking in Africa, her “back yard must first be swept” that is already infested with almost all of the narcotic drugs.
It is no secret that never a time that Liberia has ever been infested with dangerous narcotic drugs than now. The campaign must begin here now and then, onto Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and on, on we go.
In furtherance of the commencement of such campaign in Liberia, the Drugs Enforcement Agency or DEA must first be financially and logistically capacitated to vigorously and uncompromisingly pursue drug traffickers, facilitators and dealers wherever or whoever they may be. Emphasis must also be placed on border security, as well as internal ‘check point security’ in terms of the necessary logistics and other forms of empowerment not only to determine drug-carrying commercial vehicles plying Liberia’s highways, but also some private and government vehicles (under suspicion). The commencement of such a vigorous campaign in Liberia may serve as an opportunity for other African countries to follow.