It is now an open secret across Liberia that the United Nations peace mission will leave the country after successfully ensuring peace and stability since the cessation hostilities in the country little over a decade now. But amid the continuous drawdown plan until it finally folds up and park out of Liberia, many Liberians continue to be apprehensive about the country’s security, especially when there is continuity of widespread speculations that the command structures of some of the defunct rebel groups were still intact, with many itching for chaos.
An AFP interview with a former Liberian rebel Leader published by the New Dawn Liberia last Friday, May 23, 2014 further confirmed such speculations. Sekou Damatee Conneh, Leader of the defunct rebel Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy or LURD indicated that the nation was indeed on a “time bomb”, further confirming that former fighters loyal to him were set to launch another conflict, but he had rejected such plan.
“If I were a troublemaker we would have trouble here every day because, as combatants who are ready for trouble, they talk to me every day; they don’t have money, and they are frustrated. They can do anything. I tell them no, we can’t do that now; we need peace in this country; People have suffered in this country a lot,” ” Sekou Damatee Conneh told a recent AFP news agency interview as published by this paper. Such scaring comments emanating from the former LURD rebel Leader only increases the fears, in terms of the security vacuum that would created following the withdrawal of UNMIL.
While it may be in our best security interest as a people for Damatee Conneh to make such revelation, such revelation must equally not be overlooked. Perhaps, it is just one of the many ways the Almighty God alerts His people; and it now incumbent upon us as a people and government to make serious analysis of these comments, speculations and fears so as to be prepared for future challenges if they should come.
The Government of Liberia- through the National Security Agency, Ministry of National Defence, as well as other security apparatus must also take cue from Damatee Conneh’s revelation for serious consideration because beside threats by former fighters, others may also be thriving on such negative path as a solution to what they claim to be happening to them after inflicting untold havoc in years of fratricidal conflicts for years in Liberia for ordinary greed and power.
In our strongest conviction, the people of Liberia-terribly victimized by the brutal attitudes of these former fighters, owe nothing to them and must now live in continuous peace, even amid abject poverty. These former war-lords and their fighters must leave us alone; we, the people of Liberia, are tired and prepared never to returns to our country’s dark days. So, they must leave us alone for a peaceful life in our country.