Peace, stability, and political tranquility are security ingredients for the sustainability of any government in Africa, Europe, Asia or the U.S. These ingredients are contingent on the consolidation of a formidable political pillow in any government with Liberia being no exception. It can be noted that: “On 19 September 2003, the Security Council, United Nations in New York unanimously adopted resolution 1509 to secure, protect and defend Liberia after 16-years of brutal civil, and to also assist in the maintenance of law and order throughout Liberia.”
Interestingly, on March 30th. 2018 UNMIL ended it over 14-years of its security mission in Liberia. The (SRSG) Mr. Fraid Zarif, UNMIL’s Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, confidently lamented in the same period that: “The withdrawal of UNMIL signifies that we are leaving behind a country whose citizens can now enjoy relatively peaceful lives. Liberia has great potential to achieve lasting stability, democracy, and prosperity,” The SRSG’s statement cannot be trusted because Liberia is still not secure or protected by any stretch of human imagination.
The inquiries that arose from a critical school of thoughts advanced the followings to President Weah: What were the military criteria President Weah, did consider from UNMIL perspectives that it was time to depart Liberia? Did President Weah ask himself why UNMIL was in Liberia in the first place? Did he ever find out why UNMIL couldn’t have left Liberia after the first six-years of the then president Sirleaf’s presidency? Why did President Weah anxiously accepted UNMIL’s departure request so soon? Political pundits believe that President Weah official blessing of UNMIL’s departure after almost 14-years of security duties in Liberia was emphatically one of the most blatant security blunders the president ever made since his inauguration, 22 January 2017.
Liberia and the international committee came to a standstill when President Weah openly acknowledged: “We commend UNMIL for its longstanding support for peace and stability. A special recognition to you great men and women of the service who left your country and your family to come to Liberia to help keep the peace. The Liberian people will forever remain grateful to you for your bravery and service to our great nation. To UNMIL service, men and women that will be staying in Liberia, remember Liberia is your home. Thank you for your hard work and sacrifice you have made over the years to keep the peace and stability of our beloved mama Liberia. As you leave us now, we will forever remember you.” From a security perspective, did President Weah compromise the security status of Liberia sooner than he ever realized? Didn’t President Weah truly understand the security ramifications and dynamics of Liberia security before unleashing his reserved blessings?
President Weah should understand that UNMIL was deployed in Liberia for three unique security purposes: First, UNMIL was mandated to ensure peace and stability in Liberia after the TRC had been fully implemented and perpetrators are brought to justice. Such mandate did not materialize, because the then-president Sirleaf intentionally buried the TRC under the stirs of the Executive Mansion, therefore, the TRC automatically became a lifeless instrument henceforth. Second, UNMIL was also mandated to provide detail protection to then President Sirleaf’s newly emerged democratic government. Third, UNMIL was also mandated to keep the 16000 ex-dangerous rebels and their warlords as well as the opposition CDC in-check, so that they wouldn’t undermine the then President Sirleaf 12-years of intense political service to Liberia.
12-years later, the Liberian warlords are still being paid by the tax-payers’. For example, Prince Yormie Johnson, one of the warlords is currently an active recipient of taxpayers’ money in the form of huge salaries in the Liberian Senate. Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, one of the rebel groups spoke person is active on the Supreme Court’s payroll collecting taxpayers’ money. The 16000 ex-dangerous rebel fighters are currently roaming Liberia seemingly undermining peace and stability, and President Weah feels comfortably confident that Liberia has attained peace and stability? President Weah should be grossly mistaking. But the then president Sirleaf knows that Liberia is still setting on a security explosive, yet she supported the early departure of UNMIL from Liberia amid an active 16000 ex-rebel fighters. President Weah will need to open his eyes by recalling UNMIL to provide him the needed security as they did to then President Sirleaf 12-years ago because Liberia is not saved as yet.
What is the political logic of training 4000, army personnel amid 16000 active ex-rebel fighters and their warlords in Liberia? This sounds elusive, dangerous, divisive and unthinkable for the sustainability of peace, and political tranquility in Liberia. It was politically deceptive when the (SRSG) Farid Zarif, said: “The fact that the current circumstances allow the departure of our last contingent indicates that Liberia has reached the point where they feel absolutely confident of their future.” This is certainly beyond the democratic cliff. How can the SRSG make such a deceptive and loose statement known fully well that UNMIL’s mandate regarding the TRC did not materialize and the 16000 ex-rebel fighters and their warlords are still active in Liberia? Since the TRC was not implemented, is a clear indication that Liberia is technically insecure and terribly fragile.
The SRSG, Zarif when on to say further say that: “UNMIL is leaving but the United Nations is not leaving.” This was another deception on the part of the SRSG. President Weah should request the presence of UNMIL to Liberia until the TRC is fully implemented by the government of Liberia, which will symbolize a lasting peace and stability for all Liberians in Liberia.