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Woewiyu’s arrest by US officials confirms our inability to pursue our own war criminals

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh           Liberian civil war



Leo Mulbah, President of the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta (LAMA), is often heard uttering these words in frustration when he’s fed up with loquacious Liberians who just talk, but will not contribute financially to the community building fund drive his administration is undertaking.

“I tired talking.”

The short sentence above resonates because it is clear and easy to understand; and its target, the Liberian people perhaps are unaware that talk is cheap. So, instead of talking, it is better to act to make things better for you, your family and the next generation.

As is already known, the Liberian Community in Atlanta, Georgia needs its own building to save thousands of dollars the community is paying non-Liberian businesses to rent its event halls when the community is having a program.

Had the community purchased and own a building, Liberian associations – from ethnic to religious and school organizations would rent a conference room to keep the money in the hands of Liberians and the community.

That effort could save those organizations and the greater Liberian association (LAMA) money. But we Liberians – some of us just like to talk and will not contribute to a worthy cause.

Why am I narrating this story?

The arrests of George S. Boley and Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu by US authorities, and the zero role we Liberians played (except for our plenty talking and no action), is the reason behind the “I tired talking” analogy.

Why is it that Liberians are not marching in the streets of Liberia right now demanding that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf resign and appoint a Special Counsel or a war crimes court to investigate charges of war crimes that occured during the civil war?

Why Liberians are not demanding that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf be accountable to the Liberian people, to answer to charges of her role in the Liberian civil war?

Why Liberians are not demanding that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf resign the presidency for her role in the Liberian civil war? Is this president above the law?

We Liberians are aware of the evil that took place in our country for 14 years when our people were senselessly murdered, our women raped, our family members maimed, our villages destroyed, our elders disrespected and murdered, and our country destroyed to propel Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Charles Taylor’s selfish political ambitions.

All these years, however, Liberians see themselves as helpless, but will attack those that are at least writing and speaking about the issues.

Why if the US government had not arrest Boley and Woewiyu, are we so helpless, hopeless and dependent that we cannot pursue and arrest, or find the avenue and resources to sue and arrest our own war criminals?

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her friend’s war of convenience did not only destroy our country, it turned Liberians into refugees and sent countless others including our elders and young people to foreign countries by land, road, air and sea.

Such evil acts should have fired us all up to find our tormentors all over the world (like others are doing right now finding their tormentors or their parent’s tormentors), to bring them to justice.

Instead, Liberians are talking ‘plenty’ and taking sides.

We are inconsistent, unserious and unpatriotic, and it is all about the individual Liberian and his or her family.

We are so good at talking and no action to the point that the former warlords are emboldened to run for elected political office. Many of these warlords who are office holders are building homes and living comfortably as if they did nothing wrong.

When a former warlord who is not a relative or friend runs for political office, we criticize and condemn that individual. But when a former warlord who is a relative or friend runs for political office, we will back that individual one hundred percent to death.

Even though the individual, as a legislator failed to deliver for his or her people, what matters to these diehard supporters is that the person is a relative or friend, or a clansman from the same (county) tribe.

How can it be?

Liberians displayed the same attitude when the person’s name is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Why are Liberians so gullible?

With all her civil war excesses, coupled with skyrocketing corruption and nepotism in her administration, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should have been impeached long ago, for her lacked of leadership.

Instead, some Liberians are running to Liberia for government jobs, or are already in Liberia prostituting for government jobs and already working for the Sirleaf government – the same Sirleaf that financed the war that murdered their people and changed the face of their country.

Why are Liberians so gullible and unpatriotic?

It is so true that not every Liberian should be upfront in their opposition to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government, or any bad government.

However, when brave Liberians risk their lives writing and speaking against Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her criminal government, all they want from their fellow citizen is their support.

But Liberians are attacking and trying to silence these Liberians as if they are not Liberian citizens.

To her credit, the fearless Lovetta Tugbeh, through her Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL) has been on the frontline advocating the arrest and prosecution of the former warlords, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

I applaud Lovetta Tugbeh’s efforts. And I also support the efforts of the US and other countries in their efforts to arrest and prosecute the former warlords.

But it is our fight, not theirs. We have to show interest in our own battle to rid our country of these killers before other governments can join our struggle.

Let’s support the Coalition for Justice in Liberia. Let’s also support other activists groups to bring these individuals to justice.

My people, “I tired talking” o!

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