Looming Cloud Of Insurgence
“Our country has gone through a lot. A big chunk of the population is still licking their wounds and do not want to go through the same emotion again. We as security actors will not sit idly by for our national security to be threatened and allow our country to go down the drain once more. Therefore, we will act decisively and accordingly, irrespective of your positions and affiliations.”
“To the trouble-makers and would be trouble-makers, take heed and govern yourselves accordingly. Remember! An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure,” those were the words of warning from Liberia’s Defense Minister.
Threats bordering volatility to Liberia’s peace and security have increased in the last few weeks, if not months, since vigorous political events began for the much anticipated December 8, 2020 mid-term senatorial polls across the country; But Liberia’s Defense Minister has elevated a red flag, perhaps as a preemptive mood to suppress any possible attempt to destabilize the country, The Public Agenda Reports.
Recently, Montserrado County electoral District #10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah announced that he was forming a “Liberation Movement” to Liberate Liberians from the hands of the current political administration; he insinuated that the movement, having completed its mission, it would metamorphose into a political party as it wat in the case of National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) which later transformed into National Patriotic Party (NPP).
The latest comments from the controversial lawmaker generated various interpretations, particularly given Liberia’s recent past and the histories of liberation movements across Africa, although Rep. Kolubah is a former rebel fighter who has a fair understanding on how to destabilize regimes.
Earlier, it was another opposition figure, Senator Abraham Darius Dillion who declared his determination to attack President George Manneh’s convoy and his private residence using guns and stones; to achieve that, Sen. Dillion announced he would mobilize his supporters (members of the oppositions) for the violent action; although he has already reacted the threat following a warning from the Executive Protective Service (EPS), an elite force.
What Sen. Dillion did not retract is the assertion to abruptly end the Pres. Weah’s constitutional tenure prematurely if the results of the December polls were tampered with.
These threats and many others, were in addition to the failed infamous June 7, 2019 “Weah Step Down Campaign” organized by the oppositions and their group, named and styled “Council of Patriots (COP) led Sen. Dillion, Rep. Kulubah and others in Monrovia.
But despite all the heartbreaking threats and intimidation, Liberia’s Defense Minister, Major Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn, Jr. (Rtd.) restored calmed in the mind of ordinary Liberians who are in anxiety about the possible consequences of those threats.
However, the Defense Chief has chosen not to remain silence amid escalating threats to the peace and stability of the country until they get mature and subsequently filled before the military could be heard.
As evident of the fact that the military is not ignorant of interminable visible threats to the country’s survival, Defense Chief, Gen. Ziankahn has sent a clear message to Liberian politicians, urging them to retrain from vices that have the proclivity to return the country to its ugly past.
Min. Ziankahn warned that trends being taken by politicians ahead of the December 8, 2020 special senatorial elections and national referendum bear semblance of the events that led to the country’s darkest moments, and warned that the international community, which always come to Liberia’s aid is engulfed with so many problems and Liberia woud be left alone to solve its own problems in case of any relapse of conflict.
“The international community is busy finding solutions to her own problems and therefore, won’t care much to extinguish any unnecessary or self-destructive flames on our soil. We were blessed if not lucky to have been rescued by the precious blood of peacekeepers from ECOMOG and UNMIL,” he cautioned.
Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was a multilateral armed forces established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene in the first round of conflict in Liberia between 1989 to 1997; while UNMIL- the United Nations Mission in Liberia was the largest UN peacekeeping mission during its inception that guided Liberia to the disarmament of all warring factions during its second civil war that happened between 1998 to 2003; other groups that helped resolved tension in the country included UNIMIL and ECOMIL, all from ECOWAS and the UN.
In his write out, the Defense Minister mourned that thousands of individuals across the sub-region, including widows, widowers, orphans and love ones of those peacekeepers who laid down their precious lives while saving Liberia will regret the sacrifices made by their love ones, should the country slips back into civil crisis.
Maj. Gen. Ziankahn reminded Liberians that the UN and ECOWAS are engaged in resolving problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Cyprus and Western Sahara, amongst others.
According to him, Troops Contributing Countries (TCC) that once helped Liberia in the peacekeeping mission during the crises are presently facing some economic, political or security issues as well and may not want to return to Liberia, perhaps soon.
Min. Ziankahn, who served as the first Liberian Chief of Staff of the postwar Armed Forces of Liberia outlined that Nigeria, Chad and Niger are engaged combatting Boko haram and other violent extremists in the Lake Chad Basin, while the G5 Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad, Niger and Mali are coordinating their efforts to fight terrorists within the Sahel.
Categorizing Liberia and two of its Mano River Union’s neighbors, Guinea and Ivory Coast as a triangular flashpoint, he said, Guinea and Ivory Coast are politically charged due to constitutional issues which could potentially balloon into military crises.
“In fact, both countries are due to hold presidential elections this year which makes it more worrisome. Given all of these developments, we will be left alone to tote our own cross if we are not mindful of our careless actions. Sub-regional, regional and international organizations, mostly will pay little attention to civil conflicts except there are some geopolitical dimensions to it.”
Addressing Liberians at home and abroad, Min. Ziankahn, urged them to choose the path of nonviolence, and in the same vain “strongly warned the power-hungry politicians and trouble-makers about the dangerous cliff to which you are dragging our country.”
“Irrespective of our social, economic and political positions, we are all Liberians first before assuming our respective positions and sides. Let us not forget or pretend to forget what we have all been through over the last four decades.”
He referenced the 1979 rice riot that saw Guinean troops on Liberian soil; the 1980 coup that saw the overthrow of a civilian government and subsequent death of President William R. Tolbert, Jr. along with 13 of his cabinet ministers and members of parliament, the 1985 failed coup against then President Samuel Kanyon Doe by renegade members of the Armed Forces of Liberia; the Nimba raid and the 1989 Rebel incursion which followed the introduction of various warring factions during the first and second Liberian civil wars.
As if the Defense Minister was seeing the writing on the walls, he noted that in the wake of these darkest episodes in the nations’ history, Liberians have paid a huge price but sadly, some Liberians were forgetting those “life and death lessons so soon.”
“There’s a price that one has to pay whenever you deliberately turn your face from the rights and embrace the wrongs in the forms of violence, hypocrisy, greed and deceits.”
Writing further, he warned that Liberia cannot afford to revisit its dark and bitter past and warned ‘trouble-makers’ that security actors will not sit by and watch the country descends in to chaos once more.
“Our country has gone through a lot. A big chunk of the population is still licking their wounds and do not want to go through the same emotion again. We as security actors will not sit idly by for our National security to be threatened and allow our country to go down the drain once more. Therefore, we will act decisively and accordingly, irrespective of your positions and affiliations.”
“To the trouble makers and would be trouble makers, take heed and govern yourselves accordingly. Remember! An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
The Defense Chief’s comments come in the wake of sporadic skirmishes that often lead to stone throwing between supporters of the ruling party and the presumptive senatorial nominee of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Sen.Dillon of Montserrado County