Is There An Alleged “Scheme” To Violently Disrupt June 7th Protest In Liberia?

Monrovia, Liberia – May 8, 2019: The West African Journal Magazine has heard and is in possession of an audio recording of a telephone call which discloses an alleged ominous scheme to violently attack and disrupt the June 7th peaceful protest organized by some Liberians under the banner of Council of Patriots. (COP).

 

Monrovia Mayor Jefferson Koijee
Monrovia Mayor Jefferson Koijee

The undated audio recording which cannot be independently authenticated is that of an unidentified female  informing an unidentified male on the other end of the call in which she states, “ …Please take it down. Jefferson Koijee have crossed  over 200 men at Lugatuo…They crossed over 200 persons yesterday…Lugatuo. They used a guy by the name of Steven,. His real name is Kesselly Mulubah. He is the one they used to bring the men in from Cote d’Ivoire. They intend to give them uniforms to attack protesters in the form of police officers…. I’m not in town. They just called me and give me the information and so I say let me call you right away so I can’t keep it to myself…,” the female is heard concluding the call on the audio recording.

Liberian-Ivorian Border Area

Liberian-Ivorian Border Area

The town of Lugatuo is a porous immigration crossing point between, Nimba County, Liberia and neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. Nimba County was the beach-head for Charles Taylor led rebels who launched an attack on Liberian soil in December, 1989. The devastating war led to the deaths of over 250,000 and the international and external dislocation of nearly 1 million others.

It is unclear if the release of the contents of the audio recording is diversionary or real. A source told West African Journal Magazine that the alleged scheme may also have others involved in the planning of the importation of the men from Cote d’Ivoire.

Jefferson Koijee is the current Mayor of the city of Monrovia and was appointed by President Weah when the new Administration took office over a year ago. He is a former Youth leader of the now ruling Congress For Democratic Change (CDC).

Earlier on Wednesday, four opposition political parties announced their support for the peaceful protest organized by the Council of Patriots (COP) and scheduled for June 7th. There have been some threats issued against the protesters and which have not been disavowed by the Government of Liberia. Organizers of the protest say they remain resolute and will exercise their constitutional right to protest against poor governance and the deteriorating economy.

Protest organizers say their action is not designed to call for the resignation of President George M. Weah but to demand redress for the deteriorating conditions in the country.

The contents of the audio recording are being discussed on various Liberia social media fora. Neither the Government of Liberia nor Mr. Koijee have responded to this development.

By Our Security Correspondent

West African Journal Magazine

Alleged Liberian War Criminal Arrested In France

The international justice noose continues to tighten around former alleged war actors in the Liberian conflict.

France Crimes Against Humanity And Genocide Agency

Latest news from France received by West African Journal Magazine say French authorities have picked up a suspected former factional commander for investigation into his alleged atrocities committed during the West African country’s civil war in the 1990s.

French Police

According to France 24 news website, a Liberian national who now holds Dutch citizenship and identified as Kunti K, a former ULIMO commander now living in the French suburb of Bobigny, outside of Paris was arrested by authorities on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. The apprehension of the Liberian war actor was based on a complaint filed with the French government by the victims rights advocacy group Civitas Maxima which is based in Europe. The group also played a key role in raising international awareness about the prosecution case of now convicted former “Defense Minister and Chief spokesperson” of the former rebel NPFL Mr. Jucontee Thomas Woweiyu in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA.

File Photo – Liberian Rebel Fighters

According to the report, ” Kunti K., born in 1974, was detained in a joint operation by the elite GIGN police and officers from France’s OCLCH agency, which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. He arrived in France in 2016, after leaving the Netherlands and passing through Belgium, said Colonel Eric Emereaux, head of OCLCH.”

French authorites had been investigating the accused Kunti K. The ULIMO rebel faction was named in Liberia’s TRC as committing over 11,500 various forms of abuses and atrocities including forced displacement, killing rape, property destruction and torture among aother alleged criminal actions. ULIMO was allegedly responsible for committing about 7% of overall atrocities in the TRC Final Report and its leaders recommended for prosecution for human rights and international humanitarian law violations and war crimes.

https://m.soundcloud.com/radiofranceinternationale/liberia-suspected-former-militant-commander-arrested-in-france-for-crimes-against-humanity

Radio France International Interview

No one in Liberia has been prosecuted for alleged atrocities committed during the war.

Former Rebel NPFL Commander Martina Johnson

Other Liberians who have been booked by foreign countries include a former NPFL commander, Martina Johnson. She was arrested in Belgium on September 17, 2014 and is facing investigation and prosecution for her alleged role in atrocities committed in Liberia. Agnes Reeves Taylor

She was a former personal bodyguard to former rebel leader turned former President Charles Taylor who is serving a 50 year prison sentence in the UK for his role in the Liberia civil war.

The ex-wife of former President Taylor, Agnes Reeves-Taylor, was arrested in the London on June 1, 2017 and is facing prosecution over four charges for offences she allegedly committed in Liberia.

Chuckie Taylor

The son of former President Taylor, Charles “Chuckie’ Taylor Jr., a US citizen, was prosecuted in America for his role in the war. In October, 2008, he was convicted by a U.S. Court on six charges of committing act of torture and conspiracy to commit torture in Liberia and firearms violations. He is serving a 97 year jail sentence in the U.S.

Former Warlord of the Rebel LPC Dr. George Boley

Another warlord who was residing in NY, Dr George Boley of the Liberia Peace Council (LPC) rebel faction was picked by by U.S. authorities in January 2010 on immigration violation charges and extra judicial killings in the Liberian war.

He was deported to Liberia in March 2012. A witness in Dr. Boley’s case, one Isaac Kannah of Philadelphia, who U.S. Immigration authorities say lied to federal authorities to help Dr. Boley admitted to perjury and obstruction of justice on July 26, 2018 and agreed to voluntarily leave the U.S. He was facing a 5 year jail sentence and $250,000 fine, if convicted It is unclear if Kannah, has left the U.S.

Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah”: Jabateh, a commander in the rebel ULIMO faction was prosecuted in the U.S. on immigration fraud charges, found guilty and is serving a 30 year jail sentence. He is said to have lied to U.S. immigration authorities about his past association with ULIMO rebel faction in order to gain immigration benefits.

In July, 2018, a former bodyguard to President Charles Taylor was removed from the U.S. to Liberia. The former Staten Island resident is Charles Cooper. According to U.S. Immigration authorities, “…An ICE investigation revealed that prior to coming to the United States, Cooper, while a member of the SSS and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, was directly involved in the persecution of civilians in Liberia. Cooper was also identified as a member of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, a rebel group founded by Charles Taylor that committed numerous human rights violations…”

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel laureate has been sued in a civil matter in a US. District Court Boston, Massachusetts by a Liberia national for her alleged role in the war.

A former Presidential guard commander during the early stages of the war in Liberia, one Colonel Moses Thomas, is facing a civil suit in Philadelphia for his alleged role in the Lutheran Church massacre by government troops under his command. Colonel Thomas has denied any involvement.

Local and international pressure is building on the Weah Administration to establish a war crimes court to prosecute those accused of committing human rights violations and atrocities during the war. But the Liberian President, at a recent meeting with opposition political parties purportedly stated that because Liberians are inter-related and since some of the accused are current “decision makers” in government, he could not implement recommendations to hold those individuals accountable nor could he take on a full frontal assault on “endemic” corruption in government. President Weah has been roundly criticized by Liberians in and out of the country for his unwillingness to implement recommendations of the country’s TRC.

Map of Liberia

A mass peaceful protest is planned by Liberians in the U.S. to greet President George Weah who is expected to attend the UN General Assembly in New York later in September. Organizers say their protest is to call for President Weah to establish a war crimes court and fight corruption in the small West African country.

Former Rebel Commander Turned Senator Prince Y. Johnson

A major war actor and former rebel commander now turned Senator Prince Y. Johnson who is named in TRC report as a “perpetrator” and recommended for prosecution has in recent days been threatening a return to conflict if there is an attempt to arrest him for prosecution.

Some supporters of President Weah say attempts to prosecute alleged war and economic criminals could destabilize the fragile peace while others say justice and accountability are the best remedies for reconciling Liberians.

Liberian President George M. Weah

Recently, a newly formed rights advocacy organization the International Justice Group (IJG) based in Europe and the U.S. disclosed that its investigators have uncovered individuals listed in the West African country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report  living under different disguises and names to avoid detection and apprehension by authorities for the roles in the Liberian civil war.

“Under international justice, President Weah’s clear refusal poses serious consequences for Liberia’s prosperity in many ways. From international sanction to other activities such as travel ban of officials and others in government and the country, the pressure will be brought by the International Justice Group  as well as the 76 Group and others…” the IJG said.

The group also clearly stated that, ” …under international justice, President Weah’s clear refusal poses a serious consequences for Liberia’s prosperity in many ways. From international sanctions to other activities such as travel ban of officials and others in government and the country, the pressure will be brought to bear by the International Justice Group as well as the 76 group and others…”

Flag of Liberia

Liberia was wracked by back-to-back war starting in 1979 in which nearly and estimated 250,000 people were killed and about 1 million others were internally and externally displaced by roving bands of rebels. The conflict spilled over into neighboring Sierra Leone where rebels reportedly hacked off limbs of victims and killed thousands others.

TRC Liberia

International war crime investigators say they will pursue alleged war criminals for full prosecution in and out of Liberia.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

NATO Supports Mauritania In Enhancing Its Crisis Management System

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) says its crisis management center implemented through the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS) can contribute to the fight against the challenges of trafficking and terrorism in Mauritania and the Sahel region of Africa.

NATO Flags
NATO Flags

According to a statement from NATO’s headquarters, it says the system could also serve as a model for the neighboring countries and regional organizations which have shown interest in this innovative center.

The national center will improve civil protection, operational watch, and early warning of the population against threats and risks, and enhance preparedness against crises affecting national security. It also supports emergency response by compiling and analyzing information from various sources, using modern technology and simulations.

It is based on a system which provides modern communication equipment for crisis monitoring, alert and management. Operators, technicians and other personnel in charge of the system have been trained, at technical and operational levels, so as to be able to implement their responsibilities and follow their missions.

This comprehensive system has been referred to as an example for the entire Sahel region.

“It is with great satisfaction that I see this project achieved,” said Inspector Mohamed Lemine Haidara of the Mauritanian General Directorate for Civil protection. “This project was developed for the Mauritanian Civil Protection in cooperation with the NATO SPS Programme and my French counterparts. I want to pay tribute to all those who were deeply committed to make this project advance and succeed. Its recognition went beyond Mauritania’s borders and it is considered as a model by the countries in the Sahel region,” he continued

General (Ret.) Denis Opplert of the French General Directorate for Civil protection and Crisis Management concluded, “For me, this project has represented an exceptional human and technological challenge. I was happy to see the progressive and complete takeover of the system by its users and managers. I want to thank them, as well as the French experts for their contribution”.

Mauritania-map
Mauritania

The four regional operational coordination centres across Mauritania located in Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Rosso and Néma have also been supplied with portable kits for mobile crisis coordination.

The system facilitates situational awareness in the different provinces of Mauritania. The centres are receiving and processing emergency calls, track incidents, and share the information gathered at the national level and in other regions affected by a particular event.

The crisis management center financed within the framework of the NATO SPS Programme also received substantial national contributions from France and Canada, NATO said.

Ghana To Undertake Multi-Agencies Simulation Security Exercise

ACCRA, Ghana (Xinhua) — Ghana will hold a multi-agency simulation exercise to assess the country’s counter-terrorism preparedness and capabilities, a senior security official has said in Accra during the week.

Flag Map of Ghana
Flag Map of Ghana

Commissioner George Asiamah, who is also director of counter- terrorism at the Ministry of National Security, said the exercise, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25, will be a form of rehearsal to sharpen security agencies’ capability to respond to terror attacks and recover from them.

Although Ghana has not directly experienced an attack on home soil, Asiamah said, regional, global trends and recent incidents in neighboring countries give serious cause for concern and the threats have necessitated the need for a holistic approach to preventing acts of terrorism in Ghana.

Ghana-Police
Ghana Police

He said the security agencies have embarked on a sensitization program to educate the public and also to involve the responding agencies in regular capacity-building sessions, including strategies beyond conventional warfare to make Ghana combat-ready and ever-prepared to fight terrorist threats.

Asiamah stressed the need for security agencies to better manage intelligence and facilitate effective communication between responding agencies, the public and the media in the event of an attack or possible attack.

“We need to build and sustain a community of counter-terrorism professionals through multi-disciplinary training and refresher courses periodically to sustain our alertness,” he said.

The coordinator of the upcoming simulation exercise, code-named “Exercise Home Shield,” Lt. Col. Danso Ankrah, called on the media to play a leading role in counter-terrorism awareness among the public.

A key manifestation of contemporary terrorism in west Africa has been its transnational nature, whereby an attack executed in one location may be premeditated in another.

There have been major attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have sought to extend their operational theaters and spheres of influence in the region, focusing recent attacks on “soft targets” to cause extensive civilian casualties, perpetrate fear and grab attention.

Xinhua

Guinea’s Defence Minister Urges Fight Against Radicalism

Guinea’s Minister of National Defense Mohamed Diané Tuesday in Dakar urged “tackling the seeds of radicalization, if we want to eradicate terrorism. ”

Guinea Defense Minister Dr. Mohamed Diane
Guinea Defense Minister Dr. Mohamed Diane

“Social inequality, poverty and underemployment of youth are the seeds of terrorism that need to be addressed. If we win the battle for the development and equitable distribution of our resources, we will win this battle imposed on us by terrorists,” Diané said.

The website Journal du Cameroun reports that Minister Diane was speaking during a panel discussion on “terrorism and violent extremism”, on the second and final day of the 4th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa.

The Guinean minister added that the response against terrorism must be adapted to the situation on the ground.

“We must also fight for drying up the sources of terrorism financing,” he went on, adding that Guinea has, thanks to the support from Morocco, trained 500 imams and preachers to combat radicalization.

According to MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif, terrorism is a challenge for Africa and the world, and everyone agrees that it needs a global response.

“In doing so, it is important to look at its real causes of social injustice, underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment. Prevention is extremely important in the fight against terrorism,” he said at the forum.

According to the organizers, this 4th edition has registered nearly 700 participants, comprising regional and international actors, political and military authorities, experts and academics, diplomats, representatives of international organizations, civil society and the private sector.

Forum du Darkar
Forum du Darkar

The two-day meeting focused on the need for integrated approaches, promoting exchanges, sharing experiences, synergies at the national, sub-regional, regional or regional level.

The Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa was born at the Elysée Summit on Peace and Security in Africa held in 2013 in Paris, where African heads of state planned to deepen reflection on the framework of the Forum.

The holding of a high-level panel, shortly after Monday’s opening ceremony, is major innovation of the 2017 edition, which is being held at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre in Diamniado just outside Dakar.

Botswana Police Ranked Africa’s Best; Nigeria at Bottom – Global Report

Africa’s best police service is that of Botswana despite being ranked 47th best in the world. This is according to the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) released by two bodies, the International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

Boatswana Police
Boatswana Police

The index ranked the Rwandan police as Africa’s second best (with global position of 50th) followed by Algeria (58th), Senegal (68th) and Tunisia (72nd) in that order. Completing the top 10 for Africa were, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali respectively.

WISPI measures the ability of the police and other security providers to address internal security issues in 127 countries, across four domains, using sixteen indicators,” authors of the report stated. The four domains are, capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.

 

Despite the failure of Africa to break into the top forty, the continent was very prominent in the lower rankings. Six African countries were in the bottom 10. Cameroon and Mozambique in the 120th and 122nd spots.

Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria made it an African quartet at the bottom – occupying 124th to 127 slots respectively.

Map of Boatswana
Map of Boatswana

At the top of the global rankings, Europe dominated with eight countries. Except first place Singapore and Australia in sixth spot, all the other countries were in Europe – Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany (2nd – 5th), Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland (7th – 10th).

About the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI)

The aim of the WISPI is to, firstly, measure security provider performance across the four domains of internal security: capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.

Secondly, to see how these domains relate to each other and finally to track trends in these domains over time, and to inform the work of security providing agencies, researchers, and practitioners in the field of peace and conflict studies, criminology, and police studies.

World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI)