Substantiated rants of a reformed Liberian war-rebel

The Palaver Hut

This year the Nobel Committee decided to award the Noble Peace Prize to three women, including Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

It’s usually good to keep your nose out of things you don’t know. That should be valid also to the international community. To poke your nose into things is to open a can of worms and expose your ignorance. The only possible response to meddling is one of great hostility. But like all victims of violence, I can’t help getting involved. Like any other corrupt system of governance, Liberia rouses my interest because that’s where I come from.

The Nobel Committee’s decision to award Noble Peace Prize to President Sirleaf can be seen not only as a celebration of women’s growing empowerment globally, but also as a way of congratulating her for promoting peace in Liberia.
“Woooo hooo!” was the reaction of South Africa’s Desmond Tutu upon hearing President Sirleaf had won a Noble Peace Prize. She “deserves it many times over. She’s brought stability to a place that was going to hell,” Archbishop Tutu added.

Archbishop Tutu didn’t put a foot wrong on that one. He was absolutely right. For those who don’t know who Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is, she’s 72 years old, and made history when she became Africa’s first elected woman president in 2005, taking over after 14 years of civil war that left 250,000 Liberians dead.

She dedicated her Nobel Peace Prize to all Liberian people including me, because she knew without us, she wouldn’t have got it. She made us start killing one another, and we did. She made us stop, and we stopped. And now she has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the peace going. It’s as simple as that!

I agree with Winston Tubman, the former Liberian Presidential Candidate when he said and I quote: “Madam Sirleaf does not deserve a Nobel Peace Prize award because she committed violence in this country (Liberia). This award is unacceptable and undeserving…”

And I also agree with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the prize was a “wise decision…” We all know it was a “wise decision” because the powerful people in Liberia are well-known for breaking the law of the land with impunity.
Once famous for holding the entire country to ransom for their unscrupulous power-struggles, they destroyed lives in the process but will never be held accountable for their actions.

Ordinary Liberian people are easily intimidated and powerless against our orchestrated bureaucracy-in-disguise form of government in the country. That’s the way things work in that part of Africa. That’s the system. I know it and the International Community also knows it, even though they try their best to keep out of it. But the angry faces of the victims of violence just keep staring at every one of them (perpetrators of violence) in the face.

The UN Chief Ban Ki-moon hailed the decision to award President Sirleaf the Noble Peace Prize. “This is wonderful news,” he said, adding that “This is a testament to the power of women’s leadership … (and) the vital role that women play in the advancement of peace and security, development, and human rights.”

I agree with Mr. Ban for hailing President Sirleaf’s efforts to promote peace, but I disagree with the development bit because corruption is widespread in her government. There is also a question mark about her government’s human rights records.

Come on Mr. Ban, you and I know this woman is proving immune to a War Crimes Court. To prosecute President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her role in the Liberian war is to open a can of worms beneath the so-called Noble Peace Prize awarded to her.

By Joseph Spencer