No Liberian is More Liberian Than the Others: Mitigating cultural dishonesty and mis-education in Liberia require a democratic solution, a collective efforts where citizens proffer and propound diverse constructive views for the Betterment of the Society. That said, I AM HAVING MY SAY FOR THE RECORD.
In the Context of the Liberian Civil War and Its Aftermath, was Nimba County Liberated or Enslaved?
By Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, M.Ed, PhD
The Liberian civil war was one of the heartless wars mankind has ever witnessed. It did not know any bounds. Nimbaians in Monrovia smelled death and certainly in their thousands were put to death at the hands of President Samuel Doe and his loyalists.
Glaringly, defenseless men, women and children from Nimba County were put to death. Churches, houses, and places declared as rescue centers by the International Red Cross were ransacked and people were indiscriminately murdered.
Certainly, it was a crime at the time to have come from Nimba County or befriending anyone from the county. All these happened in part as vengeance against Nimbaians, who predominantly were their people’s ‘freedom fighters.’ The ‘freedom fighters’ initially, made Nimbians, Liberians and the world to think and believe that they were purposely fighting to redeem by removing President Samuel K. Doe.
In the process of removing Doe, heinous crimes were committed, and those who were also on the side of Doe equally committed similar atrocities.
The purpose of this article is to answer the question whether in the context of Liberian Civil War, and its aftermath, Nimba County was Liberated or Enslaved by the Liberators.
Liberation struggles throughout the World require full redemption where, after such conflict, liberators provide opportunities at all levels for those who have been redeemed. In the Liberian context, initially, those who came to liberate were seen as saviors, but how the war was conducted where a huge number of the very people so-called liberators came to liberate were targeted and murdered in cold blood, raises legitimate concerns and questions with respect to their intension. From the Town of Buutuo, where the war started, from town to town and all the way to Monrovia, brutal and heartless murdered of residents occurred with some of these liberators being at the center of the allegations. The land was terrorized by soldiers loyal to the government, and so-called liberators. Darkness and death hung over Nimba County. When government soldiers were defeated in the county, and the county was in the hands of the liberators. By that, residents were terrorized and terrified and most, who were not combatants went into self-imposed exile, finding comfort in the refugee camps into La Cote d’Ivoire, because of the inhumane actions of the so-called liberators.
A number of non-combatant men were murdered and their widows forcibly taken to be the wives of some of these liberators. Leading politicians of Nimba County were put to death by the hands of these very liberators.
Samuel Doe was afraid to kill veteran Politicians like Jackson Fiah Doe, David Dwayean, and Stephen B. Daniels, but the so-called liberators were brave enough to murder them in cold blood. the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which laid out rules for protecting wounded, sick, as well as medical workers and civilians accompanying or treating military personnel were fragrantly violated at every level. Even soldiers who were with some of these so-called liberators, periodically without any justifiable cause, were executed by some of these very liberators.
Inhumane killings by liberators of non-combatants were the order of the day with direct violation of International Standing Orders on wars. Women were abused, raped and murdered. Liberators took many women at gun point as wives. A number of women were forced and indoctrinated where they too became culprits in recruiting other women. Some of these so-called liberators without compunction boast of Nimba County’s liberation in the mix of inhumane atrocities and alienations.
A certain so-called liberator claiming to have been the one who liberated Nimba County, has taken the entire county as a hostage. Liberation means setting free from the yoke of oppression to redeem, rescue, relief etc.
Residents of the county would vote, but when it comes to jobs’ distribution, they are alienated by a ‘liberator.’ Certainly, this is a dubious, unreliable, undependable, untrustworthy, bifurcated, inconsistent and transactional liberator.
In Nimba County, in all honesty, who is more rebels, and has the ability to incite than liberators? The county is the land of the PhDs, MDs, Cllrs, Masters and any profession one could imagine. Nimba Citizens honor the rule of law. To accuse the citizens of the county of incitement is a malicious lie and serious distortion of the image of the county, and an effort to tarnish and blackmail Nimba County’s educated class.
The question then as to whether in the context of the Liberian civil conflict and its aftermath Nimba County was liberated or enslaved can emphatically be answered with one word: NO! As far as we am concerned, considering the above comments in present day Nimba, Nimba County is incarcerated, enslaved, subdued, shackled and unredeemed.
Consequently, it is about time that conscientious Nimbaians, especially those of the Dan ethnic group where the late General Thomas G. Quiwonkpa and Jackson F. Doe hailed buried this belief of Liberation by those so-called liberators, and join other ethnic groups and politically, educationally, culturally and nationally redeem our county.
About the author: Dr. Kadiker Rex Dahn holds two Masters and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. He formerly served a Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Director General, National Commission on Higher Education. He is a member of the North America Scholar Consortium, Membership with Highest Honor. He is an author of the book, Learning from the Lives of Exiled Liberian women: An Oral History from 1979-2006.