E D I T O R I A L
The Liberian government through the Executive Mansion announced recently that the country is sending Armed forces of Liberia [AFL] troops to Mali to beef up the Economic Community of West African States [Ecowas] and the French led efforts to bring peace to that destitute West African state. The Liberian Senate reports say have approved the mission after an initial query and opposition. In a new era of African solidarity and renew efforts when Africa wants to be heard in the global community, the AU should bow its head, that France is leading an effort to bring peace yet again to Africa, instead of Nigeria or South Africa heading such a vital military initiative.
For the past few years beginning with the experiment in Liberia in 1990, Ecowas with Nigeria leading the way for Liberia’s peace, has been busy with resolving conflicts in its member’s states. Although Liberia say it will contribute only a battalion to the West African peace keeping mission, it is still a window’s might that must be seen as a significant step on the part of Africa’s first republic and its desire to see peace return to Western Africa and especially Mali. France and President François Hollande though, must be commended for coming to the aid of its former colonial outpost.
What’s important is that al qadae is determined to use Africa as a foothold to expand it reckless Islamic jihadist dogma and violent sway on the continent, given the weakness of central governments in Africa. Already Somalia has seen the group terrorize the population there before the recent AU military offensive with Kenya and Ethiopia playing a vital role which saw the Islamic group kicked out of Mogadishu and Kismayo. Mali has been its latest front and with the rapid military advance which saw Timbuktu liberated by the French, Africa must go into Mali determined to keep the peace as French troops prepare to leave.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party led administration must be commended for taking a daringly bold step to make the Liberian Armed Forces available to a West African effort in conjunction with the French to bring peace to Mali! For, if peace do come to Mali as it is expected soon, Liberia can also rejoice that it played a constructive role given that a lot of African soldiers died in Liberia to see peace return to the country as Charles Taylor and his warring cousins bastardized and balkanized the country for almost a decade and half.
The Liberian Listener applauds the Liberian government for this bold action. Liberia is still not peaceful in totality, remnants and residues of violence and civil unrest from the country long years of war still cascades within its borders, but so is Nigeria which has seen Boko Haram wrecking havoc on Africa’s most populous country and giant. Many African countries too still do have internal problems and so the solidarity with Mali is a welcome development, because Africa will have to fight together to achieve peace, even with internal strives in their respective countries! Liberians can be proud though, that its national government is doing the right thing.
The African Union also must be commended it has been focus on the Mali situation since Dlamini Zuma took the helm in Addis Ababa, and just as the Ecowas is acting in the Mali, so must everything be done to tackle the situation in the ever elusive Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].
The people of the DRC have been through a hellish war of no ending aggression, since strong man Mobutu Sese Seku left the scene about two decades ago, in the process pillaging the country’s resources and greasing the ethnic cleavages that would lead to war and that still currently exist!
It has all been a daunting task to find peace given the size of the DRC with neighbors like Rwanda and Uganda meddling and supporting militias within Congolese borders, it makes it even harder given that the country is really huge one with dense forests. More than ever, African conflicts needs attention because it is the innocent people that are suffered, because of the selfish whims of politicos and demagogues.
Liberians know all too well the specter of war and the consequences it brings, sending troops therefore to Mali is definitely the right thing to do.