April 14, 1994
An end to Liberia's four-year civil war may be in sight. Peace-keeping armies of Liberia's West African neighbors have begun disarming some 60,000 rebel rabble who have been raping and pillaging the countryside but are now gathering in designated areas under the eyes of United Nations observers. A five-member government representing the main political-guerrilla factions began operations, the sticking points mediated by former President Canaan Banana of Zimbabwe.These measures -- actually negotiated last July and just now being implemented -- postpone the question of who will wield power.
August 14, 2003
THE LONG-OVERDUE resignation and exit of President Charles Taylor offers a short window of opportunity for Liberia to regain stability and peace. The United States and the rest of the international community should use it to prevent the West African country from sliding into a new nightmare of suffering. Any hesitation at this point will only aggravate a dangerous power vacuum. Fourteen years of constant turmoil have torn apart Liberia's social fabric. Key institutions are in a shambles.
December 2, 1992
The United Nations Security Council moved a step toward accepting the role of subduing anarchy within a nation by calling the fighting in Liberia "a serious threat to international peace and security."Liberia's neighbors in West Africa sought the resolution, which clamps an embargo on arms to Liberian belligerents similar to those on Iraq and Yugoslavia. The embargo is pointed at Libya, which has provided Charles Taylor with training and arms. The resolution exempts and supports the 15,000-man force of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
August 20, 2003
IF LIBERIA'S peace deal is to succeed, it will require a new spirit of cooperation among the country's power brokers. Civil institutions must be rebuilt, new coalitions formed. Unless this happens, the transitional government, which is to replace the current caretaker president, Moses Blah, won't be able to function. Fifty-one percent of the 76-member top administration is required to approve any action it takes, and no single faction can hope to muster such a majority without seeking consensus and compromise.
November 6, 1992
Much as Americans deplore the catastrophe of social breakdown in Somalia, something similar is happening closer to home in Liberia, where American associations are greater. In a civil war with no winners, the whole Liberian people are losers. Some 20,000 have been killed since 1990 and twice as many starved to death.The American nuns, Sisters Barbara Ann Mutra, Mary Joel Kolmer, Shirley Kolmer, Kathleen McGuire and Agnes Mueller, all in their 50s and 60s, nurses and teachers, spent years in Liberia, helping its development and sharing the lot of its people.
July 4, 2003
IT'S DIFFICULT to see how President Bush could have a successful five-country tour of Africa next week if he first disregards the continent's urgent pleas to send U.S. troops to Liberia. Without action, his speeches about responsibility and leadership would sound like outright hypocrisy. The White House spent much of yesterday trying to create preconditions for a limited involvement. The United States wants to avoid casualties; it also insists on a clear cutoff date for its lead part in a larger multinational peacekeeping mission.