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Google search a few articles on the topics “Liberia: The Crimes of Charles Taylor” and “Liberia: The Leadership of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.” 

Answer the following questions. You should write at least one paragraph for each question:

1. How would you describe the record and impact of Charles Taylor?

2. How would you describe the record and impact of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf?

3. What makes the process of independence so difficult

 

Afer that .. Ansower those two student .. 

1#

Charles G. Taylor was born on January 27,1948. He became the president of Liberia in 1997.  He is now serving a life sentence for war crimes against Sierra Leone.  The impact Charles Taylor had on Africa was not a good one. In his wake he left destruction, death, and pain. During the Civil War of the 1990's he committed mass atrocities that left 50,000 people dead and tens of thousands mutilated, their fingers, hands, ad limbs chopped off.  Charles Taylor was the first head of state to be convicted by an international courts since World War II. 

    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was born on October 29,1938. She is known as the Iron Lady of Africa and is the President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance Under President William Tolbert from 1979-1980 and that is just one of the many political positions she has held culminating in being elected President of Liberia on January 16, 2006.  Ellen became president after Charles Taylor and his bloody regime was put down. She spent the first five years of her presidency repairing the damage done by 25 years of violence and misrule. Ellen is an amazing woman and was rightfully awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

    I think that pride and assumptions makes the process of independence so difficult and problematic. To be honest, I think that pride can/ does make any situation difficult or problematic. When you are only thinking about your needs and wants, situations can become heated and problematic really quickly. But if you take a moment to think about the other people and their needs in the situation, or in the case of Africa in the governmental process, the decisions that need to be made can be made with knowledge and consideration of all involved. 

 

2#

Charles Taylor’s record could be described as a chapter out of Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War.” Taylor’s rebellion against the self-asserted liberator of Liberia turned ruthless villain, Samuel Doe, began with roughly 150 NPFL insurgents, yet Taylor was about to use Doe’s signature move of ethnizing the Liberian armed forces with Krahn soldiers against him. Doe’s Krahn military engaged in the ruthless slaughter of members of the Gio and Mano tribes, and when Taylor invaded Liberia in 1989 he exploited the rage of Gio’s and Mano’s seeking vengeance against Doe and his race killers. As Taylor stated, “As the NPFL came in, we didn't even have to act. People came to us and said, 'Give me a gun. How can I kill the man who killed my mother?" (Berkeley 4) The Krahn, who are actually among the poorest peoples of Liberia, took the fall for envy and anger toward the oppressive system built by affluent Americo-Liberians who descended from the freed slaves that founded Liberia in 1847. “It is a sinister irony that Charles Taylor and many who bankrolled his war against that system are themselves Americo-Liberians and others who had been born or coopted into the ruling caste.” (Berkeley 6). Charles Taylor’s impact was seen in the atrocities committed by his followers in Liberia and Sierra Leone where he left the country bloodied in predictable Taylor fashion without lifting a finger.

            Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s record could be described as turning coal into diamonds. Johnson –Sirleaf has been under incredible pressure to distance Liberia from the corruption and violence of the past and deliver signs of an economy capable of relieving the country’s eighty-five percent unemployment rate. “Without such signs, there is little reason to think that frustration and fatalism won’t combust again in the decades to come” (Bergner 9). Johnson-Sirleaf’s story is not without intrigue. She was the Liberia’s minister of finance when Samuel Doe took control of the country, and although she lived through the coup, Doe forced her to run one of Liberia’s biggest banks until she criticized his rule as corrupt and fled into exile. In 1989, Johnson-Sirleaf ironically raised the money that backed Charles Taylor’s invasion of Liberia. She has unapologetically stated, “We were trying to bring down a dictator” (Bergner 7).Her impact on Liberia can be seen in the her commitment to ending corruption, rescuing the country from crippling debt, her knack for attracting relief funding from rich entrepreneurs. Liberia is in a much better place because of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

            I believe what makes the process of independence so difficult and problematic is the parliamentary systems Africans inherited post-colonization are prime for corruption, and Africans are also faced with influence from richer foreign countries out to exploit them. Charles Taylor received help from Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of all people I think in part because corruption was so embedded in Liberia that it was like choosing the lesser of two evils, or better the devil you know. Johnson-Sirleaf  herself, “spoke of being torn between firing every transgressing official and keeping enough ministers and staff members at their desks so the government can go on operating, no matter how badly it is compromised” (Bergner 5). Large corporations with their self-serving motivations are also making it hard on Africa. Neo-Colonialism has handcuffed the people of Africa, and as Ex-President Sanghor of Senegal so eloquently put it, “In a world of vultures, what can you do?” (Africa)

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