12 July, 2007

Healing Liberia

Charles Taylor's capture was a celebration; and now his being on trial and having to answer for the horrors and destruction he brought to Liberia - is comforting. But Liberia itself has a long way to go; a very long way to go, for it to heal and be able to stand properly as a nation. Can it and will it be able to?

Liberia, fragile Liberia, can and hopefully will stand up economically and be able to get its institutions, communities and families normally working and moving forward. But it is the other healing that will take time and which will need much patience and self sacrifice from all Liberians; and much wisdom from Liberian leaders and elders. Other Africans and the 'International' community, should help and assist whenever and wherever possible and whenever needed; for, failure to that and letting Liberia slide to instability again - is too painful to think of, let alone letting it happen. The alternative to Liberia not being stable is as horrifying as what Liberia went through in its fourteen years of civil war. And who knows how many other nations could be dragged in to another Liberian conflict should it happen again? And the horrors and misery might spread even further than before.

One can only hope and pray that the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will and can be able to heal most of the wounds and traumas that many Liberians went through and still have, as a result of the war. Almost all Liberians need some kind of healing. It is a very difficult, painstaking road and process ahead; but there is no other alternative except: Liberia has to heal. Many, maybe most, Liberians can and would never forget the past; that's understandable. But most Liberians would very much prefer moving on forward, living normal lives and forgiving the past; there is no other better alternative to that. Fortunately for Liberia, it has Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as its head of state; as TIME magazine puts it: she is a magnificent leader and an amazing woman. I can not think of any one else who has the qualities, the experience and the knowledge who can move Liberia forward - as President Johnson-Sirleaf. And to heal Liberia, as I believe she would.

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