lundi 2 décembre 2013

United States/Liberia: Parallel Destinies of Two Presidents of Liberia.

At the base of Liberia: Roye Edward Jenkins, son of slaves, hairdresser, adventurer and thief!

         Born on 3 February 1815 on the Route du Mont Vermont to Newark, in United States. His father John Roye and his mother Nancy were born slaves Igbo (Nigeria) in Kentucky and came to Newark after their liberation in 1810. He did his primary and secondary education in Newark. In 1822, his father sold his property in Newark and moved to Illinois, leaving Edward and her mother in Newark. He becomes barber to earn money and support his mother.
         In 1832, he left Newark and enrolled at Ohio University in Athens. In 1836, he became a teacher in Chillicothe Ohio and Terre Haute, Indiana, where he opened the first Beauty and Hairdressing City. In 1840, he lost his mother Nancy. He decided to leave the United States. On May 1, 1846, he embarked from New York on a ship of the American Colonization Society and arrived in Monrovia in Liberia a month later.

Businessman, judge and president!

         After flourishing business, he returned to the United States and bought his own boat. A few years later, he became a judge, president of the National Assembly and the fifth President of the Republic of Liberia in 1871. After loan negotiations with British Banks and undertakes the construction of infrastructure (roads, schools ...). Unable to repay loans, economic policy ruin the country. Accused of embezzlement of public funds, the population rebelled against him. On October 26, 1871, he was deposed and imprisoned. Rumors never verified, he seems in danger of being dragged in Justice, he escaped by taking a docked British ship at the port of Monrovia on February 12, 1872. In fact, he seems to have been murdered in prison. After Acting Vice President James S. Smith, he was replaced by Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876), the real first president of Liberia.

Taylor McArhur Charles will never be released alive!

Son of a teacher " Congo," a descendant of American slaves and mother Gola, born on January 28, 1948 at Arthinton near Monrovia. His father, teacher sends him in a private school outside Monrovia. He is 26 years old in 1974, when he arrived in Boston on a student visa. Joined at Chamberlayne College in Newton, Massachusetts, he held several odd jobs to pay for his studies (sentinel, truck driver , mechanic..). After obtaining a degree in Economics at Bentley College Waltman (Massachusetts), he returned to Liberia at the request of President William Tolbert and directed since 1980 , the General Service Agency in Monrovia.

The hate of Sergeant Samuel Doe, the greed and the adventure!

         He became close and confidant of President William Tolbert, who was overthrowed and murders on 12 April 1980 by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe. In May 1983, he was accused by the regime of Samuel Doe of embezzling $ 900,000 from the City Bank in Monrovia. He fled to the United States. On request of the Liberian government, the Boston Police arrested him in May 1984. He briefly jailed in Ghana for monetary offenses. In September 1985, pending his extradition in a U.S. prison, he escaped from prison and fled from Plymouth to Côte d' Ivoire, where he finds a residue of the party Quiwonkpa the N.P.F.L. (National Liberation Front). Thanks to his friend, the president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, he happening in Libya, where he acquired military training for three years.

A horrible and criminal civil war to gain power!

         On 24 December 1989, the National Patriotic Front (N.P.F.L.)  reinforced with forty armed militants, he attacked the border post Buoto east of Côte d' Ivoire triggered the civil war in Liberia. His supporters are mainly recruited mainly among the Gios and Manos who attacked the Krahn and Mandingo. Despite the death of Samuel Doe September 9, 1990 (which he had made his objective) and, since August 7, 1990, troops of the West African peacekeeping force (E.CO.M.O.G.) set up by the Economic Community of West African States (E.C.O.W.A.S.) intervention to separate the warring factions, the civil war in Liberia continues for seven years and has 200,000 victims. On 24 October 1990, an interim transitional government headed by Amos Sawyer lawyer is appointed by the Economic Community of African States West (E.C.O.W.A.S.). From October 1990, he installs a provisional government at Gbarnga in central Liberia and control Robertsfield Airport and the deepwater port of Buchanan.

A president with bloody hands!

         On 19 July 1997, he was elected president of the Liberian Republic. In 2001, while he faced a rebellion led by the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (L.U.R.D.) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MO.DE.L.), he continues to support Sierra Leone rebels of Foday Sankoy, responsible for grave atrocities and supports the Ivorian rebel patriotic Movement of the Great West (M.P.I.G.O.). On May 12, 2003, he was indicted by the Special U.N. Tribunal for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) and an international arrest warrant was issued against him.
         Driven by the administration of George W. Bush, he resigned and handed over power to his vice president and former companion bush, Moses Blah. On 11 August 2003, he went into exile in Calabar in Southern Nigeria, where he continues to lead the civil war in Liberia. Arrested in Nigeria 26 March 2006, he comes to the International Tribunal for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) in Freetown and convicted for war crimes, violations of human rights and crimes against humanity. June 20, 2006, he was transferred to The Hague (Holland) to be tried by the same court.
         On April 26, 2012, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sierra Leone. The charge requires a sentence of 80 years imprisonment to be served in a prison in England. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) sentenced him to 50 years imprisonment, confirmed on appeal on September 26, 2013. He is serving his sentence at the prison's high security Frankland near Durham in the U.K..
KANYARWUNGA I.N. Jean : Biographical dictionnary of Africans. French version available on Nouvelles Editions Numériques Africaines (NENA), 2013.

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