Friday, July 20, 2007

Former General Accused of Coup Plot

I just heard a version of this story on NPR online:

MONROVIA, Liberia, July 19 (UPI) -- A former Liberian army commander has become the first in the country to be arrested for "subversive activities" since the country's 2005 elections.

Former Gen. Charles Julu, who led the presidential guard under former Liberian leader Samuel Doe and planned a 1994 coup attempt, was arrested and accused of planning another rebellion, the BBC reported Thursday.

"There is hard evidence that this man was trying to plan a coup," Liberian Information Minister Laurence Bropleh said.

Bropleh said investigators have video evidence to back up the government's accusations of coup plotting. He said authorities in Ivory Coast are assisting in the investigation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sombody Blacked Out the Pro-Taylor Signs In Monrovia

As previously mentioned here, and often mentioned in articles by visiting international reporters, for about six months now there's been a pro-Charles Taylor billboard posted at the corner of 20th Street and Tubman Blvd, behind a high wall with razor wire on top.

Not long after the sign was posted, it was defaced with acid, but you could still read it. Then a few weeks ago, just in time for the start of the trial in the Hague, two smaller signs were added in the same location, one of them reading "God willing, I'll be back." Just the other day, someone got over the wall and painted them all over with black paint.

BBC: US fans 'adopt' Liberian players

Players from Liberian champions Mighty Barrolle are breathing a sigh of relief after the club's fans in the USA agreed to help pay their wages.
Thanks, Nicolas!

Saving You Some Work

If you need to contact SN Brussels Airlines office in Monrovia, this is the main number:

+231 06 520 777

It took me half a day of calling everyone I know before I finally found a working number!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Liberia Movie in DC Today

Our friend Matt in DC found this on the AP daybook:

12:30 p.m. LIBERIA-FILM _ Infoshop and The World Bank host a screening of highlights from the upcoming documentary ``Iron Ladies of Liberia,'' with a discussion by the filmmaker, Siatta Johnson, a Liberian born journalist and a founding member of Omuahtee Africa Media.

Location: J1-050, World Bank J Building, 701 18th St. NW

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Liberian Football Fans Shouldn't Despair

Liberians were pretty depressed a couple of weeks ago when the Lonestar lost a home match to little ol' Equatorial Guinea. But if it makes them feel any better, this comes from a friend who's a citizen of Equatorial Guinea:

"I am not impressed. There are so many Brazilians and other foreigners playing in the EG team that it is hard to tell what country is being represented."

Hold your heads high, Liberians!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Crappy Liberia Coverage in Time Magazine

This story is annoying. It's supposed to be a scary warning about the West African country of Guinea-Bissau as the newest narco-state.

Interesting premise, but even as it mentions Liberia only once in a list of countries, somehow more than half of the pictures they used (I'm talking about the print version) were taken in Monrovia. Are they suggesting that Liberia is some kind of narco-state as well? Or were they just too lazy to find a photographer in Guinea-Bissau?

Imagine if Time Magazine did a story about New Jersey being the car theft capital of the USA, and then half of the pics were taken in Massachusetts. Would that make sense? No. Would people in Massachusetts have the right to be offended? Yes. Time's editors are just assuming there's little chance that their audience will notice or draw the distinction between the various countries in deep, dark, scary Africa.

Furthermore, they print a picture of a pile of alleged cocaine cash, all in Liberian dollars, and I guess the reader is supposed to think it's a huge stash of filthy loot. But to the educated eye it looks like an amount of LD worth about US$8. Come on! I have that much LD on my dresser after changing a ten dollar bill!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Freeport Fracas the Other Day

This is a couple of days late, but I was out of town:

Monrovia - Allegations that Liberia's seaport police were stealing fuel shipments sparked a brawl between national and port forces that sent dozens to hospitals on Monday, authorities said.

The skirmish broke out early on Monday when members of the national police force tried to arrest the suspected port officers, said National Police spokesperson Alvin Jask. He said the fighting shut down the port and only abated after United Nations peacekeepers were called in.
Speaking of the port, I met a guy at a party the other night who works for a gigantic shipping company. He says something like 30,000 containers come into Liberia every year, and about 4,000 containers' worth of goods are exported. His company maintains a staff of 40 persons to shadow the port workers and make sure everything gets done.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Taylor Finally Appears In Court

The trial has been postponed until August 20.

Here's a blog that's been set by George Soros' OSI and others to monitor the proceedings in a neutral way:

Trash is Greatest Public Health Threat in Monrovia

The UN Environment Programme has called on the government and private sector to repair the country's broken system for collecting trash.
The message is important, but oh the irony in the UN Mission, with its budget of 9 times the size of the government budget, calling on the government to do something about it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Alleged Baboon Man Denies Transforming into Baboon

From The Analyst:

The man who was arrested recently by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), for allegedly transforming himself into an animal “Baboon” to terrorize the people of Po-River Township in Montserrado County has been sent to court to face prosecution. Police preliminary investigation conducted at the National Police Headquarters in Monrovia said the defendant transformed himself into a baboon on numerous occasions.

He told this paper in an interview yesterday at the National Police Headquarters that at no time did he transform into a baboon to terrorize and assault people in the township.

“The people lied on me; I am a farmer, who is currently doing my farming business. I never did what the people say I do”, said Quoi in an angry mood.

Taylor Trial Delayed Again

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands -- The war crimes trial of Charles Taylor has been postponed again with judges now ordering the resumption of the case against the former Liberian president August 20, the court said Monday. "A decision was taken last Thursday [June 28] and the reason will be explained in a hearing tomorrow [Tuesday]," spokesman Solomon Moriba of the Special Court for Sierra Leone said. A week ago the resumption of the prosecution case was put off until Tuesday this week because of Taylor's ongoing problems in assembling a defense team.