By Own Correspondent, Ivory Coast Boarder support from The New Dawn Newspaper-Liberia- Former House Speaker George Dweh has told journalists in Monrovia that Liberia could be the next after Ivory Coast to experience another civil war. George Dweh himself is a senior ex-combatant with the disbanded ULIMO and LURD rebel groups which fought former President Charles Taylor in the 19902 and early 2000s.
His role in the Liberian civil war won him a place in the power-sharing arrangements in 2003 as Speaker, but short-lived such political glory for acts not compatible with his status.
He was also an important military figure in the military of former President Samuel Kanyon Doe noted for allegedly terrorizing and dismembering innocent people in 1989 and 1990
He said the alleged recruitment of fighters for US$500 by agents of Allassane Ouattara was knowledgeable to the Liberian government, but the government is behaving as if nothing of such was happening.
“When the war started here [ Liberia], people down-play it. But let it be known that town trap is not for rat alone. Therefore, there is a need for the government to act now and take the situation seriously,” Dweh noted. He also mentioned the presence of Benjamin Yeaten, who he said, was fighting alongside Allassane Ouattara’s New Forces rebels.
“Yeaten is at the Liberian and Cote d’Ivoire border, along with some of those who fought with him during the conflict here,” Dweh claimed.Mr. Dweh is the first to mention the presence of a high profile military figure like Benjamin Yeatan in the Ivorian war, even though his claim is far from being verified independently or by the government and UNMIL. “The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the state security apparatus of the Liberian government are aware of the recruitment, but they were down-playing these reports,” Dweh noted.He said UN, African Union and ECOWAS, as well as the Liberian presidency wanted peace in the Ivory Coast but, should not close their eyes to the danger that could come from next door.
“Before I alerted the government on these developments, I double check my information several times. But Liberians do not appreciate those who tell them the truth, because after Cote d’Ivoire, those same people recruited from here could turn to us,” Dweh warned.
Mr. Dweh who named Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties as some of recruitment centers, said the war in Liberia in 1989 started from Nimba and not the southeast, emphasizing that some of the who organized the rebellion were today in the current regime.
In a related development ,the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI has taken an initiative to broker peace in Ivory Coast by sending top Ghanaian Catholic Church clergyman, Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson to that country.
The Pope told the Associated Press that he was sending the Cardinal to Ivory Coast, “to show my solidarity and that of the universal church to the victims of the conflict, and to encourage reconciliation and peace”.
Cardinal Turkson is the head of the Vatican’s justice and peace office. The justice and peace office is responsible for promoting the church’s social teachings on justice issues, such as war, the death penalty and human rights.
Ivory Coast is at the brink of civil war following disputed elections in November 2010. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has refused to step down and handover power to Alasane Ouattara who is believed by the international community to have won the elections.
Meanwhile, the BBC citing residents, reports that forces loyal to Ouattara, have captured the administrative capital Yamoussoukro, indicating that fighting erupted when they later entered the key port of San Pedro on their advance from the north against incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo.
According to the UN, one million people have fled the violence – mostly from the main city Abidjan – and at least 462 people have been killed since December.
International institutions and some countries have imposed economic and travel bans on the Gbagbo faction, and the West African sub-regional grouping ECOWAS has even threatened to remove President Gbagbo by military force.
Born in 1948, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson is the first Ghanaian to be appointed Cardinal on October 21, 2003.
He has been the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference in Ghana since 1992. He is also the Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana and the Archbishop of Cape Coast in Ghana’s Central Region. He was ordained priest on July 20, 1975; appointed Archbishop on November 21, 1992 and consecrated on March 27, 1993.