Tag Archives: NPFL

The Economist on Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia

The Economist has a very good analytical article on Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia.  (Hat tip to @RealClearAfrica)   Here’s an excerpt, though I think it’s a little misleading to imply that the hierarchies of these former rebel groups have remained strong since the war ended.  (Can someone remind me who has written on that topic?  Their name is escaping me at the moment.)

Two main groups are involved. One comprises former members of the Movement for Democracy in Liberia, known as MODEL, a rebel group once based in Côte d’Ivoire and created by Mr Gbagbo. Back in the 1990s, he opposed the forces of Liberia’s bloodthirsty president, Charles Taylor…With a strong presence in and around Toe Town, MODEL’s fighters hail from Mr Gbagbo’s Krahn tribe.
The second Liberian group that has popped up again, previously known as the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, was once sponsored by Mr Taylor, who backed Côte d’Ivoire’s northern rebels in their vain effort to oust Mr Gbagbo during the Ivorian civil war in 2002. Abandoned at the end of that conflict, this group’s militia has swapped sides to fight for Mr Gbagbo.
And the article makes a point I hadn’t thought of:
Liberia has its own elections in October. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, seems likely to be re-elected. But opposition politicians may be tempted to use gunmen returning from Côte d’Ivoire to stir up trouble.

Two main groups [from Liberia] are involved [in Cote d'Ivoire's crisis]. One comprises former members of the Movement for Democracy in Liberia, known as MODEL, a rebel group once based in Côte d’Ivoire and created by Mr Gbagbo. Back in the 1990s, he opposed the forces of Liberia’s bloodthirsty president, Charles Taylor…With a strong presence in and around Toe Town, MODEL’s fighters hail from Mr Gbagbo’s Krahn tribe.

The second Liberian group that has popped up again, previously known as the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, was once sponsored by Mr Taylor, who backed Côte d’Ivoire’s northern rebels in their vain effort to oust Mr Gbagbo during the Ivorian civil war in 2002. Abandoned at the end of that conflict, this group’s militia has swapped sides to fight for Mr Gbagbo.

And the article makes a point I hadn’t thought of:

Liberia has its own elections in October. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, seems likely to be re-elected. But opposition politicians may be tempted to use gunmen returning from Côte d’Ivoire to stir up trouble.

More evidence Liberians participated in Guinea massacre

AFP is reporting quite definitively that Liberians participated in the massacre of protesters in Conakry at the end of last month.  It has sources from the army, an international African NGO, and of course the opposition guys.

“It was the presidential guard … with elements from ULIMO and the NPFL that did that, that massacre,” a military source in Conakry said on condition of anonymity…

“ULIMO members currently surround the head of the junta, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara,” the military source said, adding that ex-NPFL fighters were simply looking to work as mercenaries…

Conte had supported the creation of ULIMO and oversaw training of some of its members in Guinea, which neighbours Liberia.

Meanwhile, residents of Guinea Forestiere – an area near Liberia’s border — fought on the side of Taylor’s rebels in the 1989-2003 war. Many soldiers recruited since Camara took power come from the same region, the source said.

Both the rights group and opposition source use as evidence charms they saw that were common during the Liberian war.  I find this, in addition to the language evidence, persuasive.  I do not find this persuasive:

Another opposition leader, Francois Lonseny Fall, said “we have never seen such a massacre in Guinea,” with the violence including women being raped with guns and sticks.

“It recalls the techniques used in Liberia,” he said.

Also, check out the updates I added to the previous post to reflect two excellent comments from readers.