The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

Okay. We may come back to that:

"... gave real hope to the government and people of Liberia that a new page would be turned in US-Liberia relations. This optimism was based on some positive signals emanating from circles in Washington DC that US policy was finally being altered towards Liberia for the better. The government embarked upon a maximum public awareness campaign to improve the battered US image in Liberia. Massive preparations were made to welcome Ambassador Blaney to Liberia in ceremonies befitting a paramount chief. Lapel pins exhibiting the American and Liberian flags symbolically linked together were distributed by the hundreds and proudly worn by American officials and their Liberian counterparts at private and public functions. Touched by these felicitations, Blaney made some broad promises as follows:

1. That he was in Liberia to stop the LURD terrorist incursions against the Liberian government and people.

2. That he would work for the improvement in relations between Liberia and the United States.

3. That he would work to improve the livelihood of the Liberian people.

4. That he would work with the Taylor administration to establish a road map for the way forward.

To these ends President Taylor summonsed front-line members of his cabinet and senior legislators to a three-hour meeting with Ambassador Blaney to establish the basis for the proverbial road map. The President further instructed his cabinet to maintain an open-door policy and engage the new ambassador and his staff on all points of interest.

US intrusive policy.

With banners welcoming Ambassador Blaney still adorning the streets of Monrovia and billboards extolling US-Liberian friendship cropping up at strategic locations, the constructive engagement process seemed to falter. Ambassador Blaney began visiting ghettos, internally displaced centres and out of the way villages to implement US intrusive policy. He explained to the desperate and starving populations that the Government of Liberia was responsible for their suffering. He implied that the government had misled them; that the UN sanctions and arms embargo that encouraged the LURD terrorist incursions was not responsible for their plight, but rather the actions of the Taylor government. He went on to refer to government forces defending the country against Guinean-backed LURD terrorists as belligerents."

Is all of that true, Mr Taylor?

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