From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

PART TWO: Charles Taylor: Sierra Leone’s Scapegoat
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jun 1, 2012, 15:40

Paragraph 112 of the Summary Judgment against Charles Taylor as read out on April 26th 2012 by Justice Richard Lussick, the Presiding Judge states:

    • During a radio conversation with Foday Sankoh, following the attack on Sierra Rutile in 1994, the Accused [Charles Taylor] advised the RUF leader to send an External Delegation to Côte d’Ivoire. In Côte d’Ivoire, the delegates met Musa Cissé, an NPFL representative, who allowed them to use his radio for communications with Sankoh. The Accused, through contact with Musa Cissé, invited members of the External Delegation to Liberia, where he met them twice in 1995. In December 1995 the Accused met members of the External Delegation in Cote d’Ivoire on the occasion of the publication of “Footpaths to Democracy”, at which time he gave them CFA 10 million francs for their maintenance.

So who or what was this External Delegation? And what else happened in Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) in December 1995? Mrs. Agnes Deen Jalloh (nee Bio), is elder sister of Julius Maada Bio, the Presidential candidate of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) which enjoys bastion of its support in South-Eastern Sierra Leone where the RUF launched its war. Currently influential SLPP members supported RUF in its initial stages. The former SLPP Leader and President, Alhaji Tejan Kabah publicly stated at the Yamoussoukro Peace Talks that in 1991, when he first heard of Sierra Leonean RUF rebels waging a war in 1991 to remove the then APC Government of General Momoh from power, he was very happy and supported the RUF; only withdrawing his support when he disagreed with their savage methods against innocent civilians. Without a doubt, Tejan Kabbah is indeed a perfect gentleman and obviously the RUF savagery did not seat well with his conscience. However, that was Ahmad Tejan Kabbah the gentleman with a conscience; Many others continued their support for the RUF despite the savagery.

One such person was Mrs. Agnes Deen-Jalloh (nee Bio). She is much older than Julius Maada Bio. Agnes raised Maada Bio and put him through school. Her husband, Dr. Deen-Jalloh and her were reported to have been ‘forced’ to join the RUF in early stages of the war. Agnes and her husband were so senior in RUF rank that they became trusted to be the ones to be sent out of Sierra Leone as RUF diplomats (External Delegation) who were given posh residential houses in an Ivorian town known as Danane near the border with Liberia. Members of the ‘External Delegation’ including Agnes Deen-Jalloh (nee Bio) lived a posh lifestyle in Ivory Coast from as far back as 1994 as now stated in the judgment against Charles Taylor.

During all this time his sister was living in Danane, Ivory Coast as an RUF Diplomat, Julius Maada Bio was the Deputy Head of State in Sierra Leone and later, additionally, the Chief of Defence Staff directly supervising the war against his sister’s RUF inside Sierra Leone. He never made this known to the public.

Now, let me reveal today some facts which have been classified for a long time. In December 1995 when he was Deputy Head of State and Chief of Defence Staff, Julius Maada Bio secretly sent three of his most trusted soldiers on a secret mission to meet with his RUF sister in Danane, Ivory Coast. The soldiers all wore plain clothes and posed as civilians.

Unfortunately, they got arrested by Ivory Coast Government soldiers at the border when their identities were proven to be Sierra Leone soldiers camouflaged as civilians.

Such deception on the part of Sierra Leone soldiers crossing into Ivory Coast through Liberia had proven to be a diplomatic headache for Captain Valentine Strasser, the then Sierra Leone Head of State, whom it is reported, knew nothing of the mission of his Deputy!

Strasser, it is reported by my sources during my investigations, was furious and considering action against Julius Maada Bio, his Deputy. Few weeks later, the very next month, (January 1996) Strasser was abruptly overthrown by Bio. These are facts which very few Sierra Leoneans know about but which a proper examination of the war (like some of us have extensively done) will produce for Historians.

There has always been a puzzle for me over the reason behind Maada Bio sending soldiers secretly into Ivory Coast in December 1995. His reported explanation to his boss had been that he had been informed his sister was being held as a captive in Danane town in Ivory Coast and so he had sent those commandos to kidnap his sister and bring her back by road to Sierra Leone through Liberia. That was his explanation back then.

This is one of the issues I had personally asked Foday Sankoh about when I met him. His response was that he gave a request from the bush, for the Ivorian Government to release Maada Bio’s soldiers and that his request was promptly adhered to and the men were released. Before the men could re-enter Sierra Leone, Maada Bio had overthrown Valentine Strasser.

To those floating the talk of Liberia and other States having to pay us reparation, let me tell you it is going to be very interesting when the Liberians and other accused nationalities will get Agnes Deen Jalloh to be de-briefed for the international court when the SLPP’s proposed ‘President’ Julius Maada Bio files papers at THE HAGUE. The elder sister who raised him up served as diplomatic emissary for the RUF at the time they were performing horrors against their fellow Sierra Leoneans.

Many aggrieved South Eastern Sierra Leoneans are quite right about the horrors which many of their relatives went through at the hands of the RUF but it still does not take away the fact that many other South-Easterners warmly welcomed the RUF and provided succor for them. Sama Banya is claiming “only one Paramount Chief” willingly supported the RUF and he got forgiven by the SLPP Government. That alone, is evidence of top level collaboration of at least one South-Eastern leader. However, it was not just “only one Paramount Chief”.

As I have insisted before, my extensive investigations have proven to me beyond all reasonable doubts that there exists a supremacist mentality amongst a certain small group of persons (a clique) from the South East who believe only they are well ordained to rule. As a result, when they are not in power, they will do ANYTHING to over-turn the status quo including attacking their own people in the South East. The majority of South-Easterners are very decent, peace-loving, friendly, warm and docile people.

However, this minority, tiny clique of supremacists indoctrinates their offsprings to embrace the same supremacist mentality. So, there are various generational levels of members of this clique from the South East. It is only when we learn their true nature which has been handed down successive generational lines that we can understand a significant problem facing our country today and in the future.

Members of this clique will do ANYTHING to be the ones ruling the country. This includes suppressing and oppressing their people in the South and East. This is one of the reasons behind their dire and desperate need to always instill tribalism into our body politics.

That is the only way this clique can survive by promoting sectionalism at any slight opportunity. The SLPP for them is just a vehicle through which they attain power. The late Dr. Soyei (RIP) recognized this very well in several radio and newspaper interviews he gave.

Turning weapons and lethal blows against their own in order to get to power is not unusual for this clique. It is only when Historians really investigate the war that we will learn what happened, understand this clique and always be prepared for them at all times. Right now, we are underestimating them because we do not know the true story of the war.

We do not understand what really happened because we have been presented with a SCAPEGOAT in the form of Charles Taylor by folks like Mr. Lans Gberie who has cleverly and deceitfully distorted History to cloud the reality of the war. His theory is obviously nonsense but him and others in his clique are actively promoting it. They are helped by the fact that Taylor possesses a terrible reputation over his dealings in Liberia.

I will continue Part 3 later but meanwhile, here is the quote from an Awareness Times report which is very relevant for a better understanding of the mindset of how a certain South-Eastern clique operates. It concerns a report about the violence which was launched in the Southern Province against South-easterners who did not support Julius Maada Bio’s bid to be the SLPP Presidential Candidate.

“On the part of Mr. Jabbie, former SLPP P.R.O. for Bo District, he recounted how he was violently attacked by supporters of Mr. Maada Bio in Moyamba two weekends ago during the SLPP’s Southern Province regional elections. He said he had to be rushed to a hospital in Freetown where he was still admitted suffering from “severe abdominal and body pains” as a result of the beating he suffered from Bio supporters”.

As this quote above of a report quoting South-Easterners brutalizing their fellow South-Easterners for power, turning of weapons and lethal blows against their own in order to get to power is not unusual for this clique.


© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.