Open Letter to Alan Doss
(Special Representative of U.N. Secretary General to Liberia)

From Ronald Y. Free

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
Sept 11, 2007


Having been opportune to visit Liberia from July- August of this year and fortunate to be back to the United States; I write to express my observation as it relates to the complacency of the United Nations Mission in Liberia. While in Liberia, I was a bit impressed with the level of relative calm that has returned to my dear homeland (Liberia) after almost 18yrs of civil unrest. I am grateful and want to thank UNMIL for job well done so far.

Mr. Doss, I am sure that your responsibilities and strategy to succeed in Liberia will surely depend on your ability to understand the Liberian politics that led us (Liberians) to the almost 18yrs of deaths, destruction of properties, displacements, and hatred. I am also sure that you understand the price of complacency in a nation where the security rest on the shoulders of strangers (UNMIL) which you are the head. Sir, while in Liberia, I observed with deep sadness that UNMIL seems to be settled and selective in the execution of its duties and responsibilities. A clear example of my observation is the current allegation of the Liberian Government about coup plotters. I really thought since the security of Liberia is on the shoulders of UNMIL; not the Liberian government, UNMIL in collaboration with the Liberian government could have jointly made such claims.

Now, by not joining the government in making such claims will only create the usual pre-war mindset of Liberians who believe back then, that the government of the late president Samuel K. Doe was engaging in witch-hunting of individual(s) perceived as threat to his government. I am afraid that piece of the history that subsequently led to the Liberian civil unrest and prolongation is gradually surfacing in Liberia with UNMIL keeping silence as if she does not understand that witch-hunting is dangerous to our young democracy.

Mr. Doss, I learned from Webster dictionary that Witch-Hunting is political campaign launched on the pretext of a government investigating activities subversive to the state. For heaven sakes Mr. Doss, this issue is a clear security issue that even undermines UNMIL efforts to restore peace and stability to Liberia.

Why is UNMIL allowing the Liberian government to over step its limit by arresting individuals on such a huge security matters that squarely rest on the shoulders of UNMIL? Is the Liberian government telling the entire world that it is militarily prepared to put down any insurrection right now? I think the answer is NO. Why is UNMIL keeping silence on the government mis-steps that will soon be misconstrued as UNMIL facilitating the dirty work of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration?

In conclusion, I want to make this clarion call that UNMIL should wake-up from its slumber and form part of any security issue of Liberia along with the Liberian government so as to expunge the feeling of Witch-hunting which could drag us into another conflict. I hope and pray that your mission in Liberia will not be poisoned by some unnecessary or secret government policies.

Yours truly,

Ronald Y. Free
Hamline University
St.Paul, MN, U.S.A

© 2007 by The Perspective

To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: