Liberian President Sirleaf to Seek Second Term
'Chuckie' Taylor Jr. set for trial in U.S.
February 01, 2010(GIN) - Africa's first democratically elected woman president, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has announced she will run for a second term.
“I know where we are today, I know where we ought to be tomorrow and I know how we will get there,” she told a joint assembly of MPs gathered this week for her annual message.
The news caused loud grumbling among opposition politicians. Charles Brumskine, who came third in the 2005 presidential poll, said he was concerned about Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf's age. “I think she's reached the limit of her capacity,” he told the BBC's Network Africa program.
Brumskine called the 73 year old President Sirleaf’s government “new wine in old bottles.”
Meanwhile, in Miami, Fla., closing arguments are set for Jan. 29 in a suit against the son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, Jr. has been sued by five torture victims who were set on fire, held in chest-high pits of filthy water and repeatedly sexually assaulted during the years of civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.
The 32-year-old Taylor, a U.S. citizen born in Boston while his father was a student there, is already serving a 97-year prison sentence for violating U.S. anti-torture laws while he commanded an elite paramilitary unit in his father’s war-torn government.
Finally, 24 Liberians will be deported this month from Columbus, Ohio, including a grandmother who had resided in Columbus for 20 years. Married to a Liberia-born U.S.-citizen, Bernice Bryant leaves behind a 14 year old son, three adult children from an earlier marriage, and a 1-year-old granddaughter.
“I'm not bitterly angry at the U.S., but I'm disappointed,” said Sunny Bryant, who will accompany his wife to Liberia and remain there until the end of January.
“This is not like every immigrant's story,” said Bryant's attorney, Ken Robinson, “but it should serve as a signal that our immigration system is fundamentally flawed.”
Sadly, an article on the deportation in the online Columbus Dispatch received over 400 responses from readers, mostly unsympathetic. “The law is the law,” “bye bye granny” “enough already” and “the law is the Law,” were typical of the reader postings.