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Liberia,anyone been there,worked there?

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Liberia,anyone been there,worked there?

Old 8th Sep 2002, 15:36
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Question Liberia,anyone been there,worked there?

I was asked to ferry a corporate jet to Liberia,and maybe stay there for a few months to establish ops. for that jet.
I have been and worked in Africa but never in that particular country.
Has anybody been there?Any experience will be highly appreciated!

Last edited by littlejet; 8th Sep 2002 at 15:43.
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Old 8th Sep 2002, 19:23
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Went there, carashed, came home. the whole place is a bit dodgy. Make sure you have plenty of $ cash to oil the wheels.
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Old 9th Sep 2002, 09:48
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littlejet, out of Roberts or Spriggs or where?
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Old 9th Sep 2002, 14:24
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Out of Europe, if you mean from where am I going to ferry
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Old 11th Sep 2002, 15:33
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Out of Roberts, I found out
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Old 11th Sep 2002, 16:39
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Roberts has a working VOR and ILS and new radios. They're OK on the radio. There's a dead 707 just off the runway so you don't want to be a dot left on the localizer. lots of officials, we got tapped for $$ and whiskey. decent fuel bowser. decent runway etc. the weather is very ****e, when i was there it was minimas every day. spriggs-payne is a field 23 nm west with a broken NDB and a pot-holed inhabited runway where they were shooting 100 people a day not long ago. the buildings still have bullet holes in them. there's still fighting in the hills about 30nm nw of Roberts.
Liberia itself is dodgy as f, careful with a camera & good luck

oh, yes, and watch out for the odd Mi-2 without radios cruising out of low cloud at 200'
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Old 11th Sep 2002, 19:26
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Cool Gunship???!

Hey Guns ...
You wouldnt know of any helos dropping out of the klag up there..?
lekka by die see!!
hb4g

sorry to cut and copy:
ABIDJAN, 11 September (IRIN) - Diplomats in the Mano River Union countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, plus neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire, are calling Liberia "the eye of the storm", fearing that it could unleash greater turmoil on the region than already exists.

Liberia is critical to the economic and political stability of the sub-region, according to analysts, but diplomats in the capital, Monrovia, say President Charles Taylor believes his neighbours of support 'terrorists' who want to kill him.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned that continuing conflict could expose the countries of the union (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) to "a large-scale humanitarian and human rights crisis", of much bigger proportion than it suffers already.

Liberia's recent record of violent conflict is often traced to a military coup in 1980, in which Samuel Doe seized power and ruled until he was toppled and eventually killed a decade later.

Charles Taylor, now president, led an armed insurrection against Doe from Cote d'Ivoire in 1989 and controlled most of the Liberia by 1992. He eventually came to power in elections agreed to by the warring factions in 1997.

Opponents of Taylor took up arms again, and the current wave of fighting between the Liberian government and rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) started in 1999.

At least 120,000 Liberians have been displaced by the current conflict, and 228,000 forced to seek refuge in other Mano River Union (MRU) countries. A third of the country is inaccessible and a state of emergency declared in February remains in place.

Some 76 percent of Liberians currently live below the poverty line; unemployment stands at 80 percent and just 50 percent of some pre-war facilities function, according to relief agencies.

LIBERIA'S NEIGHBOURS WORRY

Despite problems at home, Taylor has pushed the country's involvement in various sub-regional conflicts since coming to power. Neighbouring governments worry that "Taylor's agenda" could significantly destabilise their countries, according to regional observers.

In August, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone formally requested the UN to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in his country, the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), "because the escalating conflict in Liberia is threatening to destabilise the entire area once again."

Sierra Leone is just emerging from a 10-year rebel war that was launched from Liberia by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), led by Foday Sankoh. Backed by Taylor, the RUF waged one of the most brutal wars ever seen. The rebels plundered, raped and amputated thousands of Sierra Leoneans until UNAMSIL brought the war to an end in January 2002.

The RUF retains close ties with Taylor and one of its commanders, Sam Bockarie, is believed to live in Liberia, according to sources in Monrovia. Some of the rebel fighters have also been integrated into Taylor's elite
Anti-Terrorist Unit, they said.

Kabbah, who takes his case for an extension of the mandate of UNAMSIL to the UN Security Council this week, has said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the force needs to remain in his country for at least three more months, to guarantee the peace.

In June, Sierra Leone government officials told IRIN that they were bracing for up to 125,000 returnees and refugees from Liberia, because of ongoing conflict there.

"General elections in Liberia are less than a year away... the concern of the Sierra Leone government [is about] a premature withdrawal of international peacekeepers," Kabbah said.

Presidential and parliamentary polls have been announced by the Liberian government for next year. But sources expect that most government opponents may not take part.

"We remember with deep regret the events that followed the premature withdrawal of ECOMOG [Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group] from Sierra Leone before the deployment of an adequate number of UNAMSIL contingents," he added.

Taylorís Liberia is also a keen worry to Guinea, according to diplomats in the region. Apart from hosting regular influxes of Liberian refugees, especially around border areas like Macenta, Guinea is accused of hosting Liberian rebel forces by the government in Monrovia.

Between July and August, Liberian government forces pushed the LURD rebels back towards the Guinean border. News reports said the rebels had crossed to re-group in Guinea. Kiss FM radio, which is owned by the Taylor family, reported that the "terrorists had returned to their bases in Guinea".

Worried about the unease with which Monrovia views the purported presence of anti-Taylor rebels in his country, Guinean President Lansanah Conteh told journalists on 8 September: "There are no Liberian rebels in Guinea".

Taylor is convinced otherwise, however, and diplomats in Monrovia told IRIN he has never hidden his distaste for Guinea. In 1999, armed people had attacked Guinean villages near the Liberian border, prompting suspicions that Taylor was trying to destabilise Guinea. Conteh threatened to invade Liberia, but did not act on the threat.

Deteriorating relations in the MRU worsened still further when Taylor expelled the ambassadors of Guinea and Sierra Leone in 2001, saying those countries were backing Liberian rebels who were fighting him.

According to diplomats in West Africa, Taylor has lately developed suspicions towards Burkina Faso because President Blaise Campaore hosted a meeting for exiled Liberians earlier this year. Oddly, Burkina Faso supported Taylor during the Liberian civil war.

Relations have also chilled between Taylor and Cote d'Ivoire, although his first group of Liberian rebels started out from that country in 1989. Cote d'Ivoire believes Taylor has become close to former leaders from tribes near the Liberian border and not the Ivorian government, according to analysts.

Cote d'Ivoire hosts tens of thousands of Liberian refugees, as well as being home to some of Taylor's opponents, including political rival Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who has emerged as one of the rallying points for the Liberian diaspora.
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Old 12th Sep 2002, 19:16
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Littlejet

You might like to check out UK's foreign office website
www.fco.gov.uk

SAFETY AND SECURITY

We strongly advise against all travel to Liberia because of fighting between rebels and government forces. Fighting has been reported within 15km of the capital, Monrovia and the situation remains volatile, with outbreaks of fighting and violence perpetrated against the civilian population. Looting and lawlessness is commonplace. A State of Emergency declared in February 2002 was extended in May for six months.British nationals may not be the direct target of civil unrest, but could quickly find themselves caught up in the consequences.

Brian
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Old 13th Sep 2002, 03:05
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Thumbs down Charlie boy and his famous country ..

I say ol chap ... Gunnsss is balzing from a luvvlllyyyy trip to Loendoen and suroundings ... shame about the ol pint that cost a wee bit and then 20P for a wee afterwards ... Gunnsss back to task :

Littlejet, sorry mate let's make it short and sweet ... your trip can be "very worthwhile" as you are most probably on stand - bye for the Taylor pig who has ruined the country and nation to a rotten sheithole where nothing (note : NOTHING) works

No postal service, no internet / e-mail's - only rich Lebanese with bribes can still phone. The rest is satellite. No running water / electricity in Monrovia (that is where you will stay). The only place lit up is Charlie's den .. secured by his best troops.

Now to get to the point : As in many African countries Taylor's time is up. LURD (The rebels) - in this case the good guys, is just outside town and has been there for a few months. He is an embarresment to the US (take a guess - yes THEY "put him in power") - he is banned throughout the world and you might be the "lucky" one to fly him out. 10 Guesses that your flight plan should be regularly updated to Libia as Col Ghadafss will be too happy to welcome his comrade in crime.
I have seen this before ... it might be your lucky day Littlejet as you might be his "escape craft".

Tip of the day : NEVER take a Africa leader out of his own country (without a good chat AND delivery ) during a time rebels take over (they - Ex Pres's - normally do not return) as he will make you promises he can not deliver. So stand with an open hand next to your Ex Jet and let him grease you palm ... it has always worked with me, my friends and collueges. Remember at the aiport he will still be President and going into hiding and amnesty and crap like that : In reality he is a useless nothing that leaves his ruined country (with LOTSA cash and diamonds) to spend in another criminal's country (on conditions mate) .. getting the bigger picture ???

In Sierra Leone's streets a sad figure roams the streets of Freetown searching for food and a drink ... ex President Valentine Strasser mate .. welcome to Africa ...

Just also please remember that he is on a few "wanted lists" so check your six on take off I will bet you last month's sallary that he will be the first to be prosecuted on the "truth and re-concilliation commitee " that was established in Sierra Leone this year. The UN / US and UK is also quite keen to see him go - never mind the old " Presindent Do" - supporters, LURD, few South African mercs that he did not treat well, chiefs in the ruined forrestry area (that HE , his son and a Dutchman raped to pieces) Sierra Leone / Guinea ... and and .... so if you do not wannna do it gimme a call

Last edited by Gunship; 13th Sep 2002 at 03:15.
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Old 14th Sep 2002, 05:41
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Post Some "older" news on Liberia for your info Littlejet

Creditors cut off Liberia's mail


http://allafrica.com/stories/200207050295.html

Liberia, which is already suffering under United Nations sanctions over
alleged links with rebels in Sierra Leone, is now faced with another sanction
- on mail leaving and coming into the country.
International postal bodies and airlines have imposed the embargo because of
Liberia's inability to pay its huge debts to those companies.

They include the Universal Postal Union, the Pan African Postal Union, Ghana
Airways and the giant Dutch airline, KLM. Liberia owes KLM alone around
$250,000 in carriage fees.

KLM has now asked Ghana Airways, the only international airline making
regular, weekly flights to Liberia, to stop picking up Monrovia's post. The
West African aircraft used to collect postage items from Monrovia and pass
them on to KLM since the European airliner does not fly to Liberia.

On Tuesday, a consignment of posted materials, including letters and parcels
which had been stuck in Ghana for more than two months, was returned to
Monrovia as an apparent indication of the seriousness of the embargo.

Liberia owes huge sums of money to the other companies, including more than
$50,000 to Ghana Airways.

These debts, which were in part incurred by President Charles Taylor's
Government, have been outstanding for more than 10 years, and concern
hundreds of items which were posted at high cost through the fast courier
system of the Liberian Postal Ministry, the Expedited Mail Service.

In May Ghana Post Company Limited informed the Ministry of Posts in Liberia
about the decision that it had reached with others to impose an embargo on
mail from and to Liberia.

But because the public was never told about the blockade, letters have
continued to pour into post offices in Liberia.

An official at the Postal Ministry, D Zotawon Titus, said the government was
addressing the situation. He said that since May the government has paid
around $20,000 to companies it is indebted to.

"This may sound like a drop in the desert, he said, "but if previous
governments and ministers had started tackling the problem, we wouldn't be
owing so much."

Alternative delivery services, such as DHL and Federal Express, are too
expensive for ordinary people.

From The Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe), 4 July

ZDI rejects gun-running charges

Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) boss Tshinga Dube this week denied a
report that the state-owned weapons-maker is supplying arms to Liberian
leader Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone-s Revolutionary United Front (RUF)
rebels. "It is totally false that we have supplied weapons to the west
Africans," Dube, a retired Zimbabwe army colonel, said in response to
queries from the Financial Gazette. "It is unfair for people to want to
conclude that, because ZDI used the same (international) bank that RUF and
the Liberians use, we therefore were supplying arms to them. That is simply
not true." In its latest edition, the Paris-based Indian Ocean Newsletter
charges that the ZDI is involved in a weapons-selling network which includes
gun-runners who supply Sierra Leone and Liberia. According to the newspaper,
the weapons are being bought mainly from former Eastern Block countries and
delivered to rebel groups in Liberia and Sierra Leone through neighbouring
Burkina Faso and Cote de-Voire. It says the ZDI allegedly paid for the
weapon purchases through a Hungary-based subsidiary of Italian bank Intesa
BCI, while rebel-clients also reportedly paid the Zimbabwean arms utility
through the same bank.

For example, the newspaper said the ZDI in April 1999 transferred close to
US$1.3 million to an arms supplier through the Hungarian bank. The
Zimbabwean arms manufacturer made another US$2.1 million transfer the
following month, it charged. In June, shortly after the two transfers by the
ZDI, three successive payments totalling about US$300 000 were made to the
Zimbabwean firm through the Hungarian bank. It is these payments to the ZDI
which, according to the newspaper, were suspected to have been from Taylor
and the RUF, both under an international arms embargo. Dube admitted making
payments for weapons through the Intesa BCI but said the ZDI was making
payments for its normal supplies for its weapons-making plant. He said the
firm had provided various suppliers with end-user-certificates confirming
that the ZDI was the end-user of all military goods supplied to it. He said
the ZDI had only used Intesa BCI at the request of the suppliers of the
materials.

Hope it was helpfull Littlejet .. ;-)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2002Jun3.html

washingtonpost.com

Liberian Leader Again Finds Means to Hang On
Taylor Exploits Timber to Keep Power


By Douglas Farah
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 4, 2002; Page A01

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- It was the end of March, and President Charles Taylor
of Liberia seemed out of options.

With U.N. sanctions tightening and a rebel force staging hit-and-run raids
near the capital city of Monrovia, Taylor was running low on cash. According
to sources with direct knowledge of events, diplomats and intelligence
analysts in the region, he had been unable to pay his elite commando units
since the beginning of the year.

As a result, Taylor's top commanders threatened revolt and sounded out
regional governments about overthrowing him, according to sources and
documents.

Diplomats predicted Taylor's imminent fall. South African mercenaries hired
to prop up his government left, their contracts canceled for lack of funds.
But as he had so many times in a career that has taken him from a U.S. prison
to the Liberian bush and then the presidential palace, Taylor turned to
Liberia's natural riches as the key to personal survival.

Selling timber concessions inside Sapo National Park, one of West Africa's
main woodland reserves, Taylor received several million dollars from the
Oriental Timber Co. of Hong Kong. The sum allowed him to buy back, at least
temporarily, the loyalty of his senior commanders and rearm his troops,
according to the sources.

"As of four weeks ago, Taylor was worse off than a year ago," said a U.S.
official monitoring events in Liberia. "But then he stopped the slippage, at
least for now. He can still acquire the resources he needs, but I don't think
the long-term prognosis is good."

Diplomats, analysts and intelligence sources say Taylor's unexpected rebound
not only illustrates the Liberian leader's resiliency, it also goes a long
way toward explaining why West Africa has been mired in violence and chaos
for more than a decade. Many fear that such instability is far from over,
despite peaceful elections held recently in nearby Sierra Leone and Mali.

Both as a rebel fighting for power and as a president fighting to hold on to
it, Taylor has been able to muster cash and weapons by exploiting anything of
value. Timber, iron ore and rubber from areas under his control, diamonds
from Sierra Leone and the sale of airplane and shipping registrations all
have kept Taylor on his feet.

Yet while Taylor has continued to find ways to buy weapons, Liberia has
virtually no health care system. The capital is without electricity and
running water, communication with the outside world is mostly limited to
satellite telephones, and the education system has collapsed. A civil war
that he helped foment and sustain in Sierra Leone left that country largely
in ruins and created security problems for Guinea next door. Even Osama bin
Laden's al Qaeda network was linked to Taylor, allegedly laundering millions
of dollars by buying diamonds from Sierra Leonean rebels under Taylor's
protection, according to sources familiar with the diamond trade and Western
intelligence officials.

"As long as Taylor is in power in Liberia, West Africa runs the risk of being
a failed region," said a European diplomat. "He is a threat not just at home,
but for spreading conflict far beyond his borders, as he has already amply
shown."

Taylor rose to prominence in late 1989 when, a few years after escaping from
a prison in Massachusetts where he was being held for possible extradition to
Liberia on embezzlement charges, he organized a revolt against President
Samuel K. Doe's brutal, corrupt government. Soon afterward, he helped form
the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, which rose up against a
succession of weak governments there while working closely with Taylor's
Liberian rebels.

Doe was killed in 1990, but Liberia's civil war raged until 1996, with a
handful of factions and a West African peacekeeping force fighting among
themselves and plundering the country. A peace deal led to elections the next
year and Taylor, leader of the strongest rebel force, was chosen to be
president.

Once in power, Taylor continued to assist Sierra Leone's RUF, which gained
international notoriety for hacking limbs off civilians and abducting
thousands of children to fight in the war. In exchange for diamonds mined by
the RUF, Taylor supplied the rebel group with weapons, ammunition and
logistical support. As a result, the United Nations placed Liberia under an
arms embargo and banned Taylor, his senior government officials and their
families from traveling outside Liberia.

Nevertheless, Taylor's government was able to acquire weapons through myriad
sources -- including purchasing false end-user certificates from the
governments of Ivory Coast, Niger and Burkina Faso, and smuggling weapons
through Gambia and Chad, according to sources directly involved in the
weapons trade and Western intelligence officials. Analysts and diplomats say
such dealings have left West African nations unstable and their governments
weak.

"There is no doubt that the government of Liberia continues violating the
arms embargo," said a U.N. report on Liberia issued in April. "And the
proliferation of arms within [neighboring countries] is a reality."

Liberian officials did not respond to e-mails and telephone calls seeking
comment, but in recent nationwide radio addresses in Liberia, Taylor has
argued that the weapons ban was depriving his government of its legitimate
right to self-defense. He also denied meddling in other countries, instead
accusing Guinea, Britain and the United States of supporting the rebels
seeking to overthrow his government.

U.S. officials deny supporting the rebels. But they acknowledge that, after
sometimes heated debate, the Bush administration has opted not to publicly
condemn the rebels or their backers in Guinea as harshly as some U.S.
diplomats in West Africa would like.

Liberian sources, as well as senior U.S. and European officials, say Taylor
is more determined than ever to cling to power, largely because he fears
being prosecuted by a U.N. court being established in Sierra Leone to judge
those responsible for the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed in
that country.

"He is very, very concerned about the court," said a source who has spoken
with Taylor recently. "He thinks the British and the Americans want to make
an example of him and are pushing for his ouster."

U.S. officials who supported the tribunal said the court's mandate was made
deliberately broad to allow prosecution of Taylor and others outside Sierra
Leone who nonetheless drove the conflict.

"It would be interesting for us if Taylor were indicted," said one U.S.
official. "I think we would take great delight in saying 'Let justice be
done.' "

However, it is not clear that Taylor's ouster would improve Liberia's woeful
state.

The rebel force now fighting Taylor, Liberians United for Reconciliation and
Democracy, is described by regional intelligence officials as a motley
assortment of some of the worst elements who fought in Liberia's civil war,
both for and against Taylor. The rebels have offered no program for
governance, no ideology and no political vision beyond getting rid of Taylor.

Military sources in the region describe the rebel force as lacking
command-and-control structures. They say it is undisciplined, and that it is
as likely to prey on the civilian population as Taylor's notorious government
forces.

The president of Guinea, Gen. Lansana Conte, has made little effort to hide
his military's support for the rebels, despite widespread reports of their
human rights abuses. Despite some congressional misgivings about Guinea's
support for the rebels, the Guinean military will receive $3 million in U.S.
military aid for training and communications equipment this year.

With the RUF disarmed in Sierra Leone and international attention focused on
cutting off the flow of diamonds through Taylor's network, Taylor has turned
increasingly to timber to fund his regime.

Sources with direct knowledge of Taylor's arms shipments, whose information
was confirmed by intelligence sources in West Africa, said most weapons were
coming to Liberia by sea, primarily in logging ships, because such shipments
are much more difficult to monitor and detect than air shipments.

While logging companies have long operated in Liberia, Taylor's deal with
Oriental Timber Co. (OTC) was the first time the Sapo park was opened up for
exploitation, endangering the fragile ecosystem that is home to thousands of
unique species of plants and animals.

OTC, which has come under criticism by environmental groups, already owned
Liberia's largest timber concession outside the protected area. The company
has been identified in a series of U.N. reports compiled since December 2000
as a key provider of weapons to Taylor's government. U.S. and European
intelligence officials and sources with direct knowledge of events concur
with those findings.

A study released in May by Global Witness, a nonprofit organization in London
that investigates connections between the exploitation of natural resources
and human rights abuses, found "direct links between Liberia's timber
industry and the network of illegal arms transfers, private militias and
human rights abuses that threaten international peace and security in western
Africa."

According to internal OTC documents obtained by The Washington Post,
OTC-chartered ships delivered weapons to Taylor at the Liberian port of
Buchanan on Sept. 28, Oct. 28 and Nov. 16, 2001. The shipments contained
about 7,000 boxes of ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles, 5,000
rocket-propelled grenades, 300 howitzer shells and tons of other equipment.

Regional intelligence sources and sources familiar with Taylor's weapons
network said an additional 30 tons of weapons on OTC-chartered ships arrived
at Buchanan in mid-January.

OTC's manager in Liberia, Gus Kouwenhoven, did not respond to numerous
e-mails and faxes seeking comment. In a faxed statement delivered last year,
Kouwenhoven, a Dutch national, strongly denied any OTC or personal
involvement in the arms trade.

Kouwenhoven, who is under the U.N. travel ban for his alleged role in the
weapons trade, said that OTC operates "in strict conformity with the terms
and conditions of our timber concession agreement with the government" and
that the company has "never paid any funds directly or personally to
President Taylor."

Last month the United Nations gave Liberia six months to draw up "transparent
and internationally verifiable audit regimes" to ensure revenue derived from
the timber industry was "used for legitimate social, humanitarian and
development purposes."

U.S. and British officials, who had unsuccessfully pushed for an
international ban on Liberian timber in the Security Council, said the new
requirement was a half step at best but would allow stronger action against
the timber industry in the future.

A senior U.S. official said that "if we can effectively cut off the timber,
especially OTC, the man [Taylor] is in big trouble. His reach is already
diminished with the falloff of his diamond trade. But he always seems to find
a way to hang on."

© 2002 The Washington Post Company
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Old 17th Sep 2002, 12:44
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Thanks to all for info about the Lib.
I will inform you what will happen. Still no second contact from
people interested in having a jet down there.

Jee, that place is quite dodgy!
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Old 17th Sep 2002, 15:30
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Well spoken Gunship, nobody could have put it better than you did about charlieboy and and the devastation he has put Liberia through

I salut you

Zazoo
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Old 18th Sep 2002, 03:02
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Arrow Liberia

Tx for the private message Littlejet. Tx for the comments Zazoo.

Once again what is incredable - it used to be a GREAT place ... then the World (politicians) and their bag of dirty tricks started most of the sh*t.

I do not know if you guys follow the news: America now wants to open a New Navy base on the West Coast of Africa. We always wondered why they gave the Nigerians and Liberians and suddenly "more than asked for" help to Sierra Leone. My friend thay all have oil or in Liberia and SL's case .. they discovered / smelled oil of the coast line.

Politics ... politics ... Last point if you ever land at Monrovia check the VIP lounge. It is normally the ONLY place that has 24 hour lights and you will see the rolled up red carpet half - way under the entrance "stoep". That was with Clinton's visit a few years ago and has never moved. I have not been close enough to smell it

Can anybody give us the latest on Liberia's Airwing ? We heard that Mi-24'/ 35's where brought in, but from our people on the ground (that got bombed) they reckon it was Mi-8 / 17's with rocket pods on ? Help pse

Cheers,
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Old 19th Sep 2002, 15:50
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They've got 2 Mi8's I've seen, a sif olive green one and a blue one, and at least one Mi-2, so watch ouT!

Bobby M has some evil-looking black Mi-24's or 35's parked on his mil apron at FVHA though
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