Monday, August 12, 2013

10th Anniversary of Taylor's, and Many Others, Exile

August 11th, 2003 was the day that Charles Taylor departed Liberia for Nigeria. Local reporter Jonathan Paye-Layleh, filing for the Associated Press, interviewed Jewel Howard-Taylor, at the time Taylor's wife and now his ex-wife and a Liberian Senator, about the exile.

This is one of the few press reports marking the anniversary of the end of the Civil War, although the article states that President Sirleaf will mark that 10th anniversary of the signing of the Accra according on August 18th.

Relatedly, a BBC reporter assembled a short news video about refugees in neighboring West African countries who have not returned home to Liberia in the 10 years since their flight. The caption article states that Liberia has been "marking 10 years since the end of the civil war" but there has really been very little of that at all, and almost none outside of the international press.

The report also does not examine motivations for staying outside of Liberia beyond fear of violence, trauma, or lack of peace in the country, despite that general absence of civil violence in most parts of Liberia over the last decade. While these reasons are surely legitimate motivations for staying put, the reporter doesn't not investigate other compelling reasons, such as better access to jobs or other income opportunities, or social and economic advantages, for staying in Nigeria, Ghana, or elsewhere.

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