Remember Prince Johnson, the Liberian senator accused of war crimes and threatening to re-ignite the civil war? He’s now claiming that the US paid  ten million dollars in the 90s to fight the war. He isn’t entirely clear on just who from America paid him – he mentions both countries and the Liberian Diaspora. Five million, he says, went for arms and ammunition for Charles Taylor to use to launch the war. The rest, we can assume, was profit. But hey, at least he’s no longer threatening a new civil war. Maybe. It’s hard to tell from this quote “Senator Johnson said he is no longer interested in any war again, but rather total peace and forgiveness, he will resist any punitive actions against him as recommended by the TRC.”

While diasporas have a long and ugly tradition of supporting violence in their countries of origin, (See Boston Irish community and the IRA, a radicalized Sri Lankan diaspora, and the role of Somalis abroad in financing the conflict there) and it’s in keeping with Charles Taylor’s claim that the CIA helped  him break out of jail, I just don’t buy it. The US has been accused of supporting pretty much every side of the Liberian war. Taylor, and Johnson, probably did receive funding from the Liberian diaspora, but I can’t quite believe in a US government conspiracy to support 14 years of misery and child soldiering.

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