Roosevelt Johnson Found in Jos
Former ULIMO-J Warring faction leader Roosevelt Johnson is living in the Nigerian city of Jos, contrary
to Liberian government claims that he resides in the Ivory Coast involved in rebel activities. The Orbit
correspondent in Lagos has tracked down Johnson, who is said to be living a private life and doing local
Liberia’s Information Minister, Reginald Goodridge, reportedly said yesterday Roosevelt Johnson and
another Liberian ULIMO-J member, George Dweh, were in the Ivory Coast "serving as a thrust to strengthen"
LURD dissidents forces fighting the Monrovia regime in northern Liberia. The Liberian government says
Krahn ethnic members of Johnson’s former faction are the Liberians being pointed out in the current
Ivorian rebel fighting in western Ivory Coast, close to the Liberian border. The ORBIT has confirmed that
George Dweh resides in a Western European country, also involved in food commerce.
Our correspondent talked to official Nigerian sources who confirmed that Johnson has been living in
Nigeria since 1998 when Liberian government forces attacked him and fellow Krahns on Monrovia’s Camp
Johnson Road. He and a few of his colleagues took refuge at the American embassy, at which time
government troops shot into the embassy compound killing Madison Wion, a confidante. Through multilateral
diplomatic intervention, Johnson and the others were airlifted to neighboring Sierra Leone. He was
finally given asylum in Nigeria under a special arrangement. The sources tell the ORBIT Johnson has not
left the country since then.
Our Monrovia correspondent says the government appears to be nervous over continued allegations that it
is involved with rebels fighting the Ivorian government. New groups in the conflict say they are avenging
the death of Former Military Head of State Robert Guei, a Gio said to have had close links with Taylor.
Liberia was the first country Guei visited after overthrowing his government, returning home with the
news that he got "valuable advice" from Taylor. It was subsequently reported that Liberian security men
had been spotted among Guei's bodyguards. And when Guei was being ousted by the crowd following his
failure to yield to defeat in the presidential elections, Liberians were attacked in Abidjan on account
that Liberian militiamen were helping to protect Guei during the fracas.
It has also been reported that former Sierra Leone RUF rebel leader, Sam "Mosquito" Bockarie, had been
ferrying arms from Burkina Faso through Guei's district into Liberia. Gouessesso had become a transit
point for the overland arms movement, and it appeared that Ivorian authorities had no knowledge of the
highly discrete arrangement. Sam Bockarie has remained close to Charles Taylor since leaving Sierra
Leone, having fallen out with his RUF rebel hierarchy at the time. Bockarie went to Monrovia with many
other RUF soldiers and quickly formed a core within Taylor's Special Security Service. Following the
imposition of the UN sanctions on the Taylor regime for militarily supporting RUF, Bockarie went
underground. The sanctions required the expulsion of all RUF fighters from Liberia. Bockarie was first
sent to Burkina Faso, and then to the Democratic Republic of Congo to the late Kabila, and later to
Savimbi in Angola. He later returned to begin the land arms shipment through the Ivorian border. He now
frequently joins his former fighters in northern Liberia to fight against the LURD Liberian dissidents.
With the war escalating along the Liberian border with pointing fingers to Taylor known for his
destabilization of neighbors in Sierra Leone and Guinea, the United States government has come out with
warning against support for the Ivorian rebels from any nearby territory, though it did not name any