Sunday, August 17, 2003


It was way back in May when I first brought up the idea of putting countries like the Congo and Liberia under UN trusteeship, so I couldn't help feeling vindicated when I saw the following article in the New York Times.

An Evolving Idea for Liberia Envisions U.N. Trusteeship

MONROVIA, Liberia, Aug. 16 — Almost everyone here says Liberia is a failed nation, and has been for many years. Until 72 hours ago, no one had known quite what to do about it.

Now a plan is taking shape to turn over control of this powerless, penniless, starving country to a United Nations trusteeship — a kind of world government.

This international group would help run the country, backed by American dollars and foreign soldiers recruited from across the world, until Liberia proves capable of running itself, say international officials, diplomats and aid workers here.

This plan, which has not yet been committed to paper, would entail a global effort to help Liberia build a viable government. The arrival of 200 United States marines here on Thursday helped create a sense of the stability needed for the plan to proceed. The marines came to support an outgunned West African peacekeeping force against gangs of militias and thugs.

In time, if all goes well, soldiers from as far away as the Balkans and Bangladesh would police the country; European, American and Liberian technicians would rebuild the nation's shattered electricity; and water systems and people forced to flee to other parts of the country by the war would return to their villages on paved roads, United Nations officials hope. For the first time in years, Liberia might know a measure of peace.