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PRC Received Weapons From PLO...Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh

The first consignment of arms and ammunition obtained by the Peoples' Redemption Council (PRC) military junta came from Yassar Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)," national security advisor Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh said responding to claims by Mrs. Victoria Tolbert, wife of slain President William R. Tolbert, that the 1980 military coup was executed by external actors, Fahnbulleh said the first consignment of weapons received after the coup were AK-47 rifles and not the usual M-16 used by the Americans.

"Many people have said that the Americans were involved. There is no conclusive evidence on that. Let me give my own analysis. Isn't this possible that there were Lebanese involved in the assassination of Tolbert? Why do I say this? I remembered the first consignment of AK-47 riffles the PRC got came from the PLO of Yassar Arafat," Dr. Fahnbulleh said when he testified at the TRC's ongoing Thematic and Institutional Hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street.

He suggested that those who aided in the overthrow of President William R. Tolbert could have been Lebanese and not the Americans as has been widely rumored, saying, "there was a Lebanese man here who was very, very close to the PRC after the coup by the name of Dr. Karzer."

Dr. Fahnbulleh: "It is said that Mrs. Tolbert claimed she saw white hands. You know, I am always amused by people who claimed they see ghosts. Because you know, if you asked 50 people whether they have seen ghosts and 49 of them answered, saying I have seen ghosts. Asked them the color of cloth the ghost had on. They will say white. What leads to that is extreme fears. These people said they were white people, I have read a little bit about Americans involvement in such matters...The Americans do not operate in this way. They don't operate in this way. The Americans will not go and assassinate a president using one of their agents as it has been said."

"But let me assumed for a moment that Mrs. Tolbert did see white hands. Let assumed. By the time of the coup, Mr. Tolbert had put himself into some deadly and political maneuvering. Mr. Tolbert had endorsed the Polisario Front. He had moved closed to Algeria. Isn't this possible that there were Lebanese involved in the assassination of Tolbert?" he said.

Dr. Fahnbulleh said it is possible that Tolbert got himself caught in the very brutal and violent Middle East politics, which might have prompted the PLO to assist Doe and others in his assassination.

Under the theme: "Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors," the ongoing hearings will address the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

The hearings are focused on events between 1979 and 2003 and the national and external actors that helped to shape those events.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005.

The TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.


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