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--Gen. Quainoo Speaks Out
General Arnold Quainoo, a former Army Commander, on Wednesday broke his long silence over his complicity in the assassination of the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe of Liberia.
This was at the launch of the maiden book of Dr Obed Y. Asamoah, the founder of the defunct Democratic People's Party.
General Quainoo said he was not responsible for the death of the late President Doe, as was being alleged.
The former Army Commander said a West African state was behind the assassination of the late Liberian President Doe, adding that the plot to kill President Doe, “was done behind me” and he knew nothing about it.
“I am not prepared to mention the name of that West African country, but I will do so when I write my own book,” he said.
“I had decided not to respond to the allegations, but because people have read the book, it is important I set the record straight,” he said
Excerpts of the 764-page book titled, “The Political History of Ghana (1950-2013) – The Experience of Non-Conformist,” sought to create the impression that General Quainoo was behind the killing of President Doe.
“On September 9, 1990, President Doe appeared at ECOMOG Headquarters with a contingent of about one hundred men to query the Force Commander for not showing due recognition of his position as head of an independent state. Before any discussion took place, President Doe and his men were disarmed. The Force Commander admitted taking President Doe's weapon from him and giving it to an aide. Soon thereafter, Prince Johnson arrived with a contingent of about twenty-five men. It is alleged that they were not disarmed as Doe's men had been.
"He was agitated, and fighting soon erupted between the Doe and Johnson's forces. Doe was captured by Prince Johnson and later killed. The incident evoked widespread suspicion of ECOMOG's complicity in the assassination, and General Quainoo became unpopular in several quarters and countries, including President Jawara of the Gambia, the then Chairman of ECOWAS. Press reports (particularly in West African magazines owned and operated by Nigerians) felt that the relations between General Quainoo, Prince Johnson, and the NPFL accounted for the incident. Attempts made by General Quainoo to see President Jawara to give his side of the story were unsuccessful,” the book said.
“Was there a conspiracy to do with President Doe's death? Did General Quainoo deliberately disarm Doe's men, while not doing so with Prince Johnson's men in order to facilitate his death? In fairness to General Quainoo, he was in conference with President Doe when Prince Johnson and his men arrived, so he could not order their disarmament. Did he have foreknowledge of Prince Johnson's arrival after President Doe's? There is no such evidence. However, it must be noted that when Lt. Gen. Bowen of the AFL accused Gen. Quainoo in Banjul on October 22, 1990, of partiality in the treatment of the Doe and Prince Johnson's contingents by disarming one and not the other, Gen. Quainoo did not refute the allegation. There may have been good reasons for doing so, but that was used as the reason for not facilitating the interview he sought with President Jawara to give his side of the story,” it added.
Even though General Quainoo explained that he was not responsible for the death of President Doe, he said, “I will further respond to issues about me highlighted in the book when I write my own book”.
According to General Quainoo, President Doe was “killed by his own pride,” because he never took advice.
He explained that in the heat of the Liberian political crisis, a plan was made for President Doe to flee the country and seek asylum in a different country.
The former Army General said arrangements were made for President Doe to leave the country through the Freeport in Monrovia, but when he got there, he never followed instructions from soldiers.
Thus, a siren was blown and the deafening noise, which could be heard a mile away, attracted his opponent, Prince Johnson, who rushed to the port.
General Quainoo said in the process, President Doe was captured and killed.
According to General Quainoo, in the tenure of President Rawlings, he sent him and another colleague to Liberia.
He said 20 minutes before the plane would reach Liberia, the pilot announced that the Liberian Army wanted to know whether there was one military officer called General Arnold Quainoo on board the flight and he got frightened.
General Quainoo said when he got to Liberia, he was welcomed by a fitting military parade, which he reviewed and received several salutes.
He said he was later told by the Liberian authorities that they instituted an inquiry into the death of President Doe and it was realized that it was not he (General Quainoo) who killed President Doe.
On his “conflagration” statement, he said at the Danquah Memorial Lecture, the late Professor Adu Boahene who delivered the lecture had put the economic woes of the country on the military.
He also alleged that the History professor said the citizens would not allow the military to meddle in the governance of the country.
After the lecture, he said, there was an opportunity to ask questions and when he got up, there was a deafening noise, with a section of the participants “shouting sit down with others saying allow, allow.”
He said when he got up to speak, all that he said was that the military got itself involved in the affairs of the country because of the corrupt nature of politicians, and did not make any “conflagration” statement.