Hold accountable those responsible!


Written by Bernard Gbayee Goah
President, Operation We Care for Liberia

While allegations of War Crimes remain unaddressed, and those suspected of committing them are the judges in charge of running the affairs of the country, the current Liberian government cannot be considered credible. There are major war crime suspects holding top public positions in the current Liberian government. 

Infested with war crimes suspects, the current Liberian government has refused to use the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation as a platform to institute justice for Liberian war victims, even though, said recommendation is one of the best available remedies for sustainable peace in Liberia. 

Rather; warlords and their financiers have only settled for a so-called Truth forum that will further humiliate victims of rape, and sex enslavement by dragging them yet again through a public ordeal that ultimately holds no one accountable. Living under dark cloud of guilt and suspicion, former warlords and their financiers have without remorse, rejected the way forward to peace.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the TRC …. 

After reviewing all the evidence, Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission felt it necessary to recommend that Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be banned from public office for no less than 30 years. This is a clear indication of the extent of her involvement in the carnage. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s incredulity in the face of the TRC’s mounting evidence is incomprehensible. The presence of Madam Sirleaf and other warlords in government makes it impossible for Liberia’s justice system to function properly.

Why do we want a special statute and not the Rome statute that established the Serra Leon special court??

While We call for an establishment of a Liberian war crimes court capable of investigating crimes committed in Liberia from 1979 to present, we want a special statute, not the Rome Statute that established the Serra Leon special court. We are very concern that prior to the establishment of the ICC, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and her accomplices may have committed crimes against humanity due to mounting evidence presented during the TRC’s hearings. 
Because the current ICC has jurisdiction only from July 2002, the date of the ratification of the Rome Statute, we do not see the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia possible under the Rome Statute which only investigate crimes committed after 2002.
“Rome Statute” is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

We at this point recommend a Special Statute other than the Rome Statute that will enhance the establishment of a Liberian war crimes court. The fact is, there are evidence of international crimes been committed by certain individuals in Liberia pre the establishment of the ICC.

A peaceful Liberia demands accountability, justice, and reconciliation. Those bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities in Liberia must be held accountable. They must not be allowed to walk freely! This is necessary in order to begin genuine reconciliation.

Lastly, regardless of the ruckus it may come with, the current Liberian government must demonstrate rule of law by working towards the establishment of a Liberian war crimes court under a special statute to investigate crimes committed in Liberia during the course of its civil war. This will serve as a deterrent to those who believe in the use of force to obtain state power.

May God bless the people of Liberia.

———————————————————–

Crime

s sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality… In this case, Liberians!! 

The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country’s brutal war – Bernard Gbayee Goah 

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