– By Bernard Gbayee Goah
Is there anyone who believed Charles Taylor would be forcibly removed from the Presidency and taken to jail for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone; while persons accused of identical crimes in Liberia not face justice? Is it conceivable Liberians could be restrained from taking action against those responsible for the carnage, now that Chucky Taylor has been sentenced to 97 years imprisonment by the U.S. Government? Did Ellen and the others truly believe Dr. George S. Boley, Sr. would be dragged into U.S. Court to account for his role in the atrocities; while they parade themselves as respectable political leaders? This is the kind of selective justice that often leads to all-out violence and impedes Africa’s progress.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been generous in giving Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an excellent opportunity to gracefully extricate herself from her quagmire. It would be unwise were she not to exploit it to the fullest. Not being allowed to hold public office does not prevent Ellen from serving her country if she so desires. By rejecting the TRC recommendations she risks a full blown trial and all that comes with it. If Ellen insists, she will be given the opportunity in a court of law to prove her innocence. However, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must be remainded of her predecessors – Presidents Doe and Taylor – who refused to heed the warnings and ended up facing disastrous consequences.
To those who believe all is well…that Liberia is back; Be warned that, there is likely to be severe turbulence ahead! The fact that those who wrecked this nation are still playing hardball is a clear indication we are a long ways from landing.
For much of this country’s history critical decisions have favored a few rather than the majority. As a result, illiteracy is high; unemployment is high; sickness & disease is high; poverty is widespread; corruption is rampant; and, Rule of Law is nonexistent. Those bearing the greatest responsibility for the mass destruction of lives and properties between 1989 and 2003 must face justice!!
If the cold-blooded murder of over 200,000 defenseless men, women and children is not resolved Liberia will inevitably experience a repeat of the senseless violence. This we must not allow!
To the international partners, we ask; what is most important: protecting the interests of a select few, or ensuring the safety of the larger population? If the interests of the majority are paramount – as it ought to be – then you must support the formation of a Special Court, Screening of Candidates for the 2017 elections in Liberia. Without this, Liberia will continue to be a violent, lawless nation and the epic center of instability within the West African sub-region.