-As Judgment Day Rapidly Drums Over Warlords
Despite the unleashed fear-choked-threat lamented to robustly resist attempt to advance any arrest from any war crime court as opposed to the unbending radical quest by aggrieved justice advocates in the 14-yr. civil upheaval, report flying around that the facility in Freedom, Sierra Leone could be utilized to house the Liberia War Crime Court is sending ripple throughout the country.
As the news took center place and quickly developed into heated debate with divided opinions of pros and cons at several intellectual centers, communities including social gatherings in Monrovia, a team of reporters from this paper went out to sample the views of some people with diverse observations.
During the exercise, startling maxims from the pros noted that while every long rope has an end; that truth crushed to the ground shall rise again, somehow, some way; that no sin goes unpunished and peace without justice is equivalent to a body without brain, heart and soul; and if the report is accurate, then what goes up no matter how long it may defy the law of gravity; one thing is certain; ‘Pontius Pilate’ will be awaiting the landing of the warlords; adding that or whatsoever is done in the dark shall surely come to light especially with those who show or with no remorse.
Conversely, the cons that vehemently dismissed and rubbished the report that the war crime court’s facility in Freedom will play host to Liberia’s war crime court as complete fallacy and not lend credence to because anything about ushering in a war crime court is stained with a Satanic and belligerent objective of all those tied together to wreck the precious peace and security obtaining in the country.
According to them, after several years have lapsed since the war ended, two democratically elected governments coupled with the first transition in 74 years; have mounted the political podium, that the people are no longer anticipating anything called war crime court rather find profound pleasure living their lives peacefully and in harmony; it would be foolhardy for anyone or individuals to even reverse the tremendous national gains acquired, stressing that those clapping for such news grossly harbored a diabolical motive designed to undermine and pin down the current leadership of President, Dr. an man of God, George M. Weah.
On the margin, a group professing to be centrist questioned what would the country benefit and people accumulate if they buy the war crime court existence; at the same time, what has the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) shifted gear in reverse when for 12 years it was the loudest voice in the political wilderness uncompromisingly demanding the establishment of a war crime court in Liberia to avoid baby-sitting warlords who presided over all sorts of massive abuses to human dignity, mayhem, cold bloody senseless massacre including reckless destruction of properties and all factors of production resulting into the death of over 250,000 precious and mostly innocent lives.
The group opted to know if the establishment of a war crime court no longer rummaged the mind of current CDC’s Chairman Mulbah Morlu whose war crime quest landed him in Accra, Ghana and quizzically met with visiting (now former) President Barack H. Obama and today not that it doesn’t sense any more but totally irrelevant and a grim recipe to groom and doom for the country.
According to some badly affected people in several communities in Monrovia, the axe of deterrent must not only swing but land on the neck of impunity and for those shielding warlords tactically from having their fair share in the court of justice should be mindful that evil begot evil and so shall a person reap whatsoever he or she sows no matter how long, it too shall come to past.
“This nation must have something to show that the war was meaningless, it did not correct the ills in the society rather served the political interest of those who have failed time after time to acquire state power through the ballot box under a democratic process which in return constructed a political platform more warlords are riding on as evident by occupying some high profile positions of public trust in the government presently; while bluffing and threatening the people with war from kinsmen if they venture to expose them to account for their respective roles played in the 14-year crisis that has left an indelible scar on the image of the nation as the bones of the deads continue to grief, groan and painfully turn in their respective graves and mass graves yearning, craving and screaming for nothing more than justice regarding the manner and form they were eliminated by the warlords and their chief patrons.”
Others bluntly stated that no warlord is an island; even an island is part of a country; a country is part of a continent and a continent is a part and parcel of the common global village; therefore, impunity that was not sanctioned by justice is inimical to peace and decent society as cancer is debilitatingly dangerous to the human body not alone survivability.
Again, most people recalled that while some warlords elected to display their intellectual kudos as fantastic lecturers amusing the audience at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) sponsored hearing, another batch took it to be a comic occasion where lies were heartlessly advanced as cover-up with another set seizing he unique space to blatantly preach falsehood and present themselves as “MR. CLEAN” who did not even kill a fly or presided over the destruction of precious lives and properties during the war rather championing the cause of security, safety and survivability of their people targeted and victimized, adding that be as it may ‘Pontius Pilate’ awaits them wherever the venue may be.
Meanwhile, the TRC Report recommends that the culture of impunity in Liberia has had a severe impact and dire consequences for women and girls. The state failed completely to protect them as civilians during the war and even in the post conflict periods, deepening this culture and allowed women’s bodies to become the battlefield through which the war was fought.
For women and girls, it is absolutely imperative to end the culture of impunity. It is therefore recommended that war-lords and heads of fighting factions be punished for initiating, encouraging, participating in and perpetuating crimes against women during the war and in the post conflict periods.
This punishment must be real, and justice must be seen to be done. This should involve jail-time, hard labor, and seizure of property or other ill-gotten gains. Public apologies from the warring factions must be mandated and reparations sought from them personally.
Amnesty should only be considered with full disclosure and remorse for crimes against women. All child soldiers should be given conditional amnesty with the condition being mandatory rehabilitation.
The Legislature is mandated to ensure that the Executive Branch of government implements all recommendations of the TRC’s Final Report.