-As Call For The Establishment of Economic & War Crimes Court Reaches Lower House
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
As part of effort in ensuring that war and economic crimes court are established in the country, a group calling itself ‘citizens of the Republic of Liberia’ petition has finally reached the plenary of the House of Representatives.
The group said reconciliation and corruption remain key among many issues in the country. With this, the group members said they are requesting the House of Representatives to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report to the Liberian Government and people of the country on June 30, 2009.
They recounted that the report and recommendations currently before the House but has suffered setbacks due to reasons they don’t know. Prominent in the report is the establishment of War and economic crimes court as per Article 34e.
Liberia experienced uncountable loss of life during the war years and the TRC was created to “promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation,” and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for the gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.
The group is calling for the full implementation of the TRC’s recommendations to help reconcile the many aggrieved Liberians who feel justice has not been served. Bring peace of mind to those who lost their loved ones and have also been going through serious trauma from the impact of the war.
Others are to rewrite the history knowing that the culture of impunity is finally over. Serves as deterrent for future acts of treason and reduce the daily trauma people face by seeing those who caused them serious pains and setbacks sitting at the hem of power and moving with impunity too.
“This is our cry, we want justice. This country cannot have genuine peace without justice. Therefore, the establishment of the war crimes court is inevitable. Even the heavens require judgement for our actions here on earth,” the group said in the communication to the House of Representatives.
Persons Recommended For Prosecution For Gross Human Rights Violations And War Crimes.
Charles G. Taylor, Prince Y. Johnson, Roosevelt Johnson, Alhaji G.V. Kromah, George Boley, Thomas Yaya Nimely, Sekou Damante Konneh, Francois Massaquoi among others are listed for prosecution as well.
The ‘citizens of the Republic of Liberia’ reminded the lawmakers that if the laws on rape, murder, damage of property, adoption, drug abuse, exposing kids to danger, looting can be applied now, they see no reason why the ones committed during the war are exceptions and shouldn’t be handled in the court.
“Regardless of how we term it, those were acts of treason and the laws need to be fully applied to prevent reoccurrence,” they said.
Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Senators Oscar Cooper, Morris Saytumah, Benoni Urey, Emmanuel Shaw, Charles Taylor, Coocoo Dennis, Lewis Browne among others are listed for economic crimes against the state.
At the same time, the group wants the Liberian Government of President George Weah to find and prosecute individuals who have been placed on records for misappropriating state’s resources up to January 21, 2018.
“This is important to keep the current government officials in check and to let them know that the era of all the pending audit reports with no action is over. this needs to be totally fast tracked and those who will be guilty of any fraudulent activities be dealt with according to the law,” the group added.
After the reading of the citizens’ petition to the lawmakers in open session Thursday May 24, 2018, a motion was raised by Nimba County electoral district seven Representative, Roger Domah for the communication to be sent to the relevant committees to report in one month.