Liberia TRC Report Debate: Prince Johnson Walk Out Of Chambers

By Richard Stephens

Tuesday sitting of the Liberian Senate was a scene of drama when the TRC document was placed on the floor for debate. The document sparked serious debate among the Senators especially in handling its recommendations.

Due to the heated debate over time frame for the lawmakers to begin deliberation in the document, Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson warned that unless recommendations contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), are carefully handled, the future of Liberia remains in danger.

Senator Johnson who later walked out of session with anger, told plenary that recommendations of the TRC document will determine the future of the country.

He explained that the document being a sensitive and critical one should not be deliberated with sentiments because according to him, the rights of the accused and the TRC itself must be respected.

He said though it was necessary for the Senate to go through the recommendations, it should be without prejudice because it has the propensity to bring about division in the general public.

He emphasized that no one is guilty until that person is proven wrong under the law and therefore, the recommendations must not be hastily handled.

Meanwhile, following several hours of debate for time frame on the deliberation of the document, Senators Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County and Alphanso Gaye of Grand Gedeh County opted for speedy handling of the TRC recommendations, while other Senators like Dan Morias of Maryland County, Dallas Gweh of Rivercess, and Daniel Naaten of Gbarpolu County among others, cautioned their colleagues to accept more time frame to peruse the document before making decision on it due to its sensitivity.

The Plenary has however agreed to set up a specialized committee comprising of people who participated in the various peace accords to review the 207 points of recommendations that are contained and report to plenary on Thursday before beginning deliberations into the TRC document.

The TRC recommendations should be reviewed along with documents of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) to acquaint members of the Senate with its insights.

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