RELEASE–Petition For A War And Economic Crime Court In Liberia______
The Embassy of the United States of America, The United Nations, The EU, The ECOWAS Commission, The African Union, The Mano River Union, The Liberian Press, and Media Institutions.
With urgency, the Liberians United for Accountability and Justice presents its profound compliments on behalf of the “Movement For War And Economic Crimes Court” a group vigorously committed for the establishment of the WAR CRIMES COURT in Liberia for the sole purpose of finally ending the perennial cycle of unpunished war crimes and impunity in the country.
Your Excellencies, you are aware of our civil war which was considered gruesome in our history. You are aware that horrid episodes of our history saw the extermination, enslavement, and other inhumane acts committed against the civilian population in this country. Those dreadful years took over 250,000 innocent lives; those dark years saw the raping of our mothers and children as well as the conscription of kids into fighters which led to the massive pillaging of every fabric of our dear country, Liberia.
These horrific and inexpressible acts were carried out by so-called generals heading rebel groups along with their benefactors committing heinous crimes against humanity, violating everything, including but not limited to international humanitarian laws, conventions to which Liberia is signatory.
The war crimes committed by these perpetrators who violated and continue to violate international criminal laws, human rights, and international humanitarian laws should not go unpunished. The facts and evidence that tell this sad and ugly story of our country are readily and conspicuously available in every nook and croony of the country.
Heads of warring factions that murdered our people and the destruction of our country are still seen walking freely in the midst of the victims they violated, degraded, abused, vilified, raped and sexually enslaved during the heydays of violence. These war individuals massacres and masterminded extra-judicial killings and other unthinkable crimes committed against their victims, which still lingers in the minds of Liberians, owing to the fact that justice is being delayed and denied.
Your excellencies, what has compounded the sorrow and agony of the Liberian people is the ugly fact that these very warlords and their cohorts have been rewarded with state power in all ramifications and unbelievability, thereby having political control over these victims against their wills. This kind of scenario continues to torment and psychologically affect the people of Liberia.
It is no revelation or secret that the Liberian brutal civil war produced numerous massacres like the killings of the five Catholic Nuns, the Sinje massacre, the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church massacre in Sinkor and others.
Your excellencies, we aware what constitutes crimes against humanity, we know these are acts that are deliberately committed or systematic attacks on individuals, mostly directed against the civilian population that are denied human dignity and immense sufferings especially those with arms using military or political violence and these were the acts that were massively carried out against our poor people, including other unthinkable and unspeakable acts by the Liberian warlords and their benefactors, and beneficiaries. We are also aware that perpetrators have been punished in the past, like the first prosecution for war crimes against humanity that took place at the Nuremberg trials that held Hitler’s henchmen accountable for the immense human suffering the Nazi’s unleased during WWII, but right next door our neighboring country, the Republic county of Sierra Leone and others have addressed the issue of crimes and war. Our aggrieved country Liberia WILL NOT be an exception. WE NEED WAR AND ECONOMIC CRIMES COURT IN LIBERIA to put an end to impunity!
Only a war crimes court will bring justice to the families, relatives, and friends of victims who were gruesomely murdered and raped. Perpetrators need to be prosecuted so that Liberia is not a safe haven for war criminals.
Providing justice for these barbaric crimes is the only way to right the wrongs, reconcile this country and its people, and finally end the culture of impunity in Liberia. It will be sad, regrettable and shameful for the world to let these atrocities go unpunished. It will be disappointing and mistaken for such heinous crimes to go unpunished. These appalling crimes must be investigated, and the required judicious measures taken to avoid replication in the future.
We formally make the request to the world community for the International Criminal Court to act IN THE INTEREST OF HUMANITY AND JUSTICE. We desperately look forward to the United Nations and the United States of America with high hopes to act URGENTLY for war crimes victims. It is also the responsibility of the Liberian Government to take the driver’s seat and act now!
Also on record is the persistent greed and dishonesty of leaders of this country who also, with impunity continue to unduly amass wealth for themselves at the expense of our poor people, thereby subjecting the entire citizenry to horrible poverty. The constant wave of corruption that pervades our country keeps our people in the state of poverty and disease. They are being denied basic life incentives because people they put in power personalize the country’s wealth at their detriment. It is indisputable that corruption leads to a national crisis, and this we pray, should not happen. It is ludicrous that Liberians are reducing fellow Liberians to a state of nothingness owing to massive and intentional waves of corruption. Corrupt elements in government MUST be wiped out in order to bring about the needed development in the country.
Corruption is eating up every part of Liberia, impoverishing 90% of the citizenry. It is eating up the entire country, making development stagnant. Corruption is making our hospitals and schools’ libraries empty. It is leading to deaths from curable diseases in the country. It is leading to over 70% of our population going to bed hungry. Corruption is a vice, that is making majority of our people turn to beggars on a daily basis. IT MUST BE STOPPED! Let the corrupted be prosecuted.
Your excellencies, now is the time for justice in Liberia. We must bring to book these perpetrators. It is time for accountability. It is time for people to answer to their acts. This is a reawakening call that Liberia wants justice. Liberia wants an end to impunity. Liberia wants to be a part of the civilized world once again. Prosecute the criminals for humanity and justice’s sake. Now is the time for all perpetrators to answer the questions for their devilish acts committed against the innocent people of Liberia.
We gather here today to call upon the United Nations Security Council to come up with a resolutions establishing a war and economic crimes court to appease the victims of war crimes. The wastage of over 250,000 lives out of savagery by heartless men and women should not go in vain. Let this part of the world tastes international justice for the dead to rest in peace. Therefore, we demand the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia as it was done in the case of the sister Republic of Sierra Leone.
Your Excellencies, the people of Liberia resolutely believe that the establishment of the war and economic crimes court will put a halt to impunity and drastically reduce corruption. It is exactly doing this, that Liberia will rise from the current state of degradation and seek the path of sustainable peace and stability.
While we anticipate your fruitful and timely intervention, kindly accept once again our deep gratitude for your treasured time given our campaign for justice. We believe when this is done Liberia will again enjoy civility and will also speedily experience development that it desires so dearly.
Signed: Mr. K. Sengbe Yeaher, Vice-Chair, Press, and Publicity-[LUJA]
Approved, Mr. Emmanuel Savice, Chairman Liberians United for justice
Main Photo: Emmanuel Savice, Chairman LUJA