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Liberia: Victims Of The Civil War & Civil Society Institutions To Protest May 18

 

Staff Report

The Justice Forum Liberia (JFL), several Liberians, victims of the Liberian civil war as well as civil society organizations in the country are expected to assemble at the capitol building on May 18, 2021, to pressurize the state authorities for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia.

Maxson S. Kpakio disclosed that the establishment of a war and economic crimes court will go a long way in helping to curtail the culture of impunity in Liberian society. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which operated between 2006 and 2009, recommended creating a war crimes court – the Extraordinary Criminal Court for Liberia – to try those responsible for grave crimes committed.

Mr. Kpakio made the statement over the weekend at a Press Conference held on Benson street in central Monrovia. He noted that no major national development can be achieved under the Presidency of Mr. Weah when the establishment of the war and economic crimes court, one major reason Liberians elected him, has been neglected.

“President Weah advocated for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court before and during the 2017 presidential elections, but he’s not taking advantage of the opportunity, now that he’s the President, to bring an end to the culture of impunity in Liberia by endorsing the establishment of a war and economic crimes court”, he added.

Executive Kpakio stressed the importance of infrastructure development but warned the Weah-led government to bring justice for atrocities committed during Liberia’s civil wars. “Liberia cannot achieve genuine peace in the absence of justice for atrocities committed during Liberia’s civil wars”, he said.

He emphasized that the establishment of a war and economic crimes court by the Weah-led administration will prevent the reoccurrence of war and significantly reduces the current wave of corruption by public officials. According to him, Liberians have advocated and on many occasions held marches to campaign for war and economic crimes court, and petitioned the legislature to carry out the TRC’s recommendations.

He used the occasion to dispel the notion that the establishment of such a court will create security instability and will cause the Liberian government money. According to him, the establishment of a court will cause the Liberian government no money as the international community will finance the establishment of a war and economic crimes court one hundred percent.

Additionally, he stressedthat international organizations have supported war crimes courts and developed expertise in recent decades in addressing challenges that often arise with them. Such expertise includes protection and support for witnesses and victims, security for judges and staff, assuring fair legal process, and educating the local population about the court.

He records during Liberia’s armed conflicts from 1989-96 and 1999-2003, Liberians suffered widespread violations of international human rights and humanitarian law such as mass killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, summary executions, mutilation and torture, and use of child combatants. Culled Smart News

Main Photo: Liberians Assembled to protest on June 7th, 2019

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