By Lewis S. Teh
Alliance for Transitional Justice Liberia (ATJL) launches Untold stories of the Liberian civil war that claimed about 250,000 lives.
The first Liberian civil war which occurred as a result of rebels’ invasion in 1989, claimed about 200,000 people and eventually led to brokering of peace by ECOWAS and the United Nations, but said peace was short-lived, and another round of hostilities broke out in 1999.
Alliance for Justice Liberia Vice Chairperson for Policy and Projects Mr. Adolphus W. Dupley says the group was birthed in February 2018, and by June 12, 2018, its name, vision, mission, and objective were adopted by five institutions.
He names institutions involved as Patriot Crusaders Liberia INC., United Methodist Church, through its Human Rights Monitors, Youth United for the Promotion of Academic and Social Change, Organization for Women and Children, and the Defense for Children International Liberia.
Mr. Dupley narrates that the mission of the alliance is to build local resilience, ownership and provoke national and international actors to adhere and comprehensively implement the TRC Recommendation, establishing a special ordinary Tribunal on war crimes, provision of health and social services to war victims.
“Our vision to build and sustain a society free of injuries and impunities obtained through the legal prosecution of war and economic criminals, health and social services for war victims”, he says.
According to him, the strategic objective of the alliance is to fully and timely implement the TRC Report and use same to achieve lasting healing, reconciliation and accountability to foster inclusive sustainable development.
Jeremiah S. Swen, founder of ATJL, and Secretary General of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia says the alliance over the past years has worked hard to ensure that the call to stamp out impunity in Liberia becomes a reality, noting that due to political interest from past leadership, the TRC Report has been swept under the carpet.
“Today we’re here not to watch a period of history, but to change the course of history and ensure that there is moral consciousness that will breed in the mind of citizens”, he says.
According to him, he lost his mother during the Liberian civil war from childbirth, saying “Myself I know how it feels to lose a loved one, but the thing is to bring those stories out and ensure it has a current space, and to guarantee the next generation that there will not be a reoccurrence of what happened.” Editing by Jonathan Browne