The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) has toured two massacre communities in Bong County, seemed to have experienced the worst atrocities during the course of the civil war here.
The Focus Person of the Group, in Bong County, Prince Sampson told this paper that the assessment was in continuation of their investigation, as well as to identify assistance for the community, including general reparation in accordance with the recommendations of the TRC final report.
“During our visit, we interacted with victims of the two communities and identified projects to be undertaken with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA),” Sampson noted.
Sampson did not name the kind of projects, but indicated to the locals (inhabitants) of Samay Town (one of the affected towns), that they would benefit from the project.
Residents of Samay town suggested the construction of a Palava Hut around a monument erected in the town in memory of the 1994 massacre, which claimed several lives, including forty from the town.
At the same time, residents of Kpolokpala Town, the scene of the massacre of more than four hundred people also in 1994, recommended to the TJWG team that they wanted the construction of hand pumps in their community to provide safe drinking water.
“These streams were clogged with dead bodies which turned completely rotten or red during the massacre in 1994, and today we are still drinking the same water,” a survivor of the massacre in Kpolokpala tearfully told the TJWG visiting team.
Meanwhile, the TJWG is expected to begin the construction of the Palaver Hut in Samay Town shortly, while the Hand Pump project would commence in October or November this year.
Sampson also disclosed that 6 other communities in Bong County, identified for similar projects, will be visited, after funding shall have been made available for these projects.
He praised OSIWA for its support to the Transitional Justice Working Group, especially the recent effort to support projects targeting “victim communities” of the Liberian civil wars in the form of community reparation.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in her second quarterly report to the National Legislature on the implementation of the TRC report, stressed the need for reparation to benefit victims who suffered the worst atrocities of the brutal civil conflicts which claimed the lives of more than two hundred thousand Liberians.