Liberia’s opposition Congress for Democratic Change party or CDC is accusing the government’s Ministry of Justice of encouraging rape and gender based violence in the country by its inaction to curb the crime, which has left women and girl children vulnerable to cruel men.
CDC national chairman Nathaniel McGill, said officials of the Justice Ministry do not show concern or give attention to rape related issues, and that the ministry is slow in prosecuting rape cases.
“Officials of the Justice Ministry do not show interest in combating the cruel practice of some evil men. The ministry’s action tells us that they are encouraging bad men and boys to rape our girls and women on a daily basis. The ministry is very lazy in prosecuting rape cases which squarely tells us that they have no interest in eradicating rape here”, he said.
Speaking at the headquarters of the CDC in Monrovia over the weekend during an anti-rape campaign organized by women of the party in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in Liberia, McGill said Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh and his entire senior staff were invited to the campaign, but never showed up.
The anti-rape campaign followed separate reports last week of a 9 years old girl being gang raped in Virginia, suburb of Monrovia and a boy sexually abused.
“The action of the Justice Ministry people is a clear indication that they care less about the manner in which our babies, our sisters and mothers are raped. The attitude is the reason why rape cases are on the increase. They are slow in prosecuting those who are accused of rape. Despite President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s effort through the support of United Nations agencies here, the Justice Ministry is woefully denying speedily trial of rape related cases. Such thing should be abolished so that our girls will have brighter future,” McGill lamented.
He said rape is a dangerous crime that may darken the future of many of its victims, if nothing were done to curtail such deadly practice by cruel men, stressing that issue of rape should be concern of every Liberian and support of everyone is needed in making rape and other forms of sexual abuse history in the society.
Also speaking at the program, Montserrado County Senator George Mannah Weah, who is also political leader of the CDC, said those officials who refused to show up for the campaign initiated by the party demonstrates their support for rape.
“They chose not to come because it is a difficult thing for the perpetrators and the victims to be under the same roof. Rape should be taken serious by the government, if the government wants the future of our children to be bright,” Senator Weah said.
He said the Liberian people expect a lot from the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, especially in combating rape and other sexual based abuses.
Meanwhile, the CDC women wing has presented a petition to UNMIL, requesting the Mission to attach serious concern to the plight of Liberian girls and women.
A recent report linked UN peacekeeping soldiers in Liberia to commercial sex, contracting young girls for sexual favors in exchange for cell phones, TVs, and DVDs, among others. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by Jonathan Browne