Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County cautions politicians and religious leaders not to undermine the Weah Presidency by calling for the establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia.
Speaking to the NewDawn at his Christ Chapel Church on Sunday, 18 March he says some officials of the Liberia Council of Churches are calling for the establishment of War Crimes Court under the Weah Administration, noting that the call is just intended to undermine peace and stability here, especially against the young administration of President Weah that is lobbying for support to construct roads, improve the education and health sectors, while others are calling for retroactive justice is divisive.
Senator PYJ, himself recommended by the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia for prosecution in connection with his role in the country’s civil crisis, says during the 1989 hostility, the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches reportedly prayed over weapons of the rebels Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy or LURD to unseat former President Charles Taylor.
According to him, if such a court were to be established here, those LCC leaders should also be prosecuted.Prior to coming to active politics, he commanded the dreaded rebel group, Independent National Patriotic Front Liberia or INPFL, which captured and butchered slain President Samuel Doe in September 1990.
Senator Johnson, who is now the third deputy speaker of ECOWAS, says Liberians were given the opportunity to choose between war crimes court and truth and reconciliation, and they chose the TRC, arguing that it makes no sense for anyone to be calling for war crimes court in this dispensation.
PYJ, who contested for the presidency during the first round of the 2017 elections and came third, gave his support to President Weah in the run-off and personally took the CDC standard bearer to Nimba for political blessing.
According to him, the TRC report was corrupted by its Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Vedier when he called for the barring of some Liberians from participating in political activities for 30 years, and creating falsehood against peaceful citizens, including those who fought for the redemption of the country, like himself.
The Nimba County Senator, who has been engaged by the former chief investigator of the defunct UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, Allen White on atrocities committed in Liberia that could lead him to trial, says anyone, who thinks that they will create situation that will undermine the Weah Presidency, such person will be resisted by him and the people of Liberia.
However, Liberians both at home and abroad are increasingly calling for the establishment of war crimes court in the country to bring ex-warlords and former generals who committed heinous crimes to book and stop the culture of impunity here. Scores of Liberians in the Diasporas are being rounded up for questioning both in the United States and Europe for the roles in the 14-year-old Liberian Civil War.
During the political campaign in 2017, the standard bearer of the CDC, Mr. Weah promised that if elected, his government will not support a war crimes court for Liberia.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne