Liberia seems to be caught between the rock and high places as the post-war nation is being pushed to stem out impunity and deliver justice for victims of crimes against humanity.
After 14 years of bloody civil war that saw many of our young people drugged and armed with AK-47, RPGs and other deadly weapons to kill innocent civilians, mainly women, children and elderly people in the name of so-called liberation, calls for those who bear greatest responsibility for the heinous atrocities committed across this country is becoming louder and louder by the day.
Campaigners want key actors during the darkest period of our nation’s history to account for their inhumane deeds against fellow countrymen.
Regrettably, however, culprits from this period hold the mantle of power today in Liberia, opposing and fighting the delivery of justice. In their thinking, peace is now more important than justice, but what is the foundation of genuine peace if people who slaughtered others in cold blood are not given their day in court?
Justice, surely is the platform on which lasting peace should be built rather than impunity. Those who believe heartless gun-toting rebels who murdered defenseless citizens and are now comfortably seated in government should be shielded need to think again, because the victims of their cruelty are weeping in their graves i.e., if they had one.
Former Solicitor General Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe says, justice is on the way for the scores of victims who lost their lives during the Liberian Civil War. Cllr. Gongloe notes when jailed former President Charles Taylor was arrested in Nigeria and brought back to Liberia in 2006, he (Gongloe) told the international press that the arrest of Mr. Taylor was the beginning of the end to impunity in Liberia.
Speaking at a one-day workshop on transitional Justice last week in Monrovia organized by Geneva-based Civitas Maxima, he further notes the arrest and trial in the United States of America and Europe, of some of the notorious perpetrators of war crimes in Liberia clearly shows there are clear and cogent evidence on perpetrators of atrocities in Liberia.
“We especially call upon our president, whom by all known accounts did not participate in the Liberian civil conflict to take the lead in the efforts to establish a war crimes tribunal in Liberia in order to bring to justice those who committed crimes against humanity during the Liberian civil conflict. We call upon the law-makers to take every step in the interest of the people whom they represent, to establish a war crimes tribunal in Liberia.”
We hope this administration will listen to the many calls and act sooner than later in its own interest and interest of the victims who deserve justice.