As debate for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia intensifies both at home and abroad, a stalwart of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change, Sheikh Kouyateh, calls on the Norwegian-based Nobel Peace Committee to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2011.
Speaking to reporters in Monrovia, Kouyateh asserts that those pushing for the establishment of an international tribunal for Liberia should also demand the withdrawal Mrs. Sirleaf’s peace prize for her role played in the Liberian Civil War by allegedly financing the destruction of lives and properties.
Mr. Kouyateh recalls the confession by former President Sirleaf before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2009 that she contributed US$10,000 to the defunct NPFL rebels of jailed former President Charles Taylor, is enough reason to disqualify her for any international peace accolade such as the Nobel Peace Prize.But Mrs Sirleaf told the TRC hearing she donated the money for humanitarian purpose.
He adds that the campaign for a war crimes court to prosecute those who bear greater responsibility for the 14 years of hostility in Liberia would be incomplete and tainted, if the global community fails to bring to book all of those culpable for the destruction of Liberia.
Kouyateh believes the status of former president Sirleaf as a Nobel Laureate is a slap in the face of justice for the more than 250,000 Liberians who lost their lives as a result of the brutal civil war.Mrs Sirleaf in 2011, shared the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize with another Liberian peace advocate, Leymah Gbowee and a female Yemeni peace advocate.
The Nobel Peace Committee based their selection of Mrs. Sirleaf for the award on what the committee said was her role in working for peace and democratic freedom over the years, prior to her ascendancy to the Liberian presidency.By Bridgett Milton