The Secretary General of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) Musa Bamba says there is no need for the establishment of a “so-called” War Crimes Court here. Speaking at the program marking the 144th World Post Day, 9 October, the LCC Chief Scribe says Liberians need reconciliation and not a War Crimes Court.
His comment comes at a time the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs has passed a resolution for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia.The US House Committee’s action comes in the wake of longstanding calls among many Liberians from home and abroad for the establishment of the court to have war and economic criminals account for their actions.
While some Liberians hold fears that perpetrators could incite violence if a War and Economic Crimes Court is established here, many other Liberians believe however that the prosecution of suspects would deter further atrocious acts here, even during times of crisis.
Liberia’s decade – long civil conflict witnessed mass atrocities and looting, with an estimated 250,000 casualty and destruction of properties worth millions of dollars. But Mr. Bamba insists that the LCC is not encouraging a witch – hunt of anyone, saying Liberians should reflect on their history and be reminded on the humiliation that followed when the war started.
He wants Liberians to reflect on what motivated the Gio and Mano tribes to join the war, suggesting that those who were targeted during the war had to run away, prepare themselves and return for a revenge as the situation got more complex.
Further providing reason for opposing the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court here, Mr. Bamba says people were forced to fight in Liberia.Besides, he notes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act speaks of reconciliation, and therefore Liberians need to reconcile.
According to him, Liberians have a lot of issues that he thinks are more important to the development of the nation than to spend money on a War Crimes Court. He urges government not to divert from its priority and think on something that will cause hatred among Liberians.
In reaction to alleged missing L$16 billion, Mr. Bamba wonders why would President Weah set up a committee if no money got missing from the Country.In response to government’s call for religious leaders to be a part of the investigation, the LCC official says they told the government that religious leaders are not investigators, but peacemakers.
According to him, those that are saying that there is no money missing should wait for the investigative team to come up with their findings. On the other hand, Mr. Bamba wants the investigators to invite those that say money got missing so that they can explain how it got missing.
“The allegation is too great and it undermines the security of the country. It incites the population against this regime which is very bad. We as Liberians need to change our attitude, we need to change our behavior of governance” he warns.
The LCC Secretary General says Liberians need to respect their leaders, because the Bible and the Quran have called for respect for leaders.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley