A man claiming to be a victim of the 1989 bloody rebel invasion of Liberia has written President George Manneh Weah, seeking justice for the alleged murder of his Mom and return of his family properties in Ganta, Nimba County.
In his letter to President Weah, dated May 25, 2018, Mohammed F. Kromah writes, “Your Excellency, I write to bring to your attention a situation dating far back in April of 1990 that has availed itself in this year, April 2018. My biological mother and other 27 family members were slaughtered in Kahnplay, Tappita and Ganta, Nimba County. What is bewildering about their deaths is they were people who knew nothing about the civil war. They were never workers of government, yet they were killed under the command of General Prince Y. Johnson, now senator, who chose to slaughter those innocent people in cold blood.”
He says what is even sad about this wicked act is, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who at one point associated with the rebel group that committed these atrocities, eventually became President of Liberia and General Prince Y. Johnson became Senator for Nimba County, but they didn’t show any remorse for these acts during the entire 12 years in power and have forgotten that while on their way to power they killed parents, relatives and loved ones of their compatriots.
The complaint to President Weah comes amid serious ongoing debate here, and among Diaspora Liberians on the need to establish a war crimes court for Liberia to bring perpetrators of heinous crimes, including crimes against humanity to justice.
This paper made frantic efforts on Monday September 3, to get Senator Johnson’s response to the allegations raised in Mr. Kromah’s letter but was unsuccessful. But it will try by all means to ensure that Sen. Johnson give his side to this allegation.
Last week Thursday, 30 August the executive director for the campaigner for Global Justice and Research Project, Liberian Journalist Hassan Bility told a Joint Committee of the House of Representatives if the Government of Liberia fails to endorse the establishment of a war crimes court, there will be sealed indictments before December for some key perpetrators in the country.
“Hopefully next year, there would be more sealed indictments at airports, border points, and other residential areas for perpetrators of the war which, though it ended since 2003, the scars remain visible”, Bility says.
Sealed indictments are used in prosecuting individuals or criminal networks in cases where revealing names could cause individuals or suspects to flee or destroy evidence.
He appeared before the House’s Joint Committee to justify a need to draft and legislate the War Crimes Court Bill in accordance with Chapter 12 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Recommendations on Accountability.
In his letter to President Weah, Mohammed identifies himself as one of the elder brothers of the late Morris Kromah, a CDCian who was shot and killed at the CDC Headquarters on November 7, 2011 in a riot with police.
“Mr. President, my mother went through a painful death because of one selfish man’s desire for power. Her children are living a displaced life. I am pleading with you to kindly intervene in this matter so that our mother and her children and grandchildren can return to their homeland”, the letter concludes.
Officials of the Weah Administration, including Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who is at the center of this official complaint, are opposed to establishing war crimes court, threatening that it could lead to chaos in the country.
He told congregation of his church during a recent worship that calls for war crimes court for Liberia would eventually yield nothing, but fiasco.
Speaker Bhofal Chambers, once a strong advocate for economic and war crimes court for Liberia bit his tongue here recently, strongly rejecting the establishment of such court in the country.
Instead, the Speaker is now calling for retroactive justice, arguing that Liberia cannot achieve peace in the absence of true reconciliation, and that restorative justice is the only path to lasting peace and stability. Story by Jonathan Browne