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Mayor Koijee justifies War Crimes Court

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Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee says establishment of an extraordinary court for Liberia is necessary for justice and national healing thus, reaffirming his support for War and Economic Crimes Court here.

He maintains the establishment such court will ensure prosecution of those accused of perpetrating atrocity during the 14 years bloody civil war in the country, which will guarantee peace and social healing.

According to a dispatch, Mayor Koijee spoke in a live radio interview Friday, in the United States, where he is currently visiting.

The comment by the Monrovia City Mayor, who also chairs the Youth League of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change is a complete contradiction to CDC lawmakers here who recently refused to sign a resolution in the House, endorsing the establishment of an extraordinary court to prosecute war and economic crimes during the country’s civil war.

However, Koijee insists that those who allegedly committed hideous crimes in Liberia should be made to account for their actions in a court of competent jurisdiction.

He notes that his advocacy for the court can’t in no way be undermined by his position in government, stressing that the ultimate means to sustaining peace, genuine reconciliation and development in Liberia is through establishment of the court.

“We must seek to end the scourge of impunity in Liberia by using the law and holding people accountable for their wrongdoings,” says the City Mayor.

He lauds President George Weah for making moves that may lead to the establishment of said court for Liberia.

President Weah, who recently submitted recommendations from a National Economic Dialogue to the Legislature, seeking advice of lawmakers on addressing human rights violations, including war and economic crimes, had himself been sending mixed signals when he appeared before the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations and questioned why the clamor now for the court when previous regime under which the Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Accra, Ghana that led to the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were never pressurized to implement recommendations of the TRC that calls for the establishment of the court.

Though the TRC recommended the establishment of a special court in 2009, that call was given less attention by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Thousands of people were killed, women and girls raped, and children used as soldiers in the war. Meanwhile, Mayor Koijee warns against continuous protestation in Liberia, something, he notes has the ability to negatively impact image of the country and discourage investors.

“We understand that things are difficult as the result of the economic situation in our country but we cannot use the situation to score political points by continuously staging protest at the detriment of the people we claim to love.”

He cautions young Liberians to avoid being used as tools for violence, saying young people have an opportunity today under President Weah that they might not have years to come.

He also warns against shifting blames on the past government for the current challenges, rather, calling on officials of the Weah administration to work harder to achieving the pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development.

“We didn’t come to government to shift blame on other people. We came to government on the slogan of change”, he reminds.

Koijee notes the past government has served and gone, adding that whether they created the messy state of our country economic or not, it is time we rise to the occasion to work in the interest of the people who gave us the popular mandate to serve”.

“It is time that government officials regain the trust and confidence of their communities by sharing with them, engaging them with sincerity and explaining the actual realities on ground”.

The Mayor is on an official state visit to Washington, D.C to establish a sister-city relationship which will promote economic development and exchange of ideas and programs between Monrovia and Washington, D.C.

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