Coalition for Democratic Change national chairman Mulbah Morlu says UNMIL should return to Liberia if the United Nations and the international community truly wanted the establishment of a War Crimes Court or full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission final repor.
Speaking at the CDC headquarters in Monrovia on Monday night during the endorsement of Representative Saah Joseph for the Montserrado County Senatorial Seat by Representative Acarous Grey, Chairman Morlu recalls that during the 12 peaceful years of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf he and others led a campaign for the establishment of war crimes court here, but the United Nations allegedly down played the request.
He wonders why the United Nations would be calling for the establishment of War Crimes Court or implementation of the TRC’s final report at this time when the peacekeeping force was leaving.
He says the Government of Liberia is incapacitated security wise to allow full implementation of the TRC report, on grounds that the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Liberia National Police are under staffed and unequipped to defend the state in case of any catastrophe.
Morlu maintains that the only way the CDC-led administration would consider calls for the implementation of the TRC report is when UNMIL troops are redeployed in the country.
He wonders if the UN is serious about the call, noting that Liberia has come far and former generals and warlords do still have absolute control of their men, so it would be a national disaster for a two-month old government to want to establish war crimes court here.
“When former United Nations Secretary General came to Liberia during President Sirleaf’s administration, we paraded with 14 symbolic caskets in the streets; the government arrested us and detained us without charge. The UN did not say anything about it. We were the lead campaigners for the establishment of war crimes court, but our words left in death ears. My question is why now? We are not against the War Crimes Court but the security of the Liberian people matters a lot,” he cautions.
Addressing a National Peace Conference recently Monrovia UN Deputy Chief Amina Mohammed said, “…It is also critical to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation, and for the Legislature to pass key bills that will support local inclusion and reconciliation. These would be timely measures that would assure Liberians that there is strong resolve to see a conclusion to the process…”
Madam Mohammed, who is visiting Liberia as representative of the UN to participate in the official end of the UN Mission in the West African country told the conference, “…To ensure reconciliation and a peaceful and prosperous future, it will be crucial to deepen efforts to address the underlying causes of conflict in Liberia”, and adds, “Prevention is critical in averting a relapse into violence.”
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne