River Gee County Senator Commany Wesseh believes a war crimes court for Liberia is not expedient and urges the Government of Liberia and Liberians to instead focus on maintaining the peace.
According to him, in order for Liberians to progress, they shouldn’t waste their time by looking backward.
Speaking with state radio ELBC Tuesday 28 August he argues though it’s good to learn from the past, Liberians should appreciate the meaning of peace, adding that he is not against justice, but justice in Liberia does not mean establishing world crimes court.
“I was one of those who initially called for world crimes court in Liberia, but looking at what all it may dig out, and the money that will be spent on it, we just forget about world crimes court and move forward.”
Senator Wesseh, a well known member of the obsolete progressive class in Liberia, which had battled nearly every previous administration for political, economic and social justice, seems to be insinuating that bringing to book people who committed heinous crimes in the country would break Liberia.
According to the Senator, he was at the UN-backed special court of Sierra Leone where millions of dollars were spent to build the court and upon completion, almost all of the suspects who were to be persecuted had already dead.
He says Sierra Leoneans regretted on using millions of dollars to build a world crimes court instead of investing in schools or other infrastructure.
“Now the court has been abandoned; Mr. Taylor who was prosecuted for the crimes in Sierra Leone is somewhere in a comfortable jail. There are so many ways that justice can be done in this country, and not only by world crimes court”, he takes the argument further.
But the truth of the matter is, international courts or war crimes courts are not funded by national governments; instead, the international community does so based on will be affected countries.
He emphasizes Liberia should spend time on peace building education programs, support economic development and improve the school system.
Senator Wesseh who represented civil society organizations in Accra, Ghana where the Comprehensive Peace Accord was brokered, notes there was demand for world crimes court, and parties agreed because the atrocities were too much and those who were involved should have been arrested and prosecuted.
But he says now the guns have been silent and there is peace in the country, the world crimes court is not needed, saying that it will carry “us back” instead of looking forward for the betterment of the country.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne