President George Manneh Weah perhaps doesn’t know that trying to dodge or evade question about the establishment of war crimes court in Liberia takes away a lot from his professed commitment to fighting for human rights, freedom and dignity. The reality is that there are slow, but concertedly sustained efforts by Liberians at home and abroad in collaboration with international partners to have such court in Liberia.
It is but prudent that the President takes a clear stance now by telling the citizenry and the world at large his position regarding increasing calls for the establishment of war crimes court here.
The calls derive from recommendations contained in the final report of the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which proposed among others, prosecution for people who committed heinous crimes during the Liberian Civil War, including ex-generals and heads of former warring factions.
We believe the calls to make people account for their deeds are necessary to stop the culture of impunity, which seems to have become so endemic in the Liberian society, needless to say that they are also in the interest of the Weah Administration.
There are people whose hands are stained with blood parading the corridors of power today as savior of the people. They are hiding and using political power to erase their dirty deeds, but the pages of history are replete with indelible facts about their character.
Even the chairman of President Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party Mulbah Morlu, is chief campaigner for the establishment of war crimes court in Liberia. He paraded symbolic coffins before ex-UN boss, Dr. Koffi Annan during a visit to Liberia, pleading for the establishment of war crimes court.
So what’s wrong with a journalist, acting in the line of duty at a recent press stake-out with the President and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia asking both leaders to give their stance on such a critical issue that borders on our integrity as a people?
We urge President Weah to muster enough courage and clearly tell the Liberian people whether under his presidency Liberia would support war crimes court coming here. If no why, and if yes, he should equally explain.
The President should harbor no fear, as this is not about witch-hunting anyone, but justice for over 800,000 of our fellow compatriots whose lives were cut short by guns-toting rag-tag rebels carrying on summary executions in the name of liberation.
Those people who licensed our young men and women to rape, pillage and engage in cannibalism should be made to account in court or Liberians should brace themselves for a vicious cycle of violence with impunity where the man with the biggest gun becomes the decision maker for the rest of us.