River Gee County Sen. Conmany B. Wesseh says the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court is not possible for now in Liberia.
Speaking to the NewDawn on Wednesday, 21 August at his office on Capitol Hill, Sen. Wesseh explained that a full establishment of a War Crimes Court is far from being achieved here, taking into account the current economic situation of the country.
Besides, Sen. Wesseh argues that many are mistaken of the views that the materials gathered during the thematic hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will be used for prosecution if a War Crimes Court is established.
But he reminds Liberians that the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) which was signed in Accra, Ghana prohibits such action by the Liberian government or anyone. Wesseh, who was one of the signatories to the CPA, asserts that the peace document totally kicked against prosecuting those made to testify before the TRC, detailing that there is a clause within the CPA that says testimonies given during the hearings are for historical facts and healing process, and not for prosecution.
“You think the warlord and war actors will ever agree that materials and testimonies gathered would have been for prosecution? You think they have agreed? never! So, people should stop thinking that way,” Sen. Weseeh says.
According to him, establishing War Crimes Court here requires significant amount because gathering of evidence, facts and materials will be done at the expense of the Liberian government before the international community considers the seriousness of establishing the court.
The River Gee Senator says he does not think Liberia has such money at this time for that purpose.He suggests that War Crimes Court is not needed now on grounds that the court cannot put food on Liberians’ table or reduce the high cost of living that citizens are facing.
For economic crimes court, he also indicates that there are many good laws on the book as well as courts that can be used to prosecute people.
Commenting on the observance of the 16th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, Sen. Wesseh expresses appreciation for Liberians for the level of cooperativeness being displaced by citizens and government since the enforcement of the peace document.
On August 18, 2003, Liberians including warlords, heads of warring factions and human rights activists gathered in Accra, Ghana and signed the Comprehensive Peace Accord which brought the 14 years of brutal civil war to an end.
According to Sen. Wesseh, there were perceptions by many actors that Liberians do not respect peace accord,
But the lawmaker observes that the CPA has since remained vital and a solid foundation for peace and stability that the country is enjoying today.
The former Liberian Ambassador – At – Large intimates that there are sharp and very upsetting opposition views, but the government should build the courage to exercise a high level of tolerance.
Wesseh tells the interview with this paper that if President George Manneh Weah has ever refused to learn anything from former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf led – administration, the one thing he must continue is maintaining the peace by allowing people to speak their minds.
He urges President Weah to ensure that due respect is accorded people in the opposition.
Commenting on the recent electoral violence here, Wesseh says he is appalled by the recent protests, demonstrations and electoral violence which have engulfed the country especially, its capital, Monrovia.The River Gee County senator points out that heads of security agencies are being summoned to provide the Senate comprehensive details on how these revolting factors can be handled dedicatory.
Wesseh Concludes that these things must be handled now, stressing that Liberia has become noisy and it appears that the heads of security agencies are sleeping on the job.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley