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War crimes court will lead to lasting peace

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-Justice Forum CEO JFL boss Maxson S. Kpakio

The Chief Executive Officer of Justice Forum Liberia (JFL) a local group, Mr. Maxson S. Kpakio says the establishment of war and economic crimes court for Liberia will not return the country to violence contrary to fears in some quarters.Instead, he argued that if established, the court will bring justice, end impunity in Liberia and serve as deterrence for would-be warmongers.

Mr. Kpakio stresses the court is an important step for victims of the civil war, as it would ensure the 14 years violence that brought so much pain and loss to Liberia would not happen anymore.

The JFL CEO, who has just returned from a knowledge-sharing conference in Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, recalls that during the arm conflicts which lasted from 1989-96 and 1999-2003 respectively, Liberians suffered violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws such as mass killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, including summary executions, mutilation, torture, and use of child combatants.

He reiterates call to countries across the world to thoroughly check background of Liberians residing abroad and deport those who were involved in the 14 years bloody civil crises.
“We are calling on governments around the world to do background checks on all Liberians that are living in their countries. Many of them living there have killed and destroyed this country (Liberia) and today, they are seeking refuge in your country enjoying the benefit of your sweat and your taxpayers’ money as well.”

Maxson adds that actions of warmongers have left many Liberians in sorrow because of relatives and other loved ones.
“So, we want the USA, the countries in Europe to listen to our calls and accept our appeals and do the right thing. So those people can face justice for war and economic crimes committed during our civil war,” he pleads.

Ordinary Liberians and civil society groups are mounting pressure on the government here to approve establishment of war crimes court for Liberia so that key actors would account of their roles in the crises, but the Weah government seems less enthusiastic. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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