Nobel Laureate Supports Accountability for War/Economic Criminals

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Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee

Liberia’s Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee has expressed support for the establishment of an economic and war crimes court in Liberia to hold to account those who bear the greatest responsibility for the commission of war and economic crimes during the 14-year bloody civil conflict. Gbowee, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize along with former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said the call for a war crimes court in Liberia is a legitimate one and must be taken seriously.

Gbowee once served former President Sirleaf as head of the Peace and Reconciliation Commission but resigned, charging the former president of not being committed to reconciliation. She said what Liberia needs now is a leader with the political will to bring about a genuine reconciliation.

She said Liberians should view peace from a holistic perspective because there is a need to look at peace from the human security perspective where people will have their basic needs, educational opportunities, healthcare delivery services, among others.

“I was sad that we wasted 12 years under the Sirleaf administration; she had the opportunities to bring Liberians to a place of beginning reconciliation, but she failed,” she said.

She noted that Liberia needs a leader who will start the process of reconciliation which former President Sirleaf failed to do over the years. According to her, many may be ready for reconciliation but once the political will is lacking reconciliation will never be achieved.

This, according to her, was one of the problems the country has had over the years.

The 2011 Nobel laureate further said every country after a conflict is ready for reconciliation, but the question Liberians need to ask is, what aspect of reconciliation do they need? According to her, there has never been a national apology by any leader since the end of the 14 years of conflict.

“There is no way that we can overlook people’s quest for justice; it is a legitimate one,” she told the Voice of America (VOA) Daybreak Africa program last Monday from Washington, D.C., adding that her relationship with former President Sirleaf is like that of matches and kerosene.

Gbowee over the weekend served as a commencement speaker at the American University School of International Service.

5 COMMENTS

  1. With a posture to remain resolute War and Economic Crimes will be prosecuted domestically and Internationally if Liberians pursue the culprits where ever they go.

  2. Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee says her relationship with former President Sirleaf is like that of matches and kerosene? I wish it had been like matches and GASOLINE. Then by now the guilty parties would have been serving time in Belleh Yallah and not lording it over the poor Liberian people whom they continue to exploit and defraud with impunity.

    But as late is better than never, one should hope that Ms Gbowee will now proceed vigorously, in the interest of Justice, to use her celebrity status to rally and convince the Liberian people and the International Community to establish a Liberian War and Economic Crimes Court without further delay.

  3. We must hold to account those who bear the greatest responsibility for the commission of war and economic crimes during our bloody 14 year civil conflict. First, there is a need for those Liberians in the Diaspora to convene a National Conference intended to create awareness with stake holders and the international community including the United Nations, United States, Great Britain, France, and other international organizations so that pressure comes to bear on those who planned, organized, financed and executed said plan to invade the country and bring war on our people killing hundreds of thousands and sending millions into compulsory exile around the world. These organizers and financiers who bear the greatest responsibility for the commission of war and war crimes must face a war crime tribunal and be brought to justice. The present government must take the initiative and attend the envisage National Conference. Our Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, could help in starting off this all Liberian National Conference in the Diaspora to call on the United Nations and other countries to join in bringing these war criminals to justice.

  4. Thank you, Leymah. You are the true Nobel Peace prize winner. You are never afraid to speak the truth. We had an international superstar who was more interested in rewarding her friends and getting global praise for doing squat. Mo Ibrahim prize is worth nothing now as it has been tainted. Always speak the truth for we believe in you.

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