President Weah Seeks Legislature’s “Guidance Toward Implementing TRC Report”

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Bong County District #4 Representative Robert Womah wants war and economic crime courts established.

Bong County District #4 Representative Robert Womah and Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry Younquoi, have agreed to vote for the establishment of War and Economic Crime Courts in Liberia.

This followed a communication from President George Weah to the House of Representatives on the creation of the Special Courts and the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations.

The Bong and Nimba counties’ lawmakers, in separate interviews after Friday’s Special Sitting, informed journalists that their decisions to support the creation of the Special Courts are aimed at ending impunity in the country and allow perpetrators of the wars to give account of human rights and economic abuses by exonerating themselves before the court.

The lawmakers’ exposure to favor the Special Courts seem daring, since many others who also support the creation of the Court are quiet and begged to remain hushed in keeping their support to themselves.

Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative, George S. Boley, one of the notable warlords, told journalists: “The sooner the war crimes court is established, the better it would be for Liberia.”

Nimba County Districts 1 and 4 Representatives, Jeremiah Koung and Gonpu Kargon (both Senator’s Prince Y. Johnson loyalists), disagreed over the establishment of the War Crime Court.

Rep. Koung said he preferred the creation of an economic crimes court, calling on his colleagues to table the discussion on the establishment of a war crimes court, while Rep. Kargon preferred “dialogue as the best alternative” to the two courts.

President George Manneh Weah, in his two-page letter to Speaker Bhofal Chambers, which was read in Friday’s Special Session, said from September 4– 6, 2019, over 350 concerned participants from the three branches of government, political parties, youth, women, development partners, civil society organizations, institutions of higher learning and international experts, engaged in an intense deliberation on the present economic, and monetary challenges of the county, under the nomenclature the “National Economic Dialogue.”

Among the recommendations on the National Consensus on the Revival and Growth of the Liberian Economy, the participants stressed the need for accountability for past human rights violations as essential ingredients for sustainable peace for the implementation of the TRC report, including the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Courts.

Nimba County Rep. Larry Younquoi wants War, Economic Crime Courts established in Liberia.

The creation of Special Courts is part of the Peacebuilding and Reconciliation thematic strategy, which is one of the four key thematic strategies that require immediate and medium term action to revive and grow the Liberian economy, including Public Finance Mobilization and Management; Investment and Private Sector Growth  and Unemployment and Skills Development.

“In addition, the United Nations has brought to the attention of the Liberian government two sets of amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, including the War Crimes Amendment and Crime of Aggression Amendment,” the President wrote.

“As President of Liberia, I am committed to a holistic implementation to the National Consensus and do hereby call on the Legislature to advise and provide guidance on all legislative and other necessary measures towards the implementation of the TRC report, including the establishment of the Economic and War Crime Courts.”

Meanwhile, Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seeboe, who appears to support the establishment of War and Economic Crime Courts, proffered a motion that the President’s communication should be discussed with their respective constituents to solicit views to allow them make informed decisions as the peoples’ Representatives.

Rep. Seeboe’s motion also called on his fellow lawmakers to provide logistics and necessary resources to enable them hold consultations around the country.

Members of the House of Representatives unanimously voted for the establishment of the War and Economic Courts to be taken to their ‘peoples’ and then be reintroduced during the 3rd Sitting, which will begin the second working Monday in January, 2020.

A motion from River Gee District #2 Representative Francis Dopoh, that any motion for reconsideration should only be allowed on Friday, shut the purpose of any future motion against Plenary’s decision to advise and provide guidance towards the implementation of the TRC report, including the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Courts.

1 COMMENT

  1. While the call for consultation seems prudent, it is morally enjoining upon the lawmakers to inform and educate their constituencies about the significance of the establishment of the WAE crime court short of any distortion of the facts or any attempt to superimpose on the facts. The WAE crime court is pivotal and indispensable to Liberia’s post-conflict development and progress. It’s in respect self-censorship, a critical and crucial decision at self-reflection and correction. In other words, Liberia and Liberians stand to gain more from the establishment and successful implementation of the WAECC short of any political maneuvering or showcasing.

    Basically, it clearly signals the will of the Liberian people not only to do away with the past, but to do it with such fashion that manifests to a greater degree the integrity and forthrightness of the Liberian people. To name names and to call out individuals who bear the greatest responsibility of the atrocities and the deplorable state of the economic of the country, and to ensure that the appropriate measures as may me legally applicable are honor without any shred of doubt. Individuals bearing the greatest responsibility for the atrocities and destruction must be made to account for their acts. No favors!

    We need not be reminded that the scope, nature, and dimension of our crises have bequeathed to us the nature, scope, and dimension, needed to fully resolving what has become of quintessential significance relative to the Liberian nation; consequently, the WAECC undoubtedly suits the appropriate response.

    The critical nature of the imposing social, political and economic realities that have been bequeathed to us as a result of our sultry experience makes the case of the WAECC even more compelling. It’s a sobering reality one that every Liberian needs to embrace as sanctimonious to the country recovery and sustained progress. This daring move holds the key for untold possibilities in our drive at nation building if integrity, accountability, transparency, are to be harbor as cherished values and guiding principles, to suggest otherwise would simply redound to our eternal destruction.

    We only need to be reminded about impunity and it’s consequences for the Liberian State. If this is a curse, it must be dealt with and totally eliminated if the respect for human rights, rule of law, and the moral and ethical values we cherished to become reality. Similarly, if corruption, that eternal scourging, should be fully dealt with and eliminated, with all of its vantage evil, ethnicity, secularism, and demagoguery.

    It’s therefore critical that the lawmakers understand the gravity of our situation. There can be no mere political posturing or gamesmanship for flimsy and short term political gains. Liberia is at a cross roads, a Rubicon, there can be no turning back. This moment requires individuals of real and rare courage. The hope of any successful recovery of the gains loss, or the prospects of peace and onward progress, now lies within the grips of the lawmakers. Whether Liberia falls or fails or rises and succeeds now lies in your hands. Peace!

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