‘Prosecute Senator PYJ, Others’- U.S. Congressman Donovon’s Resolution

The big question has been whether President George Weah (right) will turn over Sen. Prince Y. Johnson (left), the man who delivered Nimba County to him for landslide victory in the 2017 presidential run-off election, to a war crimes tribunal. In the above photo, Sen. Johnson gives an endorsement speech on behalf of Weah in Nimba County.

Calls for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia to ensure justice for both victims and perpetrators alike, continue to pour in, with the latest being a resolution coming from the United States Foreign Affairs Committee sponsored by Representative  Daniel Donovan, Jr. a Republican representing Staten Island and parts of south Brooklyn..

Representative Daniel Donovan, Jr. has called on President George Weah to ensure that infamous warlord, Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ), now Senator of Nimba County in Northern Liberia, is prosecuted for the crimes he allegedly committed against hundreds, if not thousands, of people during the years of the civil war.

Rep. Donovan, Jr. is an American attorney, former prosecutor and politician. As a Republican, he is currently the United States Representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District, first elected in May 2015 during a special election.

“It is  time to put this into action,” Donovan said as he called on President Weah to consider the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in the country.

It is known that Sen. Johnson, in 1990, led rebels of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) under whose command President Samuel K. Doe was arrested at the Free Port of Monrovia, taken to an INPFL base in the Caldwell Community, and then tortured and killed following questioning, some of which had to do with public funds Doe had reportedly stolen while serving as president of the country. Others also reportedly killed at the Free Port included Defense Minister A. Boima Barclay and other military officers,

In  view of these and   other crimes allegedly committed by Sen. Johnson and a host of others, including George Dweh, James Chelley, etc., a resolution sponsored by Representative Donovan received  overwhelming approval and passage from the Plenary of the Lower House of the Congress. It is, therefore, hoped that President Weah, a former ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) who once called for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal  in Liberia, would be able to actualize it now that he is President.

“Without justice, there cannot be healing for the victims, and the circle of turbulence will become anew,” Rep. Donovan said while presenting the Resolution 1055 of the Congress.

According to Donovan, to allow for the protection of human rights across the world is not only an act of humanitarianism for Americans but a vital concern to the national security of the United States.

“For example, Sen. Prince Y. Johnson is an infamous warlord, who tortured and murdered former President Samuel Doe and many others, and there is a video of him mutilating Samuel Doe. But with the presence of Johnson and other warlords in government, we can see how Liberia is slipping back into the days of chaos,” he said.

Donovan added, “This is why it is crucial to call on President Weah to establish a war crimes tribunal in Liberia.”

Donovan, who is a member of the U.S. Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, said his electoral district is home to thousands of Liberians, among them victims of terrible actions imposed on them while in Liberia during the days of the war by the likes of Senator Prince Johnson, Representative George Boley, Associate Justice Kabineh J’aneh, Alhaji G.V. Kromah, a university instructor, and a host of others alleged perpetrators of war crimes. Some of them are currently enjoying state power and resources at the expense of those who suffered most.

“The Resolution solidifies U.S-Liberia ties and support democratic principles,” Donovan said, adding, “My constituents have directly told me how important it is for them to see Liberia establish an extraordinary war crimes tribunal.”

He said the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report called for the establishment of a war crimes court.

The U.S. has over the years and even now supported the prosecution of all those who have committed war crimes and other related crimes around the world.

It may be recalled that Charles Taylor, Jr. (Chucky Taylor), Thomas Woewiyu, among others, were arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and turned over to the U.S. justice system for prosecution, an action that resulted in the conviction of Chucky Taylor and the imposition of a  99-year jail sentence which he began serving since 2006.

Donovan said, “Stopping war crimes before they happen is just as important as ensuring that justice prevails everywhere. This is why I am proud to sponsor House Resolution 1055 to affirm strong United States-Liberian ties and support democratic principles, and call for full implementation of the TRC recommendations, including the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal. Liberia itself recommended the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in its own TRC.”

Although Sen. PYJ has not expressed any remorse for his actions during the war, he has, however, on many occasions said that he fought in defense of his kinsmen, who were then being beheaded by soldiers under the command of Samuel K. Doe.

“I fought in defense of my people,” Johnson declared in reference to Nimbaians, many of whom the Doe government had branded as “enemies of the state.”

As welcoming as the news may be for many Liberians, some feel that putting behind  the ugly past for the sake of reconciliation and national healing is the best way forward.

Countering their opinions, though, are human rights lawyers, including Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe and over 80 civil society organizations (CSOs), who are firmly fixed on ensuring that the government sees reason for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to punish those who will be found guilty for crimes against humanity.


  1. The Chief Justice of Liberia should explain to United States of America lawmakers the independence of Liberian Justice. Liberians do not have anything to do with United States resolutions or support bills. We do not need U.S.A. electors justice either. If the people of Liberia elect their own leaders in power, there is nothing United States can do about that. The Liberian Candidate presented a platform to Liberians and as President of Liberia, he is required to go by this platform. As soon as cases are brought about warlords or any, on the desk of the Liberian Supreme Court or any Liberian court, the matter will be handles according to Liberian codes. The American lawmakers will no longer force this nation into tyranny. Slavery will be crushed. We will punish our own people when they do wrong and protect them when right. We still have more generations ahead. The snake is in the Lion’s mouth.
    Do not reply my box.
    Gone to silent majority.

    • I am replying to your inbox to let you know that you are a big fool. Do you really think we have justice in Liberia? If Liberia was a law abiding country, we would not have the likes of Kabineh on the bench of the SCOL. We would not have EJS, PYJ, George Boley and others in the highest echelons of power. We need a War and Economic Crimes Tribunal to persecute all of those recommended in the TRC report.

    • JT Diggs
      I don’t know if you are a Liberian or just one of many clueless individuals residing in Liberia country enjoying our hospitality.Do you believe Liberia has an independent justice system when a member of the legislature can order the police to jail another government official? Is there Independence when the executive branch can influence members of the legislature to impeach an associate Justice of the Supreme Court? If you believe the United States shouldn’t play a role in a young democracy like ours, who do you believe will do that? Is it the more than 80% Illiterate population who believes that you do not need an education to be a president?Or members of the mostly semi literate legislature elected by a mostly illiterate population?Without pressure from the United States and the international Community Liberia is doomed. Period.

  2. The Liberian Jurisprudence handles its own interpretation of Liberian customary and statutory laws.
    in advance.
    Gone back to silence.

  3. Let he without any sin, throw the first stone.
    Who will be the judge of that tribunal? I m not backing any wrong doer.
    Fellow Liberians, let’s try and bring peace in our country.
    No one can bring us peace. It is only ourselves.
    Those who are claiming to know and can solve our problems, have had similar or worst situation once upon a time in their homes. History will tells us that they did not ask for any outside intervention.
    Remember people: A problem is a chance for you to do your best. If we cannot learn to solve our problem, we will never learn to do our best.
    A message from Sydney, Australia.

    • My brother, “Without justice, there can be no healing for the victims, and the circle of turbulence will become anew,” in Liberia. We need justice for the victims. We do not need that infamous song that said “You killed my Ma, you killed Pa, but I would vote for you.”

  4. In a different manner, the law is not handled by the Executive branch of the Liberian Government. The President of Liberia, heads the executive branch of Government which executes the Liberian law.
    Do not ask for me. Gone.

  5. Concupiscence bring ignorance to call the fool to show him the truth. What makes it so worst is when he cannot take care of his own home, his envy for another. By the time one eyes leave focus on his area someone else takes over his box. Read 1st Timothy 3. “If a man cannot take care of his own house, how can he take care of the house of God? Least be lift up with pride, he falls into the condemnation of the devil.” Being an American will not make you Liberian. One or none. Stay in your area and leave mine.

  6. The Chief Justice of Liberia should explain to United States re you serious? let the Chief Justice explain to the Liberian people what happen to the TRC Report? Uncle Sam going to make sure that the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia to ensure justice for both victims and perpetrators.

  7. If you can product the Liberian money to He will be please to do so. Not like the past. The American leader now is a trade master. What do you have. What have you produced? We all are hurting from the civil war. That is right. The Supreme Court should interpret the Truth RC to help ease some pains.
    This is the point. My mother’s brother will not help these days unless you got some resources in return. Liberia is now part of the WTO no like before, calling on the United States to help without. United States did not put the Liberian laws together. The United States was not even the first nation to recognize our independence. No more free looting. Do not enter.
    Gone to majority.

  8. I can only support war crimes court in Liberia if we will also establish war crimes court for supporting war in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria etc. where many people were killed.
    Why we can’t push for George Bush, Barrack Obama and others around war who financed war around the African continent to access their resources? When will we graduate from the deceitful behavior of America? Why America couldn’t place such a proposal before former president Sirleaf but rather George Weah who is struggling to construct roads and other basic infrastructures that can better benefit the Liberian people?
    The USA should be helping Liberia to find funding to help implement Pres. Weah development agenda than to be talking about so called war crimes court that will employ westerners and enrich them while Liberians will have each other at heart. We should graduate from low thinking and generate new ideas that will develop our country.

  9. After 9/11, the US went after every country, organization, or persons that remotely gave aid and comfort to the hijackers, thus Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded. Since Representative Donovan was a prosecutor, he should find out if the administration of Bush 41 didn’t support the December 1989 invasion and whether US covert operatives inside Liberia never cooperated with warlord General Johnson in the capture/murder of SKD. I need not repeat that the CIA Director was in Liberia about four months before the invasion and he knew that some of us had evidence of their involvement in it, though I wrote him a memo trying to dissuade them.

    Unfortunately, even with foreknowledge, what African country has the capacity to stop a CIA with Intelligence budget annually of more than USD $60 billion!

    Incidentally, the New York Times issue of September 9, 2018 reported that the “Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicholas Maduro”. Through covert economic manipulations, untold hardships engulfed the oil producing country causing citizens to flee en masse. What this means is that despite talk of elections and democracy, the US has not stopped overthrowing weak countries whose leadership it detests.

    This is why the Weah government should get a commitment from the Trump administration not to launch any covert intervention against Liberia, like its predecessors did, ironically, against Tolbert and Doe. (Usually members of the Press, Civil Society groups, including students, and greedy traitorous officials helped US covert efforts against their own countries). Remember, guys, diplomacy, was the first line of societal defense before nationstates and national armies were created.

  10. as a man of god-jesus christ i look to him for help and love of his in the power of god only god can make it happen so we must put our trust in jesus christ he is the one that know it all he know what happen when the war happen who cause the war who paid for the war and how it rally happen their are videos and all of what on youtube.com so it all their so if the people in liberia want w. c. c. in our country then let it be if not then let it be no that how it is in this world

  11. The Liberian Warring Factions that met in Accra for the Pease Accord were the ones that proposed the Establishment of a Peace A Reconciliation Commission following the formation of the Interim Government to lead the nation to elections. The recommendations of the TRC was not met because Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a blood-thirsty rebel swept it under the rug knowing she would have been the first victim. Making reference to the U.S. does not hold in this case because this establishment of such court was a part of the TRC Recommendations.
    It would be prudent and fair to have the perpetrators prosecuted to dissuade any other intent for reoccurrence.

    Talking about the USA, what American leader has been put in power after master minding or directly indulging in the mass murder and destruction of properties? Additionally, the US prosecutes her service men for military breaches than any other nation in the world. They are not prefect but they do their best to ensure that the rule of law is in effect, evidence by their country’s level of affluence.

    The reason Liberia is what it is today is because the nation has one of the highest number of STUPID and IGNORANT people in the world today.

  12. The passing of HR1055 by the U.S House of Representatives is a major step and boost for a war crimes Court that would bring a degree of finality to whether there should be legal recourse for actions that deprived generations of Liberians their rights to life, liberty, happiness and safety. This is a Liberian problem that must be addressed, along with help from its strongest allied, the U.S., regardless of what other countries choose to treat their war crimes. Of particular interest is that with a passage of a U.S House Resolution, and the U.S being a member of the Security Council, U.N funding can be made available with a Security Council authorization which the U.S will support in compliance with HR1055.

    On questions about U.S policies towards War Crimes Court, the U.S does not oppose War 2824740Crimes Courts. In fact the U.S has not opposed the ICC’s actions in prosecuting war crimes in certain countries. As a non-member of the Rome Treaty, it reserves its rights to not comply with ICC’s ruling against U.S. servicemen. Why? Because the U.S. has credible legal systems that can ensure Americans engaged in war crimes are tried fairly, since the ICC has shown bias towards the U.S. and Israel.

    The U.S, instead prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity under a War Crimes Act of 1996 law that U.S courts apply if either the victim or perpetrator happens to be a statute thatwar Crimes can be prosecuted in the U.S, and

    Instead, war crimes and crimes against humanity are prosecuted in U.S. courts under the War Crimes Act of 1996 — a law that applies if either a victim or the perpetrator of an alleged war crime is a U.S. citizen or a member of the U.S. military.

    So the U.S opposing the ICC has nothing to do with granting immunity to its military or citizens. With the U.S help and Liberians’ commitment to bring to closure this chapter in its history, the establishment of a WCC is a driver for the long term peace and stability of the nation. Failure of past administration in establishing one is not a reason to not establish one now. There’s going to remain a cloud of distrust amongst Liberians if peace is forced upon them by the government against the backdrop of impunity given to people who should be held accountable for crimes against citizens.

  13. As long as you have become a citizen of the United States and/or member of the U.S. military, it is a jurisdiction strictly bind to acts restricted to the boundaries of the United States of America. You, replace such loyalty to the U.S…on oath, replacing all previous. Your connection with Liberia as an ally becomes only a U.S. mission and should not be an interfering option. You have no more say in Liberians secret internals. You come to help only if enemies fight Liberia. Be factual. The United States condoned aggression on itself when some of its citizens became part of the Liberian conflict, which reduced the strength of cohesion in the relationship. Especially when some Americans took sides for personal gains. Thus leaving opposed factions to seek avenues form other allies. Some of our young even set to pay back for misleading them to become child soldiers. The reliable medias and videos are self cyber examples. This ruined our little children to nonsense and killed many old and young. They have now come to the realization of Self Governance and will no longer allow warlords or missions that will destroy the destiny of this nation any longer regardless which foreign interest. So it is best that this transformation be made by ourselves, with a firm directive from Liberians as a people to retain and attain justice from our own code of conduct. As long as we have no more conflict, it is the rules that make the decision and not the one administering. Premises encumbered cannot be automated as accounts payable. They are resolved and written off when found for future budgetary appropriations. Every Liberian is hurting for Justice. Those who spoiled the nation are the same mean ones the Liberian people will make them fix it as long as they are within, even if it means facing the consequences of the Liberian Judicial independence laid down and forthcoming. In short, we must handle it ourselves in peace, to avoid another war or strange hands to stimulate another massacre. Do not answer me. Tell Liberians.
    In Silence in prayers with God.

  14. If the administration of Bush 41 enabled ACDL – as the New York Times article of September 9, 2018 says the Trump administration has been enabling rebellious officers in Venezuela – which military wing NPFL invaded Liberia resulting in war crimes, the US can’t escape responsibility. Not surprisingly, that was the premise under which her army attacked both Afghanistan and Iraq. But we now read mind-boggling rationalizations that everything is okay for a world power to launch covert intervention against a poor suffering country, which led to the death a quarter million people.

    By the way, Larry Emerson, Donvito, et al, if I may, which of your spouse, child, parent, sibling, or cousin died as a result of the 14 years civil war? One can only imagine that close family members were mostly out of the country, so, frankly speaking, this could very well be an academic exercise. Anyway, taking perpetrators of extreme war violence to court while a foreign entity or government which gave aid and comfort to them goes with impunity doesn’t deter future violence. Let’s do it right, folks, to ensure future protection for all our people.

    As someone who was on the grounds as Minister of National Security, and tried unsuccessfully to dissuade at the highest level US covert intervention against my country, hearing excuses for US diabolical actions sound unbelievable. For heaven’s sake, what illusion of national security should we continue providing our citizens if American colleagues we assist in their own national security issues can use their overwhelming wherewithal conspire with others (whether on April 12, 1980, or December 1989) to murder them and destroy our country.

    I don’t know about others. But the career preparation some of us underwent never taught about failing because of wanton betrayal, and shutting your bloody mouths. Not to mention that when there was no where to hide in Monrovia during the fighting, and hundreds of terrified people ran to the mammoth US Embassy compound for safety, they were not allowed in by heavily-armed soldiers. It makes one wonder, then, whether the chest-beating now from there about human rights and justice isn’t simply to divide and weakened a new government which violates the capitalist taboo of putting priority on poor people and compounds it by seeking loans from Communist China. The Weah administration better study a looming two-pronged threat to stability fanned by selected media outlets and social network platforms: political elites hell-bent on reversing the will of the electorate, and a bullying US flexing its muscles to keep us the same old, same old greedy unpatriotic slobs.

  15. @Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, lets stick to the issue and not be personal because this has to do with sustaining lasting peace in Liberia. We need to set a pace of justice dispensation where men and women do not go with impunity after masterminding and slaughtering our people.

    But Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, if you want to know some facts from whence some of us come, as it relates to the desire of a WCC court in Liberia, it is because of what we went through. To answer your question about being directly affected, I would affirm that indeed, I was. I lost my sister and mother in the civil conflict. I also was nearly killed by NPFL rebels at ELWA Junction in Paynesville because they claimed that my tribal affiliates, Bassa aided in the elimination of Rebel Commander Elmer Glee Johnson. That was pure bull-shit. I have never gone to Grand Bassa County, though I’m from that tribal background. Additionally, what the hell did I have to do with what was going on in Grand Bassa county when I was not a member of the NPFL nor Doe’s killing machinery AFL.

    Look @Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, we are hurting for what those blood-thirsty animals did to Liberians therefore they all will pay the price.

  16. Sorry for your loss, I literally feel your pain, but first thing first: US covert intervention should cease in Liberia, otherwise the vicious cycle of conflicts won’t end. So let the US pay reparations for complicity, and commit to never engage in covert interventions against us.

    Like an American army veteran familiar with our contemporary history reminded me, April 12, 1980 Coup, and both 1985 and 1989 invasions took place under a Republican Party with huge support from former southern Slave States. I wasn’t trained to believe in incredible coincidences, therefore the US should stop its continual secret aggression against the Liberian people.

  17. It’s clear that this is a going to be a difficult call regardless on which side one supports. There’s emotional considerations and there’s the issue of justice and lasting peace that brings solace to anyone impacted by the war and the need to account for one’s sins in order to enjoy the benefit of peace that comes from an admittance of repentance. As a nation that will exist for generations not yet born, it is critical that the current generation set the pace of what a law and order society must reflect. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson (no relation to me) who said, and I’ll paraphrase, “while it is not encumbent upon us to do what we do not want to do; neither are we free to desist from doing what we possibly can do…” The current generation of Liberians are not free to desist from doing what they possibly can do in bringing to account those who were mastermind of atrocities in the country. Blaming foreign nations who have nothing to do with actions Liberians took is not supported by any credible evidence.

    The issues here is not about me or any one individual, so I would not address the personal aspect of my support for War Crimes court. if the nation is to rise to a level of civility, it must make the hard decision and support a War Crimes Court. One’s sins are not forgiven unless he confesses first and repent. This is the only moral answer.

  18. Samuel Doe took over after the brutal murder of William Tolbert, one of Liberia’s best presidents. Samuel Doe could have chosen a path towards democratic leadership but rather he chose to be dictatorial. The first problem started with the execution of Thomas Weh Sehn, Nelson Toe etc. by Samuel Doe under the guise that the guys wanted to overthrow. Was the USA any part of that dubious arrest and murder. Next, the Nimba raid in 1983 that eventuated into the death of General Robert Saye. Was The US any part of that conflict. The government’s retaliation after the students demonstration at the University of Liberia on August 24, 1984 that claimed the lives of many students while other were raped by soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia that took oath to protect the citizens. Did the US encourage Samuel Doe to give orders for the army to raid defenseless students by shooting and killing them? I sure don’t think so.

    @Sylvester Moses, as minister of National Security at the time, did you by any chance bring the president to the realization the national security implications that such misrule could trigger a bloody revolt as evidenced by the abortive invasion by in 1985? Or did you just probably subject the president to believe that Liberia’s internal problem resulting from dictatorial misrule was the making of the US?

    The government’s response to critical national crisis created the breeding grounds for revolt. This had nothing to do with the US. Summary execution became the order of the day, thus creating the notion by some political and ideological oppositions that the best way forward was to revolt because Samuel Doe could only be calmed by the barrel of the gun. There was no signs that Doe was prepared to relinquish power beyond his two terms evidenced by his rigging the general and presidential elections in 1985. The US did not tell Samuel Doe to rig elections.

    The NPFL under Charles Taylor took advantage of the situation and plunge the country into a bloody civil war. The result was a the wanton and unnecessary death of almost half of the population, destruction of millions of dollars worth of properties, massive trek into neighboring countries as refugees. Even if the US agreed to have Samuel Doe removed, the path taken by the NPFL was never supported that’s why Liberia was warned that such war would take the nation 100 years back. Were we not warned about the result of that war? Now after indulging in the destruction of the country, the key perpetrators should go with impunity because some Liberians who were part of that destruction cannot face the impact of their handy work, so they want to hide away by blaming the US? The WCC is necessary and those who feel they can come clean should do so by properly facing justice.

  19. Liberians do not hide. If an individual in Liberia cannot even pronounce his own parent’s names his own, how will such tell who Liberians are. Liberians do not crave for reform from other nations, neither do they encourage support from another kind. We were given our own and proud to be anywhere we are. We know ourselves. Was the Liberian flag modeled after the United States of America’s flag? I am one Liberian that says no. Is the seal or flag of Liberia the same as the U.S.? No again. Look at these emblems and observe them thoroughly if you have each an original one. What county, city, or place were you born in in Liberia? Look at Liberian county emblems also and see where you fall. Blame ourselves for the mistakes of the past and whether you fought the war or not, and fix them ourselves. There should not have been a war in this nation, in the first place, if we were implementing with good self governance inventions and not relying on free outside improvements. What nation do you claim to come from. I am sure it is the need for liberty that take you anywhere you go or come. Not like before even now this day the richest nations are demanding fair trade, meaning you must pay cash for their goods and services. We need to reconstruct our spoiled nation and get the essentials of life to prevent natural and unnatural destroy. Where will the money come from when we only need to come to a nonphysical bloodless compromise of the past and use the resources we now have to convert them to financial benefits to improve our living standard in peace? Answer the Liberian people. Not me.
    Lastly, Do not call my name or chat with me.

  20. My fellow Liberians, let us know that the world has moved from the cold world allies to globalization so that any nation has the right to assist another relative to political, economic and infrastructural development. That is how the world has been operating from time to time, reference as interdependent because no one nation can be 100 percent independent. We need to accept from other nations (international partners) those proposals and developmental imperatives that will build Liberia and reject what ever will destroy Liberia.

    The US congress is proposing the establishment of the WCC as a way to permanently ensure justice and that’s the way forward if Liberia is to become better. The forces of darkness want to intimidate Liberians that the peace is fragile so that the WCC in Liberia has the propensity to affect the prevailing peace and tranquility. It’s a pure BIG LIE that the WCC will affect peace but will rather strengthen peace.

    Taylor that controlled the biggest warring faction is now in jail after he was delivered to the ICC via Liberia. Up to this time, Liberia has been even more peaceful. When justice is prevailed, evil men always hide so no Liberian should be intimidated that the WCC will affect peace, that is mere falsehood from perpetrators of evil who know that the day of reckoning is at hand.

  21. A WCC in Liberia is an absolute must! We will no longer tolerate impunity, permitting the same old folks who devastated the country to run it with defiance and arrogance! Prince Johnson et al must have their day in court!

    Currently, without external pressure, Liberian “jurisprudence” is incapable of prosecuting these suspects.


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