“I don’t regret anything I did during the war,” he says.
The former leader of the infamous Liberia Peace Council (LPC) rebels, George S. Boley, has made a public declaration that he does not regret any act he and his forces committed during the brutal civil war that claimed over 250,000 lives over a 14-year period.
Boley, who is now Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative, made the statement in response to an accusation by his fellow lawmaker, Dickson Seboe, of Montserrado County District #16, who accused him (Boley) of killing his (Seboe’s) people in Sinoe during the war. Rep. Seboe, in a verbal exchange with Boley, called for the establishment of a war crimes court where he believes Boley and others who led warring factions in Liberia can be prosecuted and made to account for atrocities they committed against Liberians.
However, Boley retorted: “I don’t regret anything I did during the war. The sooner the war crimes court comes, the better it will be for all of us. Dickson Seboe says I killed his people in Sinoe; if I had not done what I did, Dickson Seboe and others would not be Representatives around here today.”
The people of Kpolokpala, Bong County, in recent times spotlighted Boley and his LPC rebels for allegedly killing over 800 people in 1994 on a flat rock with their blood running into the nearby creek.
The activities of Boley and his erstwhile LPC, like heads of other warring factions, are captured in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report as bearing the greatest responsibilities for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil war, and the TRC recommended them for prosecution in an extraordinary court to be established by the government with support from the international community.
Nevertheless, this recommendation for prosecution, coupled with other cardinal recommendations including reparations, remains in limbo as the Government of Liberia has not exerted much effort to see the implementations of the TRC Report.
The TRC report, Boley said, is a piece of “garbage” and he does not see it as any instrument to dignify.
Representative Boley is the latest former warlord to boast of his role during the Liberian civil war. Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, leader of another defunct warring faction, Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), is on record having told the TRC that he took up arms against the regime of President Samuel Doe to emancipate his Nimba people who were being slaughtered indiscriminately by Doe and the Krahn ethnic group.
Like Boley, former Field Marshall Johnson was overwhelmingly voted into legislative office. A Senator of Nimba County since 2005, Johnson has dubbed himself the “political godfather” of Nimba, projecting the constant reminder of having defended his people from annihilation — entrenching his sentimental reflection that the county is now his political hegemony.
Sekou Damante Conneh, former head of the infamous Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) warring faction, also boasted on the BBC and before the TRC hearings that he liberated Liberians from the hands of now-jailed former President Charles Taylor, leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), and that Liberians need to show him appreciation by erecting a monument in his honor. Alhaji G.V. Kromah, former leader of another brutal rebel group, the United Liberation Movement, otherwise referred to as ULIMO-K, during the TRC hearings provided a statement that appeared agitating to war victims, that his forces killed neither “an ant,” nor a human being during the war. Kromah, like Johnson of Nimba, said he took up arms to liberate his Mandingo kinfolk who were allegedly targeted for extermination during the war.
Thomas Yaha Nimely, former leader of the defunct Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), also defended during the hearing that he did this to drive away Charles Taylor and to emancipate the Krahn people.
Defensive positions taken by the warlords set the basis for tribal and regional objectives that characterized the Liberian civil war. Besides Charles Taylor, who used the route through Nimba County to recruit many Gio and Mano people to join his NPFL forces, most of the warlords were leading tribal wars with members of other tribes whose relatives could not lead a rebel group joining any group that captured them.
The mentioned warlords and others are all captured in the TRC report, recommended for prosecution and different punishments including political sanctions. However, the very TRC recommendations seem to have been shelved by subsequent governments — and outrightly dismissed by most of those named therein. Some of the warlords named therein are either elected to prestigious public positions, or offered lucrative jobs in government.