Rep Dennis: “The Oppressors Have Always Been Over the Oppressed”  

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Rep. Dennis said some lawmakers who were key factors in war including Rep. Yeke Kolubah and George Boley have endorsed the establishment of the court.

Montserrado County District # 4 Representative, Rostonlyn Suococo Dennis said any delays in the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia have been because the oppressors have always been over the oppressed.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer she said that after the war, the two immediate past presidents who took over the country were rebels, so they delayed the court’s establishment not because the Liberians never wanted it, “but because they (presidents) never wanted to punish themselves.”

“The first rebel president we elected was Charles Taylor and the second rebel president was Ellen Johnson Sirleaf… They were all key factors of the war so they chose not to punish themselves,” she said. “The delay is not because the Liberians never wanted the court but because they were suppressed.”

As the House Chair on Claims and Petitions, Rep. Dennis has received petitions from various groups calling on the Legislature to push for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations and the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia.

Rep. Dennis acknowledged that some lawmakers who were key factors in the war including Rep. Yekeh Kolubah and George Boley have endorsed the establishment of the court.

“Rep. Kolubah walked to my office to sign the resolution and I also understand that Rep. Boley had a press conference on Monday, September 16, endorsing the process and said he is willing to work with the war crimes court,” she said.

Rep. Dennis believes that, when the legislature works on the court establishment, “I think together we will feel accomplished.”

She said it is time that one group of people stop keeping the country in hostage because many people around the world think Liberians are cannibals and a nation of impunity, forgetting to understand that it is just a few people who took part in the war.

“Going to the court does not mean you are incarcerated,” Rep. Dennis said, “go to the court and set yourself free.”

The Montserrado lawmaker said “For the committee’s angle, we have a resolution that is so amazing because we have 44 signatures endorsing the full implementation for the establishment of the TRC report. The full implementation has to do with the palava hut, repatriation for victims, reconciliation and the economic crimes court.”

Many people are in favor of the economic crime court like the war crime court, but she believes that there are unnecessary delays by some of her colleagues in moving the matter forward.

Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Siebo last week proffered motion that letter from the President, calling on the Legislature for guidance on the establishment of the war and economic crimes courts, be received and legislators to take the message to their constituents for consultation and that the House provide funds to facilitate the consultation. The motion was passed and supported overwhelmingly even by members of the Independent Legislative Caucus, of which Rep. Dennis is a member.

“If I were in session, I could have filed a motion for reconsideration to that motion maybe my colleague could have listened because the traditional council has gone to the people and the TRC has done enough work across the country with funding from local and international partners,” she said.

Rep. Dennis said the committee has decided to separate the war crime court from the economic court.

“We will deal with the establishment of the war crimes court first and then for the committee we are still thinking whether we must domesticate the economic crimes court to cut down cost,” Rep. Dennis said.

“Those are things that will be placed on the floor to be debated in public so we can get Liberians’ opinions. We will work with CSOs, international NGOs to see how we can go with the economic crimes court.”

She said the communication from President George M. Weah seeking advice from the legislature is welcoming and gives hope to the process because that is one of the main things some lawmakers and other campaigners have been waiting for.

Rep. Dennis said it is important for the President to muster the political will for the TRC recommendations to be implemented even though, he should have just written the legislature informing them that he is ready to implement said recommendations.

She said TRC report has already been enacted into law by the legislature since 2008, awaiting the executive to take action.

Rep. Dennis said the President’s decision has opened the corridor for campaigners for the war crimes court, those in the legislature who have been fighting for the establishment of war crime court and those who have worked with the TRC to work collectively to ensure that the court is  established.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Rep. Rostonlyn Suococo Dennis, this is the paramount means to go in serving to comfort the pains and forgiveness and to engage in retrieving revenues into the rightful storage and expenditures for development. This process will move Liberia forward and the continent. You have shown leadership. May God bless you!

  2. “Move Liberia forward?” Have some of you “talk-before-you-think” anarchists stopped to consider for a minute the practical implication of this urge for vengeance? Even in South Africa and other places where one group of people were brutalized by the others for decades, the outcome of their TRC process was forgiveness and reconciliation, not vengeance and recrimination. And it would have made more sense were all these retaliatory measures exacted on the culprits immediately following the conclusion of the TRC process and not 10-12 years after the fact. A Stockholm Syndrome or relation of sorts, has already set in between victims and perpetrators in this case. Touch any of the targeted perpetrators, for example, and see what will be the outcome, if not reaction. Good luck with that.

    • Your big book will not stop the court. Southerner’s hAfrica wanted peace and they were pressured by the whites and the West to forgive rather than punish. Do you think the West would have done that if the apartheid oppressors were black? The army was white and so it was hard to punish. Liberia is not South Africa. Chile’s court for Pinochet came years and years after thousands went missing.

  3. Also, “The oppressor have always been over the oppressed?” What an oxymoronic speak? Who did this other lawbreaker expect to be over the “oppressed,” the liberators? Everybody must be trying hard to impress everybody that they are working in the interest of their people. And why? Because they smell 2020 around the corner. Bunch of self-centered morons.

  4. Accepting the 1847 constitution we know the only “oppressed” right now are Liberians who need survival livelihood. Not interested in the politics of lies for personal format. Sign the new bank notes now. Immediate and emergency issue. Otherwise you will be considered a suppressor or slave seller or encouraging concupiscence in the Liberian set. Voice for Liberians, not yourself, if you are a Liberian.
    Do not reply. Gone to silence for a good long while.

  5. Somebody (very interesting) is speaking (for the first time), give heed!
    But this is not the right time. We need delivery on (the start) of sustainable development so the wounds can be healed before justice takes its course.

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