Saclepea Mayor Against War Crimes Court

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Mayor of Saclapea, Jeremiah Nyagian

Says it will obstruct development

Saclepea City Mayor in Nimba County has condemned the setting up of a war crimes and economic crimes court in the country, “because such exercise would delay the country’s development programs.”

Mayor Jeremiah Nyagian’s comment was aired on Radio Saclapea on Tuesday, October 10, when he called on those advocating the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia to abolish their appeal, rather seek unity among the citizens and their foreign partners to rebuild the country.

Nyagian said Liberians should support development, rather than seeking for a war crimes court that will create another wound of hatred.

Mayor Nyagian, who was recently appointed to the position, said the issue of a war crimes court will be a calculated witch-hunt, where individuals perceived as former fighters from any of the erstwhile warring factions would be targeted. In so doing, he noted, the accused will not have fair justice.

“The call for war crimes court in Liberia is said to be supported by some government officials to get at some individuals, while others say it will undermine the country’s peace,” he said.

Mayor Nyagian out-rightly condemned those who he said are the masterminds of the establishment of war crimes court, asserting that they are not doing any good for the unity of the country.

He said that if a war crimes court is established with the intention to prosecute a single individual for an alleged role in the Liberian civil crisis (1989-2003), “that idea will not be fair to the country, because the country’s civil war was not fought by an individual.”

The call for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia has been trending on talk shows on nearly all the local radio stations in Nimba County, with many of the callers expressing opposing views taking into consideration the country’s development drives.

Recently, Nimba County Superintendent, David Dorr Cooper, said if the war crimes court issue is done to cover all Liberians, it will not be fair and would not be considered as justice for all.

Many Nimbaians have argued that the timing now was no longer important. During the 12-year administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “people did not call for the establishment of a war crimes court,” they are saying.

Some of the callers of the views that advocating for the establishment of a war crimes court now will undermine the government, and stall most of the development initiatives.

Those supporting the establishment of a war crimes court have also argued that people accused of committing crimes against unarmed civilians as documented in the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report, should face justice to serve as a deterrent.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This is not about witch-hunting Mayor. There can be no justice or true social and economic development whilst the perpetrators of the war that killed our brothers and sisters roam freely in Liberia. We need a war and economic crimes court now. It was done in Rwanda, and Rwanda is now one of the fastest developing countries in Africa.

  2. Apparently that mayor was not here during the civil war. Or if he was, he didn’t suffer at the hands of any of the warring factions wherein he was tortured, severely beaten, have his possessions taken away from him, have his wife or daughter raped right before his eyes, maybe have his child or relative tortured and butchered before him, or even worse. That’s why he’s saying that nonsense. So let him just keep quiet and settle down to the less-busy job of being mayor of Saclepea.

  3. Perhaps Nyagian is one of those NPFL warlords who once terrorized rural citizens, killed their goats and chickens, unroofed their homes and taken away the corrugated sheets of those homes and carted them away to Seclepea to build his own house. Since he didn’t sustain any injury and because he still lives to see this day, he feels vindicated and that those who suffered the manufactured carnage are spoils of war who have no recourse to justice. Those warlords feel that the Krahns and the Mandingoes are spilled milk which cannot be recovered. And so they will fight every instance of purported justice for the heinous crimes they’ve committed during those years.
    Perhaps Nyagian belongs to the school of thought in biblical times that those who are defeated in war have no right to justice. Their wives and cattle must be taken away as spoils of war. What Nyagian forgets to know is that there are real people with real faces and real names that went through this hurt and pain. There are parents who were raped before their on sons. There were husbands who were castrated before their own wives and annihilated thereafter. What Nyagian forgets is that this the 21st Century, and that impunity died with the 20th Century. No matter how long it takes; no matter how much it costs, no matter how many people get indicted, there WILL BE A WAR CRIMES COURT!

  4. Now the Mayor of a backward city in a backward country believes he can impact the decision to establish a war crime court. The area where the Mayor is from had some of Charles Taylor most brutal rebels during the civil war. No wonder why he doesn’t want a war crime court.

  5. if anybody is not for justice he or she is not a true leader because the leaders must believe in justice and must see all around him and help those that is in need of justice so the court house is there for peace and human rights if I become president of Liberia or north America their is going to be justice for all people

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