Liberia News: Warlords Worried!

By Mark N Mengonfia

Monrovia-March-06-TNR:Some warlords are said to be worried upon hearing the passage of a resolution seeking for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia.

The decision was reached following the signing and subsequent vote taken by members of the House of Representatives during Tuesday’s session.

Barely 24 hours after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jonathan Fonati Koffa met with Ambassador-at-Large Beth Van Schaach and her team from the Office of Global Criminal Justice, the legislative body jointly sponsored the instrument, immediately placed it on the floor of Plenary and was passed with 41 lawmaker giving their approval.

The resolution among other things, acknowledged that Liberia has not prosecuted a single person for the grave crimes committed during its armed conflicts from 1989 to 2003 and it was time that they (warlords) account for their action.

In the resolution, members of the House of Representatives gave their full support for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations, including the establishment of an Extraordinary Criminal Court in Liberia.

Members of the House also expressed their commitment in working with President Joseph Nyuma Boakai for the establishment of the court.

Quoting Section 48 of the TRC Act, the lawmakers said in their resolution that the law calls for the Head of State to report to the Liberian Legislature within three months of receipt of the report of the TRC, and on a quarterly basis thereafter as to the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.

“All recommendations shall be implemented and, “Where the implementation of any recommendation has not been complied with, the Legislature shall require the Head of State to show cause for such non-compliance,” the provision of the TRC report read.

The lawmakers said, “Therefore, this matter before us is overdue, and that the President should act effectively, immediately on said legislative enactment without seeking advice from the legislature because the TRC is already an act enacted by the Legislature that is awaiting full implementation.”

They called on the President to be committed to providing funding for the conversion of the records of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Conserving the records of the TRC would be crucial in serving the following purposes.

“Form an indispensable part of the implementation of the TRC recommendation, promote the culture of justice, the rule of law, and bolster the ongoing democratization process in Liberia,” the lawmaker said in their agreement.

Representatives Sumo K. Mulbah and Yekeh Y Kolubah are among lawmakers who sponsored the instrument.

Rep. Kolubah is one person who fought the civil war and has been heard giving his fullest support for the establishment of the court in Liberia.

Senator Prince Y Johnson is one person who has been uneasy with the establishment of an international court in Liberia. He was heard on a Truth FM Tuesday morning giving his opposition for the establishment of said court.

The one time INPFL rebel group leader said they are covered by the amnesty law which forgives all of them who participated in the civil unrest.

He told the interviewer that anyone who tampers with the amnesty law has tampered with the peace of Liberia.

The Nimba County Senator said he is not the only person being targeted by the TRC or the establishment of the court, but other generals who have gone different places and doing other positive venture.

“Boakai should not tamper with the Liberian people peace,” Senator Johnson said. Senator Johnson has justified on many occasions that he got involved in the war when citizens of Nimba were being killed by the Samuel Kanyon Doe government.

Adama K. Dempster is one person who has been in the fight for just. He has along with other stakeholders sought the means for the establishment of an international tribunal for warlords to account for their parts in the country’s nearly 14 years of civil unrest.

Few minutes after the votes were taken, Mr. Dempster in phone interview welcomed the action of the lawmakers. He said it will serve justice to those who are victims of the war. Read Full Resolution on page 06

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