-Says He Should Implement His Calls In 2004
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
A Congressman in the United States of America is reminding President George Weah to ensure the establishment of war crimes tribunal as called for in 2004.
Representative Daniel Donovan, Jr., of Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn in the 11th Congressional District of New York in the U.S. House of Representatives reminded the Liberian leader that he called for the establishment of war crimes tribunal in 2004 while serving as ‘Goodwill Ambassador” of UNICEF and it was now time he ensures such; now that he is a president of the country.
It can be recalled the former footballer now President of Liberia in 2004 while serving as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador called for the formation and establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia to arrest and prosecute all “warlords” for recruiting and arming children in Liberia.
The then Ambassador said the tribunal when established, should be given the authority to identify, locate, arrest and prosecute all those who committed heinous crimes during the devastating and bloody civil war in the country.
He made the call in Monrovia at the UNICEF-Liberia headquarters on 23rd April 2004.
However, Representative Donovan whose district has high concentrations of Liberians in the United States said he is aware of the atrocities that were committed in the country for fourteen years and it was now time for justice.
“My district in Brooklyn is home to thousands of Liberians who have fled the turbulent of civil war and they directly told me how important is it to them that Liberia establish extraordinary war crimes tribunal. Liberia itself recommended the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in its TRC,” he said.
Representative Donovan has since presented to the United States Congress a resolution that calls for the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations, including the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal for Liberia.
According to him, his resolution seeks to affirm America’s strong ties with Liberia.
“Liberia current President George Weah himself called for the establishment of war crimes court in 2004 as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and it’s time to put this into action. At this very moment, people who committed unspeakable war crimes are holding positions in Liberia’s government.
“For example, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, a warlord who tortured and murdered former President Samuel Doe and there is a video of Senator Johnson despicably sitting on a pier and fanned by his assistants while his men manhandle Doe,” Representative Donovan said.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was created as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and in 2009, the final report of the TRC after hearing the testimonies of victims and perpetrators of atrocities committed during the civil war was submitted to the Liberian Government during the then administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The US Congressman said “protecting human rights around the world is not only things to do, but it is vital to our own national security. Stopping war crimes before it happens is just as important. This is while I am proud to sponsor HR 1055 to form firm United States-Liberia tie in the support for strong democratic principle for the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations including the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal for Liberia.”
“Liberians are rightfully calling for justice and if not, I see there will be further violence and turbulent which no one wants to see. This is while it is so crucial to call on Liberia and President Weah to establish a war crimes tribunal,” he added.