“Witch Hunt”

-Member of The IRCL Describes War Crimes Court

By R. Joyclyn Wea

A member of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL) has described as “witch hunt” the establishment of war and economic crimes tribunal in Liberia.

Liberians and human rights organizations are calling for the establishment of the war crimes tribunal in the country in order to prosecute alleged perpetrators of war and economic crimes in the country between 1979 and 2003.

Speaking at this year’s world postal day program, Musa Bamba alleged that people were forced to fight in Liberia and as such; reconciliation is needed as compared to the establishment of war crimes court which many citizens including human rights organizations are advocating for.

“One of the burning issues today in Liberia is the establishment of the so-called war crimes court. We are not encouraging witch hunting; we should reflect on our history when the war started, how the war started,” Musa Bamba said.

Bamba further recounted that individuals were attacked during the war and those who were attacked fled the country, prepared themselves and came back to the country, something he said made the situation complex.

He further added “nobody will support war in his or her country; but when people are involved in such act, it does not give right to a regime to witch-hunt those who are from that ethnic group or region.”

Though Bamba did not mention the regime that is witch-hunting former warlords and some alleged culprits, but warned the country to do away with situation which he claimed would cause killing in the country saying “so, we condemn the issue of the war crimes court; we want peace and reconciliation.”

At the same time, Bamba has expressed disappointment in the government over how it is reportedly handling issues surrounding the missing billions Liberian banknotes.

According to him, religious leaders are not investigators, but rather peace makers, something he said led to their recent decision to back off from the Presidential Investigation Team saying “the only time the government knows us is when it is in crisis.”

“For us our question was, if no money got missing, why a committee should be constituted. A committee was established and the religious community was invited to be part of the investigative team and the members used their wisdom and say no,” Bamba.

He wants the PIT to come up with its findings that can convince the public that indeed no money is missing.

“But even if the findings of the committee established that no money is missing. Those who alleged that money got missing should be called to explain if they find it reasonable,” he added.

“That allegation is so grave. Sometime people even try to trace you because it undermines the security of the nation; and even incite the population against the regime which is very bad.”



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