Accessibility links

Liberia's President Sirleaf Is Said Ready to Face Truth Commission If Called

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says her support for the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) remains unwavering. The president’s statement contradicts her earlier comments in which she reportedly said that she is writing a book to be released next year which is going cover all that she would have told the TRC. All this comes as more documents surfaced showing that President Sirleaf played a supporting role in the efforts to overthrow President Samuel Doe.

The TRC was inaugurated in January this year by President Sirleaf to look into the atrocities committed during Liberia’s 14-year civil war.

Lawrence Bropleh is Liberia’s information minister. He told that President Sirleaf remains committed to appear before the Truth Commission if and when called upon.

“Let me make it emphatically clear that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is committed to total reconciliation of this nation, Liberia. She is committed to understanding and helping people understand that the methodology by which we can reconcile our nation, that process can really begin effectively with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This government has supported that commission financially; morally the president was there at the opening of the TRC. And the president is committed to being at the TRC, if she is called, and she is not backing down from that,” he said.

Recently new documents, including new letters, have surfaced which showed that President Sirleaf, as a member of the political opposition, played a supporting role in the efforts to overthrow President Samuel Doe.

But Bropleh said Sirleaf did not act differently from other Liberians who believed then that President Doe was a dictatorial leader.

“Many of us believed that Mr. Taylor (Charles) waged a war against a despotic government. The Samuel Doe government at the time was declared by not just Liberians but by people around the world as a despotic, tyrannical, dictatorial government, a government of kleptocratic. And so people who were well meaning for this country wanted to see a change. I am included in that. As a youth, as an advocate, I suffered at the hands of Samuel Doe. I wanted to see that change; president Sirleaf wanted to see that change. But that war is over; that advocacy, that revolution is over. This is where we are now making progress with the challenges at hand, and the president is committed to supporting the TRC process and she will work something out when the TRC returns to Monrovia, and if she is called she will appear,” he said.

Bropleh reiterated that President Sirleaf was committed to the TRC process.

“The clarification is that whatever statement the president made is being construed that she is not committed to the TRC process and that she is against testifying at the TRC. The president did not say that she is not in support of the TRC process. She is supportive of it, and what I am clarifying as the spokesperson for the Republic of Liberia is that the president is committed and that the president, if called, will appear before the TRC,” Bropleh said.