The Liberia Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC) will conclude its work Tuesday and release its final
For the past three years the
commission has been looking into the root causes of the Liberian conflict from
1979 to 2003.
The TRC heard testimonies from many alleged victims and
perpetrators in and outside Liberia.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also testified about her alleged
involvement with Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebel
Some Liberians have been demanding prosecution for those the TRC would find to have committed gross violation of human
rights during the conflict.
TRC Chairman Jerome Verdier told VOA no Liberian is above the law.
Liberian people should expect a comprehensive report from the commission based
upon its findings and determination in consonance with the mandate of the commission
as enshrined in its enabling legislation," he said.
said the final report will include a wide range of recommendations on issues
the TRC determined to be the root causes of the Liberian conflict
said taken in their totality, the recommendations would present a reform agenda
act requires that we address issues of impunity, that we make recommendations
for reparations, we make recommendations for reconciliation, and that we make
recommendations for prosecution," he said.
Liberians want justice from the brutality of the conflict and have been demanding
the establishment of a War Crimes Court to prosecute perpetrators.
have argued that prosecution, especially of those alleged perpetrators who are in
the current government could be at the expense of national reconciliation.
said Liberians should accept the commission's recommendations if they want to
be faithful and respect the rule of law.
Liberia is above the law, and we have to begin a process of institutionalizing
the supremacy of the rule of law in our country. Too many times we feel that
because we are in authority we are above the law," he said.
February this year, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf testified before the
commission. She said she had endorsed former president Charles Taylor's
rebellion against President Samuel Doe but had never been part of the rebel
president admitted, however, to being a part of a group of exiled Liberians who
lent their support to Mr. Taylor without being aware of his true intentions.
were unconfirmed reports late last week that the TRC might include in its final
report that President Sirleaf be barred from standing for re-election because
of her alleged role in the war.
said it would be unethical for him to pre-empt the findings of the commission.
don't know the source of the information. I wouldn't be surprised that people
speculate about the outcome of our work, and I don't doubt that people have
gone out of their way using all kinds of machination to get access to TRC
information. But it would be seriously unethical for me to pre-empt the
findings of the commission," he said.
have accused members of the TRC of lacking unity and at times using the
commission to score political points.
said the TRC is no different from any human institution.
a commission we exhibited all manner of characteristics common to human nature,
common to professional people, common to people of different backgrounds who
have come together compelled by law to work together," he said.
said irrespective of any internal challenges the TRC might have faced, members
were able to complete the work they were assigned by law to do.