Some former warring factions in
Liberia’s recent civil conflict say the final report of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is biased and politically motivated.
Commission was established in 2003 under the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord to identify the root causes of the Liberian
civil war and determine those who responsible in committing domestic and
international crimes against the Liberian people.
Among its recommendations, the
TRC called for the prosecution of all warring faction leaders and 98 other
associates for gross human rights violations and war crimes.
But at a joint
news conference Monday, the former warring factions said the TRC did not live
up to the intent for which it was created.
Former Foreign Minister in Charles Taylor's government Lewis Brown told VOA the TRC failed
to give alleged perpetrators the chance to confront their accusers.
we have is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission largely motivated for selfish
political objectives. They are now recommending punitive measures against
individuals they did not provide an opportunity to face their accusers or to confront
evidence of alleged wrongdoing,” he said.
warring factions that called Monday's news conference included Charles Taylor’s
former government, the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), and the
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
said they called the news conference to renew their commitment to maintain
peace, security, forgiveness and reconciliation in Liberia.
rejected any suggestion that the former warring factions were trying to
scapegoat the TRC for the crimes they allegedly committed during Liberia’s
the first count, the TRC…conducted an independent survey throughout the 15
political subdivisions to determine whether or not the alleged victims were
interested in genuinely reconciling the country. Over 60 percent informed the
TRC that they would prefer to confront victims under an atmosphere of
forgiveness and reconciliation rather than retributive justice,” Brown said.
said he agreed with those Liberians who argued that there can be no true
justice without accountability on the part of alleged perpetrators. But he said
accountability cannot be determined prejudicially
Truth Commission also recommended that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and 51 others
be blocked from holding future public offices in Liberia for 30 years for helping to
form and finance warring factions.
Minister Lawrence Bropleh said President Sirleaf was still reading the TRC final
report, but that she has taken note of the recommendation about her.
not only has seen that report, she has been listening to many Liberians who are
very astonished because of that part of the report…many are concerned that this
is a democratically elected sitting president. And a report that suggests
barring her from public offices for the next 30 years, what does it mean for
this democratically elected popular president,” he said.
said Liberians elected President Sirleaf in 2005 even though they knew she had
admitted being one of the financiers of Charles Taylor’s rebel movement.
Liberian public and the world knew that institutionally, through the
Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia at the time headquartered
in Washington, D.C. President Sirleaf, being an executive member of that
association gave $10,000 to Charles Taylor,” he said.
some TRC members continue to allege that they are being threatened by
unidentified individuals or groups.
said President Sirleaf has brought back rule of law to Liberia and that any
member of the TRC who feels they are being threatened should report such to the