A Liberian Diaspora group is calling
for the full implementation of the final report
and recommendations of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
In a teleconference held in the United States,
the group, Liberia Human Rights Campaign said it plans to work with other civil
society organizations in and outside Liberia to drum up support for the TRC report.
Truth Commission was established in 2003 to identify the root causes of the
Liberian conflict from 1979 to 2003 and determine those responsible for crimes
against the Liberian people.
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 during the country’s 14-year civil war.
also recommends that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and 51 others be banned
from holding future political offices for allegedly financing and giving
political support to warring factions.
Tuon, moderator of the teleconference, reminded the participants about the
seriousness and implications of the final TRC report.
should indeed be reminded that those who are responsible to implement this
report are the same people the report is targeting. So there will be a high
degree of reluctance on their part…this can happen if we, members of the civil
society remain silence,” Tuon said.
participants like Ben Davis of Colombia, Maryland agreed with the TRC
recommendation to ban President Sirleaf and others from holding future
Davis said the president and all elected officials recommended to be banned should
be allowed to serve out their current terms.
believe that those people who have been elected, they should serve their terms
because it would quite undemocratic for people to remove them. But those who
were appointed should vacate their posts immediately,” he said.
Kpor of Philadelphia sounded what seems to be the fear of some about
implementing the truth commission’s report.
order for us to even have this discussion we should have a better plan of
intervention because those people are criminals already. If we start anything
they will try to bring another problem in the country, and our poor people that
have no way, that are stuck in Liberia will be again in the hands of those
people,” Kpor said.
the end, the group agreed to form themselves under the umbrella of the Liberia
Human Rights Campaign. They said they would hold mass rallies and launch a
letter writing campaign to generate public support for the TRC report.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s office said the president had no comment yet as she was
still studying the 370-page report.
some warring factions, including Lewis Brown, former foreign minister in
Charles Taylor’s government said the report was biased and politically
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,” Brown said.
another development, the International Contact Group on Liberia has called on
Liberians to be responsible in their comments on the report.
a statement, the group appealed to Liberians to desist from making inflammatory
statements that might incite violence.
the Liberian Senate is expected to begin reviewing the final TRC report this Thursday.