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Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Releases Final Report

  • Kate Thomas

Five months after releasing an unedited version of its final report, Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its consolidated final report.

Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released the consolidated version of its final report.

Five months after releasing an unedited version of its final report, Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its consolidated final report.

Speaking in Monrovia, TRC President Jerome Verdier dedicated the report to the people of Liberia.

"The report is the people of Liberia's property - all of those who died, all of those who as a consequence of the war are buried today in unmarked graves, all of those who have lost potential sources of income, all of those who have lost their property and all of us who are today hoping for a better Liberia," said Jerome Verdier.

The commission has recently added 10 names to the list of "Most Notorious Perpetrators" and two names to the list of those who fall under the category of sanctions from holding public office for 30 years. There are an additional five names listed under the category of economic crimes.

The additions include John T. Richardson, the lawyer who heads the Legal Association for the Defense of Charles Taylor.

Bell Dunbar, the former director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation and Benoni Urey, Taylor's former maritime minister, are listed under economic crimes.

Among the dozens of people the report says should be banned for 30 years from holding public office is current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

In February, the president testified before the commission about her involvement with Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front rebel group in the 1980s. She was one of many politicians who supported rebels fighting against President Samuel Doe, but she said she was never a member of the rebel group. Although President Johnson Sirleaf expressed regret for supporting Charles Taylor in the 1980s, she did not formally apologize to the people of Liberia.

Verdier said the new report is the third version of the initial report. He said a fourth volume was held back by lack of resources.

"There is a volume four, which is also unpublished, for the same reason that we do not have time and resources," he said. "Volume four contains 10,000 pages of transcripts from the hearings of the TRC, the hearings for victims from all around the country and then the hearings in Monrovia which brought together war veterans, politicians and all of that, and then the hearings in the diaspora."

The TRC process has been marred by controversy and funding concerns.

The Analyst newspaper in Monrovia reported the Liberian government has yet to make available about $500,000 to pay TRC staff and finalize its work. Some TRC commissioners received death threats after the publication of the July report.

The U.S.-based Liberia Human Rights Campaign is calling for President Sirleaf to implement the recommendations in the final version of the TRC report.

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