Exactly two months after the Liberia
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report it seems
Liberians at home and in the Diaspora are still confused about many aspects of
For example, some want to know who has the responsibility to implement the report's
recommendations – the Liberian government or the legislature?
The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia over
the weekend hosted members of the Liberian Diaspora in Atlanta to discuss the
findings and implications of the TRC's final report.
Truth Commission was established at the end of Liberia's civil war to foster
national reconciliation but at the same address the question of impunity.
the findings of its final report, the TRC recommends the prosecution of all
warring faction leaders and their associates for committing notorious war
commission also recommends that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and 51 other
individuals be banned for 30 years from holding public offices for their roles
in financing the war.
Skinner, president of the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta said
Liberians in the Diaspora have many questions about the TRC report.
of the questions that came out was how did the commission reach the criteria
for the different lists that it has on the different penalties for which people
had committed various crimes and various acts. People wanted to know when the
recommendations would be implemented," he said.
Massa Washington of the TRC said she told the gathering that the
recommendations were based on three years of public hearings in Liberia and the
Diaspora and in line with the TRC mandate.
TRC act says that the commission, having investigated the root causes and
problems, we should then make recommendations for prosecution and
accountability…so the central listings were mostly those we found culpable
under standards for political accountability," Washington said.
Liberian Diaspora in Atlanta also wanted to know which branch of government has
the lead responsibility to implement the report.
Washington said the executive branch headed by President Sirleaf must take the
lead in making sure the report is carried out.
legislature is only there to accept the TRC report, and then the legislators
will then serve as that primary instrument or arm of government to encourage or
to work along with government to ensure that the executive branch of government
implements the TRC report in every facet," she said.
said all Liberians have a duty to ensure the commission's final report is put
the executive, for example, does not do what it needs to do, the people need to
stand up. And if the legislature does not do what it needs to do, the people
need to come forward and say look we have these recommendations, we need to
implement them," Skinner said.
its release, Liberians have been divided over how to implement the TRC's final
report. Some have voiced support for retributive justice while others prefer
have been reports the Liberian government had organized demonstrations against
Washington said the TRC believes the government at this time should have come
up with a strategy or strategies for implementing the report.
said the TRC views the naming of the Independent National Commission on Human
Rights of Liberia as a first step in the right direction.
said the Liberian Diaspora in Atlanta, Georgia is planning a follow up forum
after which it would send a resolution to all branches of the Liberian
government asking them to act in the best interest of the country.
Crick, associate director for conflict resolution said the Carter Center hosted
the forum in its capacity as a member of the Atlanta Friends of the Liberian
He said the purpose of the Atlanta
Friends of Liberia was to assist the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
during the statement taking process for the TRC's work in the Diaspora.