The Global Justice Research Program Investigator has alarmed that the Liberian Government has been reluctant in establishing criminal courts in Liberia for the prosecution of individuals accused of war and economic crimes, despite constant pressure from different human rights organizations.
Mr. Manjou K. Bayour told newsmen recently that it would be a great step toward the deterrence of such acts for current and future generations to seek justice for victims who rely solely on the efforts of the Liberian government.
According to him, the government has since refused to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which among other things called for the prosecution of war criminals.
He stated that since the cessation of hostilities in 2003, Liberians have not taken definite measures to prevent a repeat of another civil madness.
“The absence of war in Liberia is only due to the peace-loving victims in Liberia, which does not equate to peace. To believe otherwise is a complete illusion. Case in point, individuals are constantly threatening to fight back whenever they have the means of seeking revenge” he added.
Mr. Bayour narrated the current government has refused to sign the documents to establish war crimes’ courts in Liberia in order to prosecute criminals of economics and war crimes in Liberia, under the pretext of peace.
He said it has further shown its’ commitment to protecting these warlords from any further legal ramifications by forming a coalition with former warlord Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) and former warlord Prince Yormie Johnson who is the current senior Senator from Nimba County and also chair of the Senate’s defense committee.
Manjou K. Bayour, ‘this coalition was formed during the presidential elections of October 2017’.
He said as a former rebel leader, Senator Johnson played a prominent role in the first Liberian civil war and committed a strain of heinous crimes.
“For instance, mutilating the limbs of individuals captured by his warring faction. A popular and infamous act being the capturing, torturing and mutilation of former President Samuel K. Doe’s body”.
He averred that in June 2009 final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as part of the 2003 peace deal, it included Prince Johnson on the list of 50 most wanted people whom should be barred from holding public offices; elected or appointed for a period of the thirty (30) years for being associated with former warring factions.
The Global Justice Research Program Investigator explained that Johnson labeled the recommendation as a “joke” noting the absence of several other combatants from the list and vowed to resist any charges brought against him as a result of the report.
He wants the government to establish war crimes Court in order to give justice to victims of the 14-years civil conflict that killed over 250,000 Liberians and forced others to move into exile.