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Liberia: Grand Bassa County Development Superintendent Wants Justice System Scrutinized

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Buchanan – Grand Bassa County Assistant Superintendent for  Development Flee A. Glay has called for a robust justice system in the county.

Glay said the county justice system is fragile and needs to be scrutinized for a viable justice system in the county.

He made the disclosure over the weekend in an interview with FrontPAgeAfrica during a peace and reconciliation dialogue in Buchanan.

“One good thing we need to look at is the rule of law. We need to improve on the access to justice, and the justice system needs to be scrutinized and we put things into place that the right thing can be done,” Glay said.

“We need to make our justice system viable, trusted so that when a man has an issue, he will be able to take the issue to the justice system instead of taking the issue into his hands. Because if a man feels that the justice system cannot serve him the rightful justice he wants, he might lightly take issues into his own hands, like we are talking about rape today.”

The reconciliation dialogue was organized by the National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs with funding from UNDP.

It was held under the theme: “Advancing Reconciliation Through Legislative Reforms and Civic Engagement.”

Glay also revealed that the security system in the county is also fragile and needs to be carefully looked at for a peaceful co-existence in the county.

“There are other people who been raped and the issues up to now has not been looked into properly. I do acknowledge the issue of security because of every stability of any nation, security must be paramount, security must be taken care of,” he added.

The Grand Bassa County Development Superintendent says he supports the establishment of war and economic crimes courts but called on state actors to create more awareness for citizens to understand issues surrounding the establishment of the courts.

“They have to know what the penalties for those people who will go to the war crimes court. So, when these things are understood by the citizens and they have a clear understanding than because people see the establishment of a war crimes court as a witch-hunt.

“We must look at the war crimes court issue very thoroughly. It is something that needs to be looked at, is not just something that we have to rush into and tomorrow we find no solution to our problems. So, we have to look at the war crimes court issue very thoroughly,” he further explained.

Also speaking, the Program Associate for Governance and Public Institutions, Boye Johnson said Liberians cannot have genuine peace in the country without reconciliation.  

“We’ve been through 14 years of civil conflict and the scars of the conflict still linger in our minds even today. In some quarters, there is a call for the establishment of war crimes court and in some quarters, there is a call for reconciliation to just simply forget the past. And I say there is no way we can have genuine peace in Liberia without reconciliation,” Johnson said.

He said perpetrators of war crimes during the 14 years civil war must account for their wrongful deeds or apologize and those victimized must also be able to accept their apologies and reconciled.

“Those happenings that must make perpetrators to say yes, we are sorry for what we did. Those that were victimized must also be able to accept the apologies from the perpetrator,” Johnson noted.

For his part, Executive Director of Liberia Peace Building Office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Edward Mulbah said the reconciliation dialogue is intended to understand from citizens the country’s peace and security sectors.

“In 2018 before UNMIL left, there were one of those things they wanted to do before they leave, one of those things was to have conducted reconciliation dialogue in the 15 counties, views from the citizens about the country’s peace, security and national reconciliation.

“The gun is silent; our peace is weak and so it could break at any time. So, this dialogue is intended for you to advise us what can we do, what can the government do, what can our partners do so that our peace can be stronger. If we don’t have peace, there could be no development in this country if we don’t have reconciliation, that’s the glue, that’s the paver, that’s the foundation. Reconciliation is the foundation.”

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