Justice or Karma: Liberia’s War Crime Perpetrators Must Pay For Gruesome Atrocities


JUSTICE MAY BE DELAYED but sometimes never denied, and no matter how perpetrators feel protected that day will surely come, no matter how long, it will come – they will either be punished by a legal system of their own, others or the nature of karma.

AND THOSE WHO IGNORE the heinous crimes that caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent Liberians and foreigners during the war are equivalently slitting the throats of hundreds of those very victims – some of whom ghosts are wandering, weeping and craving justice.

THE DAY OF RECKONING is inevitable for gruesome murders who are masquerading as some of the most privilege Liberians at the echelon of power in the society. Investigating all perpetrators of the senseless killings no matter their social status is the least those lost souls are hankering because impunity serves a purpose of reoccurrence especially when wounds are not properly nursed. 

THE RECENT ARREST OF AGNES Reeves Taylor, former wife of jailed Liberian leader Charles Taylor, in London, England sent shock waves to many Liberians, amongst them some even more guilty them Madam Taylor. The message echoing from her arrest after many years in exile and living glamorously is that: like opportunity, justice comes late too – and can also be served very cold from the refrigerator.

MADAM TAYLOR’S ARREST ADDS to the incarceration of Thomas Woewiyu, former defense minister of National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel government based in the central Liberian city of Gbarnga, the arrest of NPFL’s Martina Johnson in Ghent, Belgium and the deportation of George Boley, rebel leader of the Liberia Peace Council (LPC), from the United States.

THIS IS ALSO A CAVEAT to other allege culprits of torture, massacre and rape who are roaming around Monrovia and other parts of the world – some of them even have the audacity to seek public office including the nations’ highest office.

THE GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA has swept under-the-carpet the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations in the name of peace, but there’s palpability of a political influence.

IT IS INDEED BAFFLING for an ordinary Liberian to see a government blatantly turning a blind eye on recommendations that have the propensity of dealing with impunity, serving as deterrent and opening a new chapter for a country far from recovering from the atrocities and destruction left by a brutal civil conflict.

WHEN MURDERES ARE VAUNTING about eluding justice only because of ‘peace sake’, social scientists would argue that such impunity affects the society as a whole and reignites a conspiracy theory that those indicted by the TRC are the very ones maneuvering to manipulate the system so they can continue savoring their ridiculously ill-fated social status at the detriment of grieving and traumatized families constrain to let sleeping dogs lie.

BUT WHILE THE GOVERNMEMT of Liberia is shamelessly looking the other way and tirelessly ridiculing the very TRC it endorsed based on the a peace agreement to end the second phase of the conflict, it is the United States and other European nations that are refusing to be apathetic. 

THE FEDERAL BEREAU of Investigation (FBI) is now probing the death of one of its citizens it believes was cold bloodily murdered by Senator Prince Johnson, during his barbaric and blood shedding war days as leader of one of the ruthless rebel forces – the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL).

CONVERTED NOW AS PASTOR Prince Johnson, also Senator Johnson, and seeking the presidency this year, it is his INPFL that has gone down in history for atrociously and cannibal-likely murdering former President Samuel K. Doe – an account he detailed during his testimony at the TRC hearing but paradoxically, denied killing a single innocent person.

JOHNSON MAY HAVE BEEN pardoned by Liberians and voted senator twice as he enjoyed privileges like many other perpetrators of the war who holding top government positions, but the United States of America is not Liberia and won’t back down no matter the time and resources require.

 “THIS CASE HAS BEEN PENDING for a very long time now. The State of Michigan does not have any statute of limitation, therefore, a lot of people—even Johnson—may have forgotten about this incident but the State hasn’t. He will be prosecuted,” a source close to the FBI investigation of Johnson has told FrontPage Africa.

ACCORDING TO THE INVESTIGATION, the death squad, believed to be controlled by Johnson, during the morning hours of October 3, 1990 arrived at the Hare Krishna temple in Monrovia, ordered that all the devotees to come out. Seven devotees, five men and two women, exited the temple and filed into the waiting jeep. They were driven to Stockton Creek, where the devotees were forced out at gunpoint and herded onto the sand next to the river. The leader announced that only the men would be killed. Thus Hladini, a woman, knew she would not be killed.

ACCORDING TO REPORTS, as the leader [Johnson] raised his weapon to fire the first execution volley, Hladini leapt forward and attacked him with her bare hands. She shouted, “How dare you kill the devotees of Krishna? Better you kill me than kill them!” Hladini was the first to be shot.

KILLING AN AMERICAN IS the biggest mistake any warlord would make because the US government is not Liberia’s and because, unlike Liberia, it upholds the rule of law and love for liberty and most importantly there’s abundant resources to track you, apprehend you, lock you up for many years and throw away the keys. 

THIS IS HOW YOU DETER WOULD-BE perpetrators, and is this what we suggest is appropriate instead of covering the brushing aside the core issue thinking by closing your eyes and opening will make it go away – and that, it was just a nightmare.

TO REBUILD OUR COUNTRY into a civilized and modern society, no sin must go unpunished not to speak of crimes against humanity. When we ignored the wrongs of the past we encourage a culture of impunity allowing vices like arm robbery, rape, drug addiction, bribery and corruption to thrive on our reluctance to take action.

CRIMES AGAINST LIBERIANS must not go unpunished and individuals who are highly culpable regardless of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation must be made to pay no matter where that justice cometh. Liberians must remain hopeful and very aware that the only quintessence of peace is justice.