Liberia: International Justice Group, Partners Demand President Weah, Speaker Chambers to Lead TRC’s Implementation or Be Impeached
Monrovia – As debate over the establishment of the War and economic crimes court heightens, the International Justice Group (IJG) and its partners, the Movement for Justice in Liberia (MOJUL) and the Global Initiative for Justice (GIJ) have called for the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations.
In what appeared to be one of the forceful requests so far, IGJ, headed by Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, and its partners called on President George Weah and House speaker Bhofal Chambers to lead the process, especially the establishment of a war and economic crimes court, or they step down or face impeachment.
Excerpt of the groups’ petition: “We condemn this flagrant and callous attitude of ignoring and violating the Constitution and laws of Liberia, for which they took a solemn oath to uphold and defend and do hereby declare and demand that: The government of Liberia must act now to implement all the recommendations of the TRC by writing the United Nations and Liberia’s development partners including the United States, EU, AU, EU and moral guarantors of the peace process who have vested interest in the sustained peace of Liberia, which is impossible without justice, and expressing said intention on behalf of the Liberian people and thereby requesting help to get the process going”.
They continued: “That the failure of the government to so act within the week, that is by the 14th of July A.D. 2021 the government of President Weah and his obstructionist Speaker of the House of Representatives must step aside or be forced out of office by impeachment proceedings, forthwith.”
The war crimes courts advocates called on the international community to take seize of the matter and called on all civil society organizations to join the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) for a sustained effort of positive civic actions and public demonstration until their collective request is granted, especially the establishment of a War and economic crimes court in Liberia.
The IJG and partners said after three years in power, they do not believe that the Government of Liberia has the mindset and commitment to meet the demands of the Liberian people and the International Community to solidify the peace process and conclude Liberia’s long running transition process by the full implementation of all the recommendations of the TRC;
“The failure of the President and the Legislature to act after three years in power or even make an attempt to Implement the TRC recommendations is an abdication of their constitutional duty to uphold the laws and Constitution of Liberia, thereby violating Article X, Sections 43 and 48 of the TRC ACT, the controlling law of the TRC Process.”
According to them, this is not the first time that the Government of Liberia, under the Presidency of Mr. George M. Weah has flagrantly violated the Constitution and Laws of Liberia, engaged in widespread impunity and violation of the rights of the people of Liberia without any form of accountability.
The added that they support the efforts of civil society under the auspices of the LLNBA) to stage a demonstration at the Capitol Building demanding accountability to end impunity, promote justice and advance the full implementation of all the recommendations of the TRC.
‘Running out of Patience’
Writing further, the IJG said the Legislature has reneged, abandoned and failed in its legal responsibilities to maintain checks and balances in government and demand the Executive to make its report on the Implementation of the TRC Report every three months, as enshrined in the act that established the TRC.
Owing to this, the group claimed that the first branch of government ‘has therefore become subservient to the Executive (The President) which has for the past three years failed to make such reports in keeping with the law and the Legislature has said nothing as if it’s a conspiracy to obstruct justice and endanger the peace process by keeping Liberia in transition just too long’.
It has been 16 years since the establishment of the TRC and 10 years since the body completed its work and submitted the final report. Since then, the successive governments have failed to act on the recommendations.
The groups claimed that owing to this, the group pointed out that the International Community and the Liberian people have run out of patience and lost confidence in the commitment of the Liberian Government to promote good governance and justice in Liberia.