Liberia: Liberty Party Chairman Musa Bility Urges Ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Not to Shield War Criminals
MONROVIA – As the debate for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia intensifies, the Liberty Party Chairman, Musa Bility, has called on all political parties, including the ruling party to push for the establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia, and stop shielding war criminals.
Speaking at the Press Union of Liberia special event of the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum held in Monrovia, Chairman Bility who was invited along with other chairman of political parties, a few weeks ago was not in support of the establishment of a war crimes court due to security implications, but said his party is now in full support of a war crimes court in Liberia.
“I am asking all political parties including the ruling party to shun those who are being accused of war crimes. You came to power as a result of a people desire for change; do not let those people down. Do not use your party as biding for shielding people who have murdered other people. I can assure you that 2023 Liberty will not carry anyone accused of war crimes on our ticket, be it president, Senator or Representative,” said Musa Bility, Chairman of Liberty Party
He said the issue of amnesty for war criminals published in the Front Page Africa, is not in line with the Constitution of Liberia, but put together as a protection by a group of people responsible for the war against the Liberian people.
“I do not agree with it amnesty of such nature, I know it is only the president of a county can grant amnesty to a prisoner, but not large body comprising of those who perpetrated war against us, to gather and issue amnesty unto themselves, and think the Liberian people will consider that, they must be joking, because we will not consider it. Those who perpetrator murder should face justice, so we as Liberians, should do this to pay tribute to those who were murdered. If we do not set war crimes, we will never see an end to war, because war crimes are a deterrent to war,” Bility concluded.
According to PUL, they invited various political parties including the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, (CDC) but the party did not honor their invitation, by sending the chairman to represent the party at the forum.
In the same vein, Wilmot J. M. Paye, National Chairman the People’s Liberation Party (PLP)
Also said his party is in support of a war crimes court but the lack of will power from President Weah is preventing the process.
If President Weah who upon assuming office announced that he would “end corruption”, prevent Liberians from being “spectators in their own economy”, and “recover stolen assets” has gone back on his own promise, how can anyone expect him to bring the TRC process to its finality? No one is talking about the Assets Recovery exercise that President Weah initiated and announced with so much energy and enthusiasm. There should be no short cut to the presidency of Liberia, as some think,” he said.
He said the PLP is of the one firm belief that ending impunity in Liberia means actualizing the purpose of Liberia, making real Article 5 (c) of the 1986 Constitution. And the provision of the constitution is categorical in its denunciation of Corruption, Nepotism, Sectionalism and Tribalism. And amid the challenges, Party stand on the question of how to end impunity in Liberia. Especially on the unavoidable question of whether to embrace a War and an economic crimes court as recommended in the TRC Report of 2009.
“From all indications, there seems to be a national consensus on the need to bring the chapter of the civil war to a close. Whether or not the recommendations contained in the TRC Report should be implemented as they are is a matter for Government. The Executive and Legislative Branches should stop presenting this as a matter to be decided in the court of public opinions. The TRC Report was submitted, as required under the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and TRC Act, respectively, to the Executive and Legislative Branches. It is therefore their duty to decide how to proceed with it, taking into consideration all the legal ramifications,” said Paye