Former TRC Commissioners Clarify Jefferson Koijee Was Never Part of Liberia’s Civil War

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Rev. Dr. Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, Mr. John Stewart and Madam Massa Washington who comprise the majority of the TRC Commissioners condemned Cllr. Jerome Verdier’s allegations of war crimes violations against current Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Koijee. They disclosed that Mayor Koijee, during the TRC hearing served as a youth volunteer that were helping the TRC Commissioners to find people to come forward and testify

Monrovia – Majority of the former Commissioners of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) have clarified that at no time did the current Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee was linked to any waring faction or accused of gross human rights violation during the TRC hearing.

The former Commissioners making the clarification include Massa Washington, John Stewart, Rev. Gerald Coleman and Rev. Dr. Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull.

The former Commissioners’ statement came in the wake of a formal plea by the International Justice Group (IJG) headed by the former Chairman of the TRC, Jerome Verdier, calling for the prosecution of Koijee for alleged war crimes.

According to the former TRC Commissioner, the IJG recently wrote the International Criminal Court, calling upon that body to indict Mayor Koijee for gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

The former TRC Commissioners, in a release signed by John Stewart, who served as Chairman of the Report Writing Committee, expressed concern over the IJG claims, saying the allegation by the group which is headed by former Chairman Verdier is grave.

According to them, for the entirety of the work on the Commission which spanned five years, the TRC engaged in a massive and extensive consultative outreach process, some of which include the collection of more than 22,000 statements, the conduct of dozens of personal interviews and over 500 live public testimonies from witnesses, perpetrators, direct victims, persons of interest and also several dozens of in-camera hearings. 

“Former TRC Commissioners would like to inform the public that at no time during these engagements did the TRC receive a statement, whether written or verbal or a complaint from any of our witnesses, perpetrators, persons of interests etc, suggesting that the Mayor of Monrovia, Hon. Jefferson T. Koijee, was a part of any waring faction, perpetrating groups, or individuals, linked to gross human rights violations, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Even in our individual capacities, we did not hear or receive any information in this regard.”

– `Excerpt from the statement written by the three former Commissioners

Additionally, the Commissioners noted that national consultative conference, women’s conference, and children conference, among others were held.

They further stated that a robust diaspora project that included the collection of statements from Liberians and others in the West African sub-region, Europe and to over ten cities in the United States of America was implemented. 

But none of these implicated Major Koijee to war crimes or any human rights violations.  

Excerpt of the release: “Former TRC Commissioners would like to inform the public that at no time during these engagements did the TRC receive a statement, whether written or verbal or a complaint from any of our witnesses, perpetrators, persons of interests etc, suggesting that the Mayor of Monrovia, Hon. Jefferson T. Koijee, was a part of any waring faction, perpetrating groups, or individuals, linked to gross human rights violations, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Even in our individual capacities, we did not hear or receive any information in this regard.”

The Commissioners noted it was expedient to provide clarification for the “record because of blurred lines in distinguishing between the Chairman of the TRC, Cllr. Jerome Verdier and the Executive Director of the IJG, Cllr. Jerome Verdier.”

According to them, Koijee was one of several youth volunteers who provided his services free of charge in assisting with the sensitization and public outreach component of the TRC engagements. 

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