Liberia: CSO Platform Committee Recommends Removal of War Crimes Perpetrators from Public Office


Monrovia – The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia, also known as Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), said Liberia should comply with the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights, (ICCPR) and fully implement the recommendations therein.

Report by Mae Azango, [email protected]

Mr. Adama Dempster, head of CSO delegation to Geneva and Secretary General of the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy of Liberia, made the disclosure Wednesday, August 1, at a press conference held at I-Campus on Carey Street, Monrovia, following the UN Committee’s consideration of Liberia’s initial report at its 3500th and 3451st meetings held in July 2018.

The UN Committee adopted concluding observations which amongst others highlighted recommendations made by civil society human rights advocacy platform of Liberia in its shadow report presented and elaborated upon participation in the sessions 122nd March 9-10, and follow up session of the 123rd July 9-10 2018 held in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We would like to highlight that one of the recommendations on impunity and past human rights violations has been selected by the committee as a priority for the follow-up procedure. In this regard, the Committee welcomed the progress made by the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. However, it expressed concern that none of the alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations and war crimes mentioned in the TRC report has been brought to justice. It also notes with concern the absence of the comprehensive program of reparation for victims,” he said.

Mr. Dempster further disclosed that the Government has been tight-lipped since its delegation, which attended the meetings in Geneva, made it clear during its appearance before the Committee that it was going issue a statement on the implementations upon their return to Liberia.

“Government still remains tight-lipped; the government’s representatives said to the committee that upon their return they were going to issue a statement outlining their position on the accountability regarding the TRC, so we call on the government to issue that statement without further delay in order to move forward on this issue.”

Listing the recommendations, Dempster emphasized with regards to the commitment made by the government delegation to the committee that the civil society human rights advocacy platform calls on the government to issue the statement without any further delay to outline the implementation of the TRC’s recommendations and to commit to the past crimes as part of the statement.

The Committee among other things recommends that the government establishes a process of accountability for past gross human rights violations and war crimes that conform to international standards; ensures the independence and expertise of the judiciary, victim’s access to justice, due process and fair trial guarantees and witness protection and ensures that all alleged perpetrators of gross human rights and war crimes are impartially prosecuted and if found guilty, convicted, and punished in accordance with the gravity of the acts committed, regardless of their status or any domestic legislation or immunities.

They also want the government removes any persons who have been proven to be involved in gross human rights violations and war crimes from official positions; implements the TRC recommendations and consider establishing a well resource body, comprising government representatives, the National Independence Commission on Human Rights and Civil society organizations to monitor the implementation of those recommendations.

They also among things asked the government to develop and implement a comprehensive reparations scheme for all victims of gross human rights violations and war crimes and redouble efforts aimed at fostering reconciliation and sustaining peace, with the participation of victims and their families as well as civil society organizations.

The CSO Committee furthered called on the government to reconsider the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy on FGM and the stop of Ritualistic killings.

“The delegation, in response to the committee’s concerns stated that it will commit to extending Executive Order number 92, which prohibits FGM until a law can prohibiting the procedure is enacted. However, this Executive Order allows for the possibility of performing FGM with an adult’s consents. Regarding Ritualistic killings, the delegation indicated that although punishable by law, are hard to discourage due to long-standing tradition. Nevertheless, the state assured the committee that all of those who participated in these killings will be prosecuted and that awareness raising campaigns will be launched.”