Liberia: Mayor of Monrovia Calls for Establishment of War Crimes Court

Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee

MONROVIA – Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee has reaffirmed his support for the establishment of the war and economic crimes court in Liberia.

Mayor Koijee said the establishment of the Court would ensure the prosecution of those accused of perpetrating atrocities during the 14 years of bloody civil war and ensure lasting peace and social healing.

The Monrovia City Mayor who is also the Youth League Chair of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change pointed out that people who caused mayhem in Liberia should be made to account for their actions through a Court of competent jurisdiction.

Mayor Koijee, speaking in a Radio interview live from Washington D.C early Friday morning said, “As a strong advocate of the war crimes court, especially during my days in the youth and student communities, I will continue to advocate for the establishment of the war and economics crimes court.”

He noted that his advocacy for the war and economics crimes court can’t in any way be undermined by the position he holds in government.

Koijee is of the strong conviction that the ultimate means to sustaining peace, genuine reconciliation and development in Liberia is through the establishment of the court.

“We must seek to end the scourge of impunity in Liberia by using the law and holding people accountable for their wrongdoings,” Mayor Koijee told Journalists in a live phone interview from Washington.

He lauded President George Weah for making moves that may lead to the establishment of the court. 

President Weah recently sought advice from the Legislature on the calls for the establishment of the war and economic crimes court in Liberia and the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations.

“We must seek to end the scourge of impunity in Liberia by using the law and holding people accountable for their wrongdoings.”

– Jefferson Koijee, Mayor of Monrovia

Thousands of people were killed, maimed or raped, and children were used as soldiers in the war. Yet over 100 rebel fighters are free and have never been tried in the country. However, a few including Mohammed Jabeteh, aka Jungle Jabbah and Decontee Thomas Woewiyu have faced justice outside of Liberia.

The Monrovia City Mayor also warned against continue protests in the Liberia, something he said taints the image of the country negatively and discourages investors.

“We understand that things are difficult as the result of the economic situation in our country but we cannot use the situation to score political points by continuously staging protest at the detriment of the people we claim to love,” he lamented.

According to Mayor Koijee, every Liberian regardless of their political affiliation needs to play a patriotic role by joining hands with the government to address the current economic situation in the best interest of the citizenry.

He cautioned young people of Liberia to avoid being used as tools for violence.

“Young people of Liberia, we have an opportunity today under this President that we might not have years to come, we have an opportunity to serve in government and make the necessary changes Liberia and Liberians deserve; please don’t allow people use you to undermine this opportunity,” he appealed. 

The youthful Mayor called on officials of government to stop shifting blame on the past government and work harder to achieve the pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development.

“We didn’t come to government to shift blame on other people. We came to government on the slogan of change.  The past government has served and gone. Whether they created the messy state of our country’s economy or not,  it is time we rise to the occasion to work in the interest of the people who gave us the popular mandate to serve”.  

“It is time that government officials regain the trust and confidence of their communities by sharing with them, engaging them with sincerity and explaining the actual realities on ground,” he added.

Mayor Koijee is currently in Washington D.C to establish a sister city relationship which will promote economic development and exchange of ideas and programs between Monrovia and Washington D.C.

He is expected to hold talks with the City Mayor of Washington D.C Muriel Bowser, the City Council, amongst others.