Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Political Will Against War Criminals Lacking:

Political Will Against War Criminals Lacking:
Human Rights Watch
Source: http://www.newdemocratnews.com/story.php?record_id=1805&sub=14

There are serious questions about the political will and the commitment of the international community to establish a war crimes tribunal for the prosecution of those listed in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch has said.

In its current review of the country’s human rights environment, the group said: “Throughout the year there was significant civil society support for prosecutions, although serious questions remain about the political will of both the Liberian government and the international donor community to establish the recommended accountability mechanism, which calls for the inclusion of foreign judges. Efforts at justice are further complicated by problems with the quality of the TRC’s report, weaknesses within the Liberian judicial system, the potential for the legislature to block accountability efforts, and the existence of a 2003 act that granted immunity for war crimes committed from 1989 through 2003.

It said: “Liberia has not to date brought prosecutions against those allegedly responsible for serious crimes of international law committed during its armed conflicts. In June Liberia’s TRC concluded its four-year mandate and began finalizing its report for submission to the legislature and president, as well as civil society and international partners. A published draft highlighted the role played by corruption and poor management of natural resources in giving rise to Liberia’s armed conflicts, and concluded that all warring factions were responsible for gross human rights violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report’s recommendations, which included the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal to prosecute over 100 of the most notorious perpetrators and the barring from public office of some 50 former supporters of the warring factions, were greeted with considerable controversy and some threats by former faction leaders. The legislature’s formal debate of the report was postponed until early 2010.”

Regarding corruption, it said a weak Judiciary remains a sword Against graft in government

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been praised for taking ‘concrete steps; against corruption while the judiciary’s weaknesses are cited as setbacks in combating the plague.

It said the release of several former officials accused of stealing millions of dollars was ‘blow’ to the fight against corruption.

Human Rights Watch: “Fighting endemic corruption was high on the president’s agenda throughout 2009, but weaknesses within the judicial system undermined these efforts. The June acquittal of high-ranking public officials from the 2003-05 transitional government for the embezzlement of several million dollars was a blow to these efforts and in part led to the sweeping leadership changes in the Ministry of Justice. Over the course of the year the president sacked and referred for investigation scores of public officials, including high-level ministry personnel, county superintendants, and senior central bank officials. Corrupt practices have long undermined the provision of basic education and healthcare to the most vulnerable.

“In July 2009 the president signed into law the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; Liberia is the first country in the world to include forestry and rubber into an EITI mandate.”

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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