Sunday, November 14, 2010

Growing Sense of Injustice: UK Wants Action on Liberia’s ‘Most Serious’ Atrocities

- Nat Nyuan Bayjay  
Source: FrontPage Africa

Geneva, Switzerland –

Senator Adolphus Dolo
aka General Peanut Butter
The United Kingdom (UK) had one clear message for the Liberian delegation that was proving Liberia’s human rights case: that it totally dislikes the high level of impunity with which individuals enlisted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report continue to not only parade the streets but also continue to serve in high public and most often electable posts.

Prince Johnson

The concern stretches to the extent that the British Government, via its Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland could not help recommending that the Liberian Government must consider implementing the most serious atrocities committed during the civil war as outlined in the TRC document.

The UK noted that the impunity has given birth to a growing sense of injustice amongst Liberians that has led to individuals responsible for committing such atrocities being rewarded with an office at the National Legislature.

“There is a growing sense of injustice amongst the population about the impunity that the perpetrators of violence on a national scale are able to act under, even to the extent that they are able to hold positions in the Senate”, said the UK’s UN Mission during Liberia’s presentation of its human rights review recently in Geneva.

The Liberian delegation, led by Justice Minister Christiana Tah, had gone to present the country’s UN Human Rights Council’s initiated Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism in which all 192 UN member states are reminded of their responsibilities of fully respecting and implementing all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of the new mechanism’s ability is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur by reviewing the human rights records of member states which is done every four years.

Senator Banney

The UK, a global giant, insisted that Tah and delegation should return home with the message that it is interested in seeing the recommendations of the TRC Report with implications of grave atrocities be given priorities in terms of implementation in a bid to discourage the growing sense of injustice and impunity with which the Report seems to be slowly but surely dying.

“We hope that the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in relation to the most serious atrocities committed during the civil war are acted upon. We encourage Liberia to address this as a priority, including bringing cases to court where appropriate, to demonstrate no-one has impunity”, said the UK UN Permanent Mission to a batch of nodding Liberian delegates.

Responding defensively, Attorney-General Tah told the world body that the Liberian government has taken concert measures to ensure the recommendations of the TRC: “The government set up the Independent National Human Rights Council. There is also a TRC Task Force which is empowering civil societies and other groupings.”

During her last reporting on the Report almost two months ago, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf told of the expansion of the Task Force established to review the legal and constitutional implications of the TRC recommendations to include the National Bar Association.

The TRC was favored over a war tribunal during 2003’s Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as the best solution to healing the country’s 14 years of civil conflict. It was to address war crimes and gross human rights violations including violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws during the course of the Liberian crisis dating from 1979 to 2003.

Nat Bayjay was one of three Liberian journalists who qualified to attend the 9th Session of the United Nation Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review under the sponsorship of by Media21 in Geneva, Switzerland. Festus Poquie of the New Democrat Newspaper and Torwon Sulonteh-Brown of UNMIL Radio were the other two Liberian journalists who also attended the Geneva Session.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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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